Cardinal, archivist, diplomat; b. Rimini, Oct. 29, 1725; d. Rome, May 4, 1792. Garampi, born of a noble family and well educated, drew his passion for historical studies from Ludovico muratori. In Rome he belonged to the Academy of Church History founded by benedict xiv, who employed him in the Papal Secret Archives in 1749 and appointed him prefect in 1751. clement xiii twice sent him to Germany. In 1761 there was talk of calling a peace conference in Augsburg. Awaiting it, Garampi studied and traveled until 1763. After careful observation he made a proposal that had some influence—namely, that in order to counteract anti-Church books, such as those of Febronius, Catholic theologians should themselves publish books. In 1764 he accompanied Niccolò Oddi, the nuncio, to Frankfurt for the election of Archduke Joseph as King of the Romans. Appointed nuncio to Warsaw by clement xiv in 1772, he arrived there just after the first partition of Poland and was faced with the difficulties that arose concerning the status of Catholic churches in the portions annexed by Prussia and Russia, and the dissolution of the Society of Jesus by clement xiv in 1773. He served also as nuncio to Vienna, and he was there during pius vi's visit to Joseph II. He was created a cardinal in 1785, and was also bishop of Montefiascone and Corneto, as well as protector of the German College in Rome.
Wherever he was he pursued three objectives: the study of the history of the Church, the betterment of the state of religion and of scholarship, and the acquisition of manuscripts and books for his library. He left a library of 16,630 items, 4,225 of them theological and 7,812 historical subjects. A number of his studies and one diary have been published; others are among the Vatican manuscripts.
Bibliography: g. garampi, Viaggio in Germania, Baviera, Svizzera, Olanda e Francia …, ed. d. g. palmieri (Rome 1889), journal. Pastor v.35–40, scattered statements and quotations from Garampi's official letters in v.38. f. cancellieri, "Notizia sul Cardinale Giuseppe Garampi," Memorie di Religione, di Morale e di Letteratura 11 (Modena 1827) 385–442, written by a contemporary who knew Garampi, with 12 of his personal letters included. g. amati, Bibliothecae Josephi Garampii Cardinalis Catalogus, 5 v. (Rome 1796) 1:3–14, biog. sketch. j. wodka, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hÖfer and k. rahner (1957–) 4:515.
[m. l. shay]