Vatican Digitizing its Entire Library into 2.8 Petabytes of Data

The Vatican is digitizing its entire library of 80,000 historic manuscripts and 8,900 incunabula thanks to a donation of 2.8 petabytes of storage space from EMC. The Vatican’s library is one of the world’s oldest and its rare manuscripts to be preserved includes:

    • The 42 line Latin Bible of Gutenberg, the first book printed with movable type and dating between 1451 and 1455.
    • The Sifra, a Hebrew manuscript written between the end of the 9th Century and the middle of the 10th, one of the oldest extant Hebrew codes;
    • Greek testimonies of the works of Homer, Sophocles, Plato and Hippocrates;
    • The famous incunabulum of Pius II’s De Europa, printed by Albrecht Kunne in Memmingen in around 1491;
    • The Code-B, one of the oldest extant manuscripts of the Greek Bible, dated to the 4th Century.

A petabyte is equal to 1 thousand terabyte and the entire process of converting 40 million pages is expected to take 3 years. EMC’s digitization effort is a part of its Information Heritage Initiative:

This initiative makes historical documents and cultural artifacts readily accessible for research and education via the Internet. EMC and initiative partners work with diverse organizations throughout the world to protect valuable information and improve access to international treasures.

Current projects by the Information Heritage Initiative includes “Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, the Polonsky Foundation and the University of Heidelberg.”


Via The Verge