Just Too Cool: Vatican Library manuscripts digitized, online

From Business Insider with lots of extremely cool images:

The Vatican Library was founded in 1451 by Nicholas V. It holds some 180,000 manuscripts, 1.6 million books and 150,000 images and engravings.

Last year, non-profit organization Digita Vaticana Oculus was founded with the aim of helping fund the digitization of 80,000 of the manuscripts, or 41 million pages.

In March, Japanese IT firm NTT DATA Corp won a four-year, $23 million contract to digitize the first 3000 manuscripts, totaling 1.5 million pages.

The first 500 manuscripts are now available to view, along with 600 incunabula – books or pamphlets printed before 1500 AD.


Here is a sample:

Oath, signed by 42 Christians of Kuchinotzu (Japan), to defend their missionaries to death, dated 1613.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Iacobus M says:

    WAY too cool. I was just looking at the Vergil manuscript, from about the year 400. Incredible.

  2. defreitas says:

    The Japanese manuscript is amazing. The year after this document was signed, the Japanese shogun outlawed Christianity. I would assume that this would have been considered a death sentence. Interesting that all their Christian names use the Portuguese spelling. May God grant eternal memory to the children of Saint Francis Xavier.

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