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    Posted April 5, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your favorite libraries

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    The Library of the Biblicum in Rome


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     joelsdb goes to the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Italy everyday. He says this library is highly specialized and has books that are on biblical sciences. He recommends this library to anyone interested in learning about history or the scientific study of the Bible. Growing up visiting libraries in his youth, he says he has come to love books. ‘Even at home, we have a small library to which I added books through the years,’ he said.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer



    Rome is a city with many universities and faculties that are approved and established directly by the Vatican and therefore bear the title "Pontifical" and give ecclesiastical academic degrees. Notable ones include the Pontifical Gregorian University (also called the Gregoriana) run by the Jesuits, Pontifical University of Saint Thomas (or the Angelicum), run by the Dominicans, Pontifical Salesian University, Pontifical Lateran University of the Diocese of Rome, Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm run by the Benedictines, and Pontifical Biblical Institute (or Biblicum), also run by the Jesuits, and many others.


    Many of these centres of higher learning have their areas of specialization and it cannot be denied that studies in one university or institute can be more demanding than the other.


    There is a running joke that if you want to know Europe, then go to Angelicum (since the studies are less demanding and you would have a lot of time to tour around); if you want to know Italy, then go to the Lateran University; if you want to know Rome, then go to the Gregoriana. And here is the clincher--if you want to know the library, go to the Biblicum!


    The first three would vary, depending on who cracks the joke, but the last one is always given to the Biblicum because of the demands of study. Indeed, there is a need for many hours of serious study for the Biblicum students who specialize in the study of Sacred Scripture.


    The library of the Biblicum is a highly specialized one, which boasts of copies of the original manuscripts and scholarly editions of the Bible, lexicons and grammars on the Biblical languages and also those of the Ancient Near East, concordances to the Bible, Biblical commentaries, monographs on Biblical and ancient Near Eastern themes and archaeology and journals specializing on the Bible.


    This is among my favorite libraries because I have been in it almost everyday for the past four years and in a few months time I will be missing it. It exudes an aura that is quite ancient (true to its dealing with writings and languages that are ancient) and this gives me a feeling of being in a school a la Hogwarts. The Institute is relatively new (just over a hundred years old) but the buildings apparently date back to centuries before.


    The pictures presented here are a sample of what I see daily as I work in the final leg of my Biblicum experience.

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