When you think of the Vatican, you don’t normally think high tech, but more old world. Well, maybe they are catching up with the times. The Vatican will perform a digital scan of all of its manuscripts.
After all, it’s collection is among the oldest, most comprehensive, and most well preserved collections of ancient texts worldwide. Soon they will be digitizing the tens of thousands of the rarest and most impactful books throughout human history. This is a momentous occasion.
They have rare manuscripts written by notable and important Christian figures, of course, but they also have a collection of rare Chinese scrolls that were collected by early papal explorers too. They probably also have many documents that were confiscated from early scientists, as well as ancient, illustrated versions of non-Christian holy texts. Just imagine what their collection holds.
Hopefully these files will be made public for general viewing, but I somehow doubt it. They will use the FITS format, which enables extremely large files to be stashed, as well as offering support for large and complex metadata tags in order to make more sense of the associated image. Apparently it will require about €50 million to complete this entire project.
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