It was just a matter of time before technology and hi-fi gadgets make it to what can perhaps be said the last frontiers of our civilization — religion and places of worship. In a move that is sure to have far reaching impact for those of you that use tablet PCs and e-book reading devices to read your digital content. The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, better known as the Vatican library has decided to open up its vast collection comprising of Greek manuscripts, 15th-century printed books (incunabula), Hebrew manuscripts along with other printed books of the bygone era, which together make up no less than 1.5 million pages. The project is expected to take 5 years to complete and is being executed in partnership with Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford.
Also, the entire project is being funded by the Polonsky Foundation that has allotted £2 million for the digitization process that will make available online text and ancient literary pieces that were once or are still a close guarded entity.
“I am pleased to support this exciting new project where the Bodleian Libraries and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana will make important collections accessible to scholars and the general public worldwide, said Dr. Leonard Polonsky, founder of the Polonsky Foundation who has been doing championing the cause of democratizing access to information.
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana is contributing two-third of the material that are being digitized while the remainder of the estimated 1.5 million printed pages will come from Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford. The move is going to be a landmark development as everyone from scholars to anyone interested in the subject will get to have access to the texts once those are posted online.
“Transforming these ancient texts and images into digital form helps transcend the limitations of time and space which have in the past restricted access to knowledge,” said Bodley’s librarian Sarah Thomas before also adding, “Scholars will be able to interrogate these documents in fresh approaches as a result of their online availability.”