Vatican and Oxford University Share Ancient Texts Online

From The Guardian:

Vatican and Oxford University share ancient texts online

Digitised collections of Greek and Hebrew manuscripts and early
printed books to be made available free online

The Oxford University and Vatican libraries are to jointly digitise
1.5m pages of ancient texts and make them available free online.

The libraries said the digitised collections will centre on three
subject areas: Greek manuscripts, 15th-century printed books and
Hebrew manuscripts and early printed books.

The areas have been chosen for the strength of the collections in both
libraries and their importance for scholarship in their respective

With approximately two-thirds of the material coming from the Vatican
and the remainder from Oxford University’s Bodleian libraries, the
digitisation effort will also benefit scholars by uniting materials
that have been dispersed between the collections for centuries.

“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,” Sarah Thomas, director of the
Bodleian Libraries, said on Thursday.

“Scholars will be able to interrogate these documents in fresh
approaches as a result of their online availability.”

The initiative has been made possible by a £2m award from the Polonsky

“The service to humanity which the Vatican library has accomplished
over almost six centuries, by preserving its cultural treasures and
making them available to readers, finds here a new avenue which
confirms and amplifies its universal vocation through the use of new
tools, thanks to the generosity of the Polonsky Foundation and to the
sharing of expertise with the Bodleian libraries,” Holy See librarian
Cardinal Raffaele Farina said.


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