The Vatican Library has begun a new project to digitize thousands of historical manuscripts, dating from the origins of the Church to the 20th century, and making them available online.
The richness of The Vatican Apostolic Library, also known as the "Popes' library", located in Vatican City is indicated by this enumeration: "Rich in 82,000 manuscripts, 100,000 archival units, one million and 600,000 printed books (of which 8,700 incunabula), 400,000 coins and medals, 100,000 prints, drawings and matrices and 150,000 photographs, the Library contains a huge documentation of the humankind's history and thinking, of arts and literature, of mathematics and science, of law and medicine, from the earliest centuries of the Christian era up to the present days, in many different languages and cultures from the Far East to the West of pre-Columbian America, as well as a humanistic background of extraordinary value."
The library has previously been involved in digitizing portions of its manuscript collection in cooperation with such organizations as : University of Heidelberg, Bodleian Library, University of Sofia "Saint Clement Ohridski", Brigham Young University (U.S.A.), Chinese National Committe for the compilation of Qing History”.
This week the Vatican announced a new massive digitization project with the Japanese NTT DATA Corporation, a global IT solutions provider. This initial collaboration between the Vatican Apostolic Library and NTT DATA, will cover about 3,000 documents over a four-year period.
Toshio Iwamoto, President and CEO of NTT DATA, stated that "Through this project, NTT DATA looks forward to contributing to art, academia and business by deploying its IT expertise on a global level."
NTT is donating the equipment and the work of its technicians. Technicians from the Japanese company will work alongside Vatican librarians.
The vision and cooperation of the Vatican Library, combined with the expertise and generosity of the NTT Data corporation, "...will further nurture our mission of preserving these treasures of humankind and making them more widely available and known in a deep spirit of universality..." stated Monsignor Cesare Pasini, Prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library.