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Vatican Scans Priceless Manuscripts For Research Purposes

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The Catholic Church has long had a reputation for possessing one of the oldest and most comprehensive archives in existence. Forming an unbroken chain that dates back to the Middle Ages, it’s library at the Vatican has been a sought after resource for researchers around the world participating in studies on religion, culture, archaeology, and other noteworthy subjects.

Unfortunately, up until now access to these documents has been limited by both geography and politics. Scholars wishing to examine the stored information had to personally travel to Italy, and once there undergo intense scrutiny before being granted access. Subject to the whim of church policy, it is hard to fathom how many insights may have been lost over the years by failing to overcome these barriers to entry; but thankfully that has begun to change.

Starting late last year the decision was made to scan and place thousands of the most sensitive or valuable manuscripts online for public access. With a goal of having 78,000 complete copies available by 2033, this project is one of the most ambitious in the history of the institution. Featuring ancient illuminated books, original records of explorers, and even government documents the potential for new revelations via increased access is an exciting one. It’s hard to tell what specific texts will be picked for this digitization, but needless to say it provides benefits all around.

By jumping into the digital document scanning realm, the library stands to benefit as well as the researchers. Many fewer people will actually handle the incredibly fragile paper originals if the information is available online, aiding conservation efforts and decreasing operating costs for the facility. Researchers will benefit by having year round access without the previous travel commitments, leading to expedited progress.

Though your organization may not have papers dating back to the 1500’s, any group interested in increasing the free flow of information can benefit from digitization. Whether it’s needed for internal organizing purposes or to provide it to the greater public, here at The Data Vault we can help get it online and into a secure repository. Every organization has unique needs, so contact us today and one of our experts can help find a solution that’s right for you!

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