Skip to comments.Holy crap! EMC gives Vatican Library 2.8PB to store manuscripts
Posted on 03/07/2013 2:30:08 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
The Vatican Library is losing its walls. Its 89,000 historic manuscripts are being made available online for access by scholars world-wide courtesy of EMC.
The library, properly known as the Vatican Apostolic Library, is located in the Vatican City and is one of the oldest libraries in the world, established formally in 1475 but thought to have functioned for a long time before that. The library's function is to be a resource for scholars researching history, law, philosophy, science and theology.
The Abyss of Hell by Sandro Botticelli in the Vatican Library
It stores some 89,000 manuscripts, including 8,900 incunabula, manuscripts printed before 1501 in Europe. The Vatican collection of these is the fourth largest in the world. It also holds some 5,000 Greek manuscripts, with authors such Homer, Sophocles, Plato, and Hippocrates, and which include New Testament manuscripts. Many of these Greek documents are decorated with Byzantine miniatures. Its most famous book is possibly the Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209, the earliest almost complete bible which dates from the 4th century.
A great many manuscripts in the library have not been formally catalogued and so much remains to be discovered, such as, possibly, unknown historical texts by Aristotle or Cicero. Digitisation will aid this because more scholars will be able to access the library's resources.
The first digitisation plans were announced in 2012, and involved a million and a half pages of material, collaboration with the UK's Bodleian Library, and a grant of £2 million from the Polonsky Foundation in London. Now it's up to 40 million pages in the first 3-year phase of a 9-year project.
EMC Vatican LIbrary Digitisation video
A manuscript or books could have up to 500 pages, with each page needing 150MB of storage. Altogether, according to a spokesperson in an EMC video about the project, 45PB of storage will be needed.
This first phase of the project lasts three years and involves 40 million pages. EMC Italy is sponsoring this phase as part of an Information Heritage Initiative. It's contributing 2.8PB of Atmos, Isilon, and VNX storage arrays, Networker backup software and DataDomain deduplicating backup storage, and working with its Italian partner DEDAGROUP ICT Network.
Gianni Camisa, the group's managing director, provided a quote for EMC's release which perhaps suffered from translation issues; "This is a highly complex project of immense cultural value. We are pleased to offer our expertise around dematerialisation to a complex project of such historical significance." Digitisation might be a better translation of the Italian word that gave rise to dematerialisation.
The Amos storage will be used for long term conservation with the Isilon arrays used for items needing fast access. Documents will be stored in an ISO-certifiable digital format to ensure, EMC says, future availability.
At the moment a maximum of 200 scholars at a time can physically be in and use the Vatican Library. By digitising the manuscripts this can be increased to a much higher number and the manuscripts themselves, many extremely old and very fragile, will not have to handled and put at risk. The Vatican Library will be able to better preserve its heritage by becoming a library without walls. ®
I’m surprised they haven’t done this already.
2.8 Petabytes... There is a joke in there somewhere....
That's some pretty high-resolution scanning. I'm guessing they want scholars to be able to closely examine the calligraphy to get clues as to which scribe wrote what.
How far down have we slid when even in this headline on this subject, they have to add the word ‘crap’ like 14 year old school boys. Books, the Vatican, Holy, and excrement?
“with each page needing 150MB of storage.”
I don’t think so,
Put an 8x10 photograph on your scanner at home. Scan it at 1200 DPI, and store it in a lossless format. Tell us how large (in MB) the .tiff file is.
I believe that the pages of manuscript they're scanning may be larger than 8x10 ... and they may want more than 1200 DPI to capture the detail of calligraphy and illumination.
A library of untapped historical significance is going to anger the Muslim world if they fail to burn it down in time.
That is vulgar, isn’t it.
“with each page needing 150MB of storage.
I dont think so,”
That does not sound bad at all for archiving high resolution photography. I would have thought it to be higher.
Sorry...but that must be a lot of Peda Files...
Save the hard copies!
Phase 1 is 40 million pages. If the next 2 phases are 40 million each, that’s an average of 1,348 pages per document. Seems way too high. Something’s off with the reporting, the next phases are fewer pages, or ancient documents were longer than we imagine.
I think that's the point. Allowing scholars, however careful, to examine the original manuscripts necessarily means taking the risk of damage to them. By scanning them at high resolution, huge numbers of folks (essentially, anyone who really wants to) can examine them without risk.
The gratuitous crudity tells us more about the person who uses it than it does about the subject of discussion.
I have no doubt that some of our fellow FReepers will also inadvertently reveal the sordid contents of their minds by making crude jokes.
Do not discard the hard copies!
Either way, I agree.
Storage company. I worked for them in the 90’s as a systems engineer.
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