An inconspicuous Vatican publication with the curious title "Souvenirs de Babel" is worthy of attention because it reproduces several dozen historical photographs of the exterior and interior of the Vatican library and archives, albeit deliberately in such an unfavourable position that they cannot be reproduced.

So the only option is to buy the book.

The pictures are therefore of interest to the Roman Institute of the Görres Society and all historians with experience of Rome, because they offer an insight into the conditions at the time when the archive was opened in 1881 and when Franz Ehrle created the consultation library (the Leonina) next door a few years later in 1891. Today, these rooms have changed so much that it is difficult to recognise the old conditions. However, this is still possible.