News

Vatican library will digitize its archive and put them online

Vatican library will digitize its archive and put them online

DIGITIZED: An Aztec calendar, from the Codex Borgianus Mexicanus is seen at the Vatican in this March 20, handout released by Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. Photo: Reuters

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican library began a project on Thursday to digitize thousands of historical manuscripts, dating from the origins of the Church to the 20th century, and make them available online.

Working with the Japanese technology group NTT Data, the library intends to scan and digitally archive about 1.5 million pages from the library’s collection of manuscripts, which comprises some 82,000 items and 41 million pages. The initial project will take four years and may be extended.

The Vatican library dates from the late 14th century and forms one of the world’s most important collections of historical documents. It includes 1.6 million books and large coin and picture collections as well as its manuscript archives.

“The manuscripts that will be digitized extend from pre-Columbian America to China and Japan in the Far East, passing through all the languages and cultures that have marked the culture of Europe,” said Monsignor Jean-Louis Brugues, archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church.

The library will use NTT scanners to record the manuscripts and archive software to manage the collection. Technicians from the Japanese company will work alongside Vatican librarians.

“At the end of the four years, the involvement of NTT could lead to a further phase of engagement which could cover the entire collection,” said Monsignor Cesare Pasini, prefect of the library.

NTT is donating the equipment and the work of its technicians. The initial phase of the operation, worth some 18 million euros (15.16 million pounds), is expected to cover some 3,000 handwritten documents over a four-year period, NTT said.

(Reporting by Antonio Denti; Editing by Larry King)

Recent Headlines

7 hours ago in National

White House seeks $1.8B in emergency funds for Zika virus

zikavirus

The World Health Organization has declared an international health emergency over the rapidly spreading virus.

12 hours ago in National

Gas prices continue to drop

gas

The average price of gasoline has dropped 8 cents over the past two weeks, to $1.82 a gallon.

13 hours ago in Sports

Zika fears prompt Olympic concerns

zika

The United States Olympic Committee told U.S. sports federations that athletes and staff concerned for their health over the Zika virus should consider not going to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August.

13 hours ago in National, World

North Korean rocket puts object into space, angers neighbors, U.S.

22-overlay-3

North Korea launched a long-range rocket carrying what it called a satellite, drawing renewed international condemnation just weeks after it carried out a nuclear bomb test.

13 hours ago in National

Chipotle stores to open later on Monday for worker meeting

chipotle

Don't plan on getting a burrito for lunch today - every Chipotle location in America will be closed this morning for a food safety meeting.