Skip to comments.The Vatican's Precious Manuscripts Go Online
Posted on 04/12/2014 7:07:22 AM PDT by Theoria
Japanese Tech Firm NTT Is Scanning the Ancient Texts in the Vatican Apostolic Library
Almost 600 years after Pope Nicholas V founded the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Holy See is now turning to 50 experts, five scanners and a Japanese IT firm to digitize millions of pages from its priceless manuscripts, opening them to the broader public for the first time.
When the project is finished, one of the richest and most important collections of historical texts in the world will be available with a click of the mouseand free.
The plan marks a revolution for an institution known as the Popes' Library, which houses more than 82,000 manuscripts, some dating back to the second century. Scholars must now submit a detailed request to gain access to the library, which sits within the Vatican walls. The most precious works of art, such as a 1,600-year old manuscript displaying Virgil's poems once studied by Raphael, have been mostly off-limits.
"This restriction was wise to protect such valuable manuscripts from hordes of visitors," said Alberto Melloni, a church historian who has used the Vatican library several times. "If anybody could visit, it would be like putting a child with a paintbrush in front of the Mona Lisa."
By digitizing its archives, the Vatican library, established in 1451, joins the ranks of illustrious institutions such as the British Museum, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Cambridge University Library. The Vatican is offering "a service that we provide all mankind," said Msgr. Cesare Pasini, prefect of the library, at a recent presentation of the project.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Johannes Gutenberg, ping. Smile
for reference, ping.
I wonder whatever happened to all that Temple stuff depicted on the Arch of Titus.
I looked into getting on that project. Would be a beautiful place to spend a few years working. But they didn’t need my skillset. It was a pleasant daydream tho...
Thanks for posting! Lots to explore there.
and didn’t the muslims burn the library at Alexandria?
I believe it was the Romans
Ancient and modern sources identify four possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria: Julius Caesar’s fire during his civil war in 48 BC; the attack of Aurelian in AD 270 275; the decree of Coptic Pope Theophilus in 391 AD; and the Muslim conquest of Egypt in (or after) AD 642
From Wikipedia - so it must be true!
Let’s hope they haven’t also hired a photoshop crew for... “touch-ups.”
I think he's Tom Hanks. Or something.
Yes, it was the muzzies. Caesar referred to the destruction of “some books which chanced to be there” when he had the Egyptian fleet burned in the middle of the night. But that was in reference to some warehouse by the docks, and he was up in the citadel at the time, which is where the great library was located. Also the library continued to operate for centuries after that, which is difficult to reconcile with its destruction.
Curiously, in late Roman or early Byzantine times (I forget), the original papyrus versions of the books (scrolls) were getting long in the tooth and were copied onto parchment, which is the version of the library incinerated by order of the caliph in the 7th c.
What that may mean is, the papyrus versions were unceremoniously dumped in a refuse pile and, thanks to the arid conditions, may be just waiting for the day someone comes along and finds the entire pile of fragments, not unlike what has happened at Oxyrhynchus.
various fires and damage
The depiction of the sack of Jerusalem on that Triumphal Arch is still in Rome, still exposed to the elements. You can walk right up and touch it.