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Thursday, 14 March 2013 11:26

Vatican sticks library on computer

Written by Nick Farrell



EMC project kicked off

The Vatican is digitising the entire Apostolic Library in a nine year project made possible by a 2.8 petabyte storage donation from EMC.

The library holds nearly 90,000 documents, including rare pieces like the Gutenberg Bible, one of the first Western books printed on moveable type. EMC hasn't said what formats it will use to store the data, or how it will handle the different types of media within the library.

Recently the outfit assisted in the creation of a 3D digital reconstruction of a Leonardo da Vinci work. Many of the texts that will be digitized contain historically (and religiously) important illuminations and marginalia, so it's vital that EMC choose a format that captures all of it.

Digitisation doesn't guarantee that the preservation will be permanent. Digital files can break down or become outdated and unreadable. The initial storage of the files is expected to take three years, but neither EMC nor the Vatican have announced what the subsequent phases of the project will involve. Still it means that more information will be available on a search that does not require much in the way of handling.

The real texts can be safely stored where they can only be found by American researchers looking for details on the Illuminati.

Nick Farrell

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