KRISZTINA TÓTH–PÉTER TUSOR, Inventarium Vaticanum I. The Archives of the Apostolic Nunciature in Budapest (1920–1939) (CVH I/14), Budapest–Rome 2016. lxii + 360 p. and 4 suppl. (pictures, map)
The volume that is a unique undertaking even on international level processes the material of the Apostolic Nunciature of Budapest from the diplomatic fonds of the Vatican between the two world wars in the form of a synoptic inventory. Its preparation connected to the strategically important Hungarian historical research in the Vatican, which has a long tradition and is characterized by the name of Vilmos Fraknói, replaces the work of the Hungarian Historical Institute in Rome that currently functionally does not exist.
The book gives a picture about the structure and content of an extremely diverse and rich, expressly Hungarian related material outlining the most important topics of the relations of the Holy See and Hungary in the examined period of time; between 1920 and 1939. It contains such subjects that were determinative both from the point of view foreign and domestic policy. To mention only some examples: the effect of the Treaty of Trianon on the Church organisation, the role and importance of Catholicism in preserving Hungarian culture on the taken away territories, the royal right of patronage, the Catholic renaissance, monumental Catholic celebrations, etc. Besides, the volume provides valuable additions to the history of the single dioceses, religious orders and institutes and thecurriculum of certain Ecclesiastical and laypersons.
On the one hand, the importance of the inventory is given by the fact, that it facilitates the work of the researchers arriving at the Vatican Secret Archives, as this way they can obtain information about the content of the bustae in advance, and thus they can carry out targeted research. On the other hand, it contributes to the understanding and processing of the relations of the Holy See and Hungary and the contemporary role of the papal Central-European diplomacy with due subtlety both on national and international level. Its continuation, the Inventarium Vaticanum II, which is in preparation, will contain the abundant Hungarian related material of the nunciatures of Prague, Bucharest and Beograd and the Congregazione per gli Affari Ecclesiastici Straordinari.
The volume is completed by a detailed introduction, which discusses the history of the nunciature, the so far processing of the Hungarian related fonds opened in 2006 and also the methodology of the preparation of the inventory, contemporary photos, a map, a thorough register of places and names compiled by György Sági and a summarizing study in English.