Commentary by Dr. Elizabeth Malpass
Dan Brown Alert!
The Vatican announced publicly that the digitalization of the Vatican Apostolic Archives has begun. The Japanese IT firm, NIT DATA Corporation, is using new technology and newly invented and highly sensitive scanners to begin copying and publication of all the documents in Pope Nicholas V's magnificent collection. Under close supervision, fifty Japanese and Italian experts have started the copying and formatting with 3,000 initial manuscripts. The release of these documents are expected to be online by the end of 2014. An estimated quadrillion bytes will be used or about 40 million pages will eventually be online and available for scholarly and public examination. NIT DATA has contributed approximately $25 million dollars and four years of initial technology to the project. The final cost and time is unknown at this point, but funds are expected to come from grants and contributions. The library archives, founded in 1451, contain an estimated 82 million manuscripts dating back to the second century, but entombed in these volumes are fragments from antiquity never widely available to scholars.
Pope Benedict XVI re-opens the Library after extensive, modern renovations.