News / Europe

Vatican to Open High-Tech Library for Ancient Volumes

The Vatican's Apostolic Library is reopening to scholars following a three-year renovation. Improvements have been made to how volumes and manuscripts are catalogued and to security measures. The library re-opens to scholars and academics September 20.

Scholars have not been able to access the wealth of books and manuscripts or the coin and medal collection that belong to the Vatican's Apostolic Library. It has been closed for renovation since 2007. But on September 20th it will be reopened, sparkling clean, with modern technology.

Vatican Library Prefect Monsignor Cesare Pasini says there is great interest for the world to know about the library and its mission, a mission in support of culture. The Holy See has this library that it has maintained for free for centuries, and which it opens to scholars and therefore to the world.

Deputy Prefect Ambrogio Piazzoni explains what the Library is all about.

He says the library keeps everything that is the thought, passion, fantasy and faith that men have produced in written form during the past 20 centuries. And this is in reality not just the heritage of the Vatican Library, but of the whole of humanity.

The Library does not check out books, although with special authorization it has been possible to borrow books, manuscripts, coins and medals for special exhibits. Only the Pope can check out a book.

Piazzoni says the greatness of the Vatican Library resides above all in the quality of its books. There are 1.6-million volumes. Many other libraries in the world have more, but the Vatican Library has 80,000 medieval and humanistic manuscripts, which can be compared only to the national libraries in Paris and London.

A new sophisticated security and tracking system has been installed. A scholar visiting the library will receive a magnetic badge that will track his movements inside the library. In addition electronic tags have been inserted in each of the books so that they can be easily located.

Piazzoni says in this kind of a library if a book is misplaced it is like losing it, because finding it would be up to chance. But with this new radio-frequencies system of identification it will be much easier to find a book and return it to its rightful place.

The Vatican library was started by Pope Nicholas V in the early 1450s with an initial 350 Latin manuscripts. By the time he died in 1455, the collection had swelled to about 1,500 publications and was the largest in Europe. Pope Nicholas wanted a library that did not belong only to the pope but to scholars all over the world. Vatican officials say 150 to 200 scholars will be allowed into the library every day.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid