pope-benedicts-legacy

Ancient manuscripts in the Vatican library penned from East Asia to

the Pre-Colombian Americas will be digitised by a Japanese company as

part of a global project to make the collection available for free

viewing by the public.

Japan?s NTT DATA will digitise 3,000 historical works and put them

online over a four-year period in an initiative costing 18 million

euros (US$22.6 million), the company said at a press conference in the

Vatican on Thursday.

?The manuscripts to be digitised go from the Pre-Colombian American

period to the Chinese and Japanese East Asia, passing through all the

languages and cultures which have animated Europe,? the Vatican?s

librarian and archivist Jean-Louis Brugues said.

The library began digitising its books a couple of years ago and the

deal with NTT DATA will bring the total of manuscripts converted to

15,000 by 2018.

NTT DATA?s head Toshio Iwamoto said the company was eager to

participate ?in an operation which will lead to the digitisation and

preservation of some 80,000 books and 41 million pages which could be

considered as global heritage, written between the second and 20th

centuries?.

The company is active in over 40 countries and is experienced in

digitising rare manuscripts.

Brugues underlined the Holy See?s desire ?to make the immense treasure

entrusted to it available, by offering free consultation on the

Internet?.

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