"Vincentian Missionaries in Seventeenth-century Europe and Africa: A Digital Edition of Sources from the Vatican Archives" is an annotated collection of primary sources tracing the activities of Vincentian missionaries in Europe and Africa. The documents included here are drawn from the Vatican archives (especially the Propaganda Fide branch) and illustrate the work of the Congregation of the Mission from its establishment by Vincent de Paul in 1625 to the end of the seventeenth century. They underscore a complex relationship with the Roman Curia and highlight the attempts of the papacy to shape early modern religious, cultural and political frontiers in the context of the Catholic Reformation. The sources gathered here were mainly authored by Vincentians and the cardinals of Propaganda Fide, but we also include a significant number of letters written by third parties (French kings and royal officers, papal nuncios, bishops, members of other religious orders, slaves). They offer a myriad of details about the environment in which the missionaries lived and worked—the Protestant enclaves in France; the Scottish highlands; the native population on Madagascar; the Christian and Muslim slaves on the Mediterranean coastline—thus offering a rich and colorful perspective on seventeenth-century interreligious and intercultural encounters. Read more...

The collection comprises:

This is a work in progress. Minor errors and inconsistencies may still be found in the metadata and full-text transcriptions. We are working on eliminating the imperfections and will upload cleaner versions of this database in the future. Be sure to check again soon!

26 Nov. 2018 UPDATE: please note that the full-text transcriptions that used to be individually attached to our database items are temporarily unavailable due to a technical problem; we'll have them up and running as soon as possible! In the meantime, you may access all transcriptions at this link: Transcriptions. Please note that they are listed in the order of their unique identifiers (all file names start with a number; that's their identifier). To find the transcription for a certain item, first note its identifier, then go to the link above to find its corresponding transcription. See the snapshots below for more details.

Browse the items in the Vincentian Missionaries collection

Data visualization (provided by Visual Correspondence: Analysing Letters through Data Visualisation, at letters.nialloleary.ie)


Works cited


Project team