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Vatican Library to digitise archives

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 Contents - May 2014AD2000 May 2014 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: April 27: Canonisation of two great popes - Peter Westmore
Slavery: Churches join forces to launch anti-slavery campaign - AD2000 Report
News: The Church Around the World
Friday abstinence gains support among Australia's bishops - Matthew Biddle
Vatican Library to digitise archives
Missionaries of God's Love: Vatican recognition lifts status - Br Barry Coldrey
US bishop discusses his new pastoral letter on contraception - Kathleen Nabb
Sister empowers northern India's women with education
A new cathedral in the Muslim world
Poetry: KOKODA a poem - John O'Neill
Apps: Check out religion apps for smartphones! - Peter Westmore
After the turbulent years: the Church renewed - Fr John O'Neill
Cardinal Burke: The Gospel of Life in the defence of freedom - Cardinal Raymond Burke
Letters: The perils of materialism - Fr Bernard McGrath
Letters: Christianity persecuted - Robert Bom
Priestly Fraternity of St Peter: progress report - Fr Damonn Sypher, FSSP
Books: SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION IN THE CHURCH, by Patrick Madrid - Carmel Westmore (reviewer)
Books: HOW THE WEST WON: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity, Rodney Stark - Father John Flynn LC (reviewer)
Books: CULTURE AND ABORTION, by Edward Short
Books: Order books from www.freedompublishing.com.au
Reflection: Will you wait a while? - Anne Lastman

The Vatican Library has begun a project to digitise 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The Vatican Library dates from the late 14th century and forms one of the world's most important collections of historical documents.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 also includes 1.6 million books and large coin and picture collections.

"The manuscripts that will be digitised 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 See.

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 ($27 million) is expected to cover some 3,000 handwritten documents over a four-year period, NTT said.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 27 No 4 (May 2014), p. 8

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