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Oxford, Vatican libraries to digitise ancient texts

April 12, 2012 15:34 IST

The Bodleian library at the University of Oxford and the Vatican libraries are collaborating on a project to bring ancient texts into the digital era, which will make 1.5 million pages available online.

The Bodleian Libraries and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana will embark on the project with the aim of opening up repositories of ancient texts and making a selection of their remarkable treasures freely available online to researchers and the general public worldwide, a university release said.

The partnership between the two institutions was recently established with help from the Bodleian's Centre for the Study of the Book.

The digitisation project builds on the existing relationship between the two institutions.

Sarah Thomas, Bodley's Librarian, said: "Transforming these ancient texts and images into digital form helps transcend the limitations of time and space which have in the past restricted access to knowledge. Scholars will be able to interrogate these documents in fresh approaches as a result of their online availability".

The digitised collections will be in three subject areas: Greek manuscripts, 15th-century printed books (incunabula) along with Hebrew manuscripts and early printed books.

These areas have been chosen for the strength of the collections in both libraries and their importance for scholarship in their respective fields, the release added.

Prasun Sonwalkar in London
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