EMC Brings the Vatican Apostolic Library into the Digital Age
Over 80,000 Manuscripts and 8,900 Rare Incunabula to be Digitally Preserved for Future Generations
EMC has announced that it is providing 2.8 petabytes of storage to help the Vatican Apostolic Library digitize its entire catalogue of historic manuscripts and incunabula (a book or pamphlet printed before 1501). One of the oldest libraries in the world, the Vatican Apostolic Library holds many of the rarest and most valuable documents in existence including the 42 line Latin Bible of Gutenberg, the first book printed with movable type and dating between 1451 and 1455. EMC is supporting the Vatican Library's goal of preserving in an ISO-certifiable digital format delicate texts vulnerable to deterioration and decay from repeated handling, ensuring that the accumulated knowledge of generations is freely available for future study.
Additional manuscripts being digitized include:
- The Sifra, a Hebrew manuscript written between the end of the 9th Century and the middle of the 10th, one of the oldest extant Hebrew codes;
- Greek testimonies of the works of Homer, Sophocles, Plato and Hippocrates;
- The famous incunabulum of Pius II's De Europa, printed by Albrecht Kunne in Memmingen in around 1491;
- The Code-B, one of the oldest extant manuscripts of the Greek Bible, dated to the 4th Century.
EMC's sponsorship forms part of its 'Information Heritage Initiative', which works to protect and preserve the world's information for future generations and make it globally accessible in digital form for research and education purposes. Working with its systems integrator partner Dedagroup, EMC will provide 2.8 petabytes of storage capacity – enough to store the 40 million pages of digitized manuscript – across its industry-leading EMC Isilon scale-out NAS, EMC Atmos object storage, EMC Data Domain and EMC NetWorker backup and recovery solutions and EMC VNX unified storage solutions over the first phase of the nine-year project, which is expected to take three years.
Past EMC Information Heritage initiatives include: supporting the JFK Library (Boston, USA) in the process of digitizing and archiving its entire collection; creating a high-resolution, 3-D digital reconstruction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Codex of Flight'; supporting the Herzogin Anna Amalia Library (Weimar, Germany), home to a unique collection of Faust first editions; and sponsoring the Vatican's Lux in Arcana exhibition, which brought into the public domain for the first time in 400 years 100 original historical documents from the Vatican Secret Archive earlier in 2012.
The current digitization project brings together a number of organizations and institutional partners, including Oxford University's Bodleian Library, the Polonsky Foundation and the University of Heidelberg.
Monsignor Cesare Pasini, Prefect, Vatican Apostolic Library
"The Apostolic Library contains some of the oldest texts in the world that represent a priceless legacy of history and culture. It's very important that these documents are protected, and at the same time made available to scholars around the world. Thanks to the generosity and expertise of supporters such as EMC we are able to meet these goals, preserving a treasure-trove of rare and unique texts in a format that will not suffer from the passage of time."
Gianni Camisa, Managing Director, DEDAGROUP ICT Network
"This is a highly complex project of immense cultural value. We are pleased to offer our expertise around dematerialization to a complex project of such historical significance. We take great pride in our involvement in the digitization of the Apostolic Library."
Michele Liberato, President, EMC Italy
"To manage and protect information is part of our mission. The Apostolic Library is one of the oldest libraries in the world and we have a duty to ensure that the knowledge and beauty of the manuscripts in it are available to all in the future. This project will help to preserve and make available a unique heritage of knowledge."
Marco Fanizzi, Country Manager, EMC Italy
"Where once knowledge and information would have been stored on the page, facilitated by the scriptoria or later the printing press, today EMC serves the same purpose through our storage technologies. The collaboration with the Apostolic Library is an incredibly important project and will provide future generations with access to knowledge and insight that may otherwise have been lost."
SOURCE EMC Corporation