Vatican research documents shared online

January 31st, 2013 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document and Information Capture

When students, businesspeople and history buffs want to look into a past event more thoroughly, the majority take to the internet. It is exceedingly rare that information cannot be found via a computer, as so many documents have been digitized and are available online.

This might not be the case, though, if such materials aren’t available in electronic document management systems. Some information remains accessible via old primary source documents, requiring researchers to travel to find what they are looking for.

Until very recently, this was the case with 256 documents in the Vatican Apostolic Library, Rome Reports detailed. The nation’s library is notoriously hard to gain access to, but leaders are looking to share information using conversion services. The files are now available online to anyone who visits the organization’s website, the news outlet reported, after the initiative begun in 2011 was recently completed.

Monseigneur Cesare Pasini told Rome Reports that because of the ease and success seen so far, experts in the Vatican City are now looking to offer more files online for researchers. 

“It will be all the manuscripts. To be more precise, all of the manuscripts that are conserved within the manuscript deposit in the Library,” Pasini explained. “There are about 80,000.”

Vatican Radio reported that the documents transferred online in the initial project are ancient texts. According to the source, the initiative was launched after increasing interest from students, scholars, researchers and teachers was brought to leaders’ attention. 

Pasini told Vatican Radio that this first push took two years to finalize, with the help of workers from the University of Heidelberg in Germany, but that employees from Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries would be helping complete the larger leg of the project.

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