Published on April 16th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


Over A Million Rare Pages And Ancient Texts To Hit The Web Courtesy Of The Vatican And Oxford Library

Most people consider the web to be nothing more than pictures of cats and Facebook silliness but that’s not all it is about as we are seeing more and more of previously unavailable written material making its way to the web. Last month I wrote about how the Albert Einstein library and personal correspondence was being made available on the web and now we have word that two more big libraries are being digitized for the web.

The treasures that will soon be available to all via the web are the Biblioteca Apostilica Vaticana and the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries and while the project is expected to take 5 years the cost of the project was funded to the tune of $3.17 million by the Polonsky Foundation. In the end there will be some 1.5 million pages of rare and ancient texts available to scholars all over the world.

Some of the texts being contributed by the Vatican include:

  • Sifra, which was written between 800 and 950 AD and is the oldest Hebrew book in the library’s collection
  • A 12th century Italian Bible

The Bodleian libraries’ contribution include:

  • Greek manuscripts that include the ‘testimonies’ of Homer, Sophocles, Plato, Hippocrates.

Other miscellaneous contributions from the libraries will include:

  • De Europa by Pope Pius II
  • Johannes Gutenberg’s Latin Bible that was printed between 1451 and 1455
  • Various New Testaments

There is no word yet whether these works will be made available for free but one can hope that this is the case. Just imagine the ability to find new meaning and understanding from all these rare documents when open to the whole world to enjoy and interpret.

via Geekosystem (including image)



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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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