Digital History: The Vatican Sends History into the Heavens

It’s a modern new digital world at Vatican City.

The  Digitized Incunabula from the Vatican Library

The Incunabula of 1470, an early printed manuscript

Image © Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. Use according to the terms of the Creative Commons license CC-BY-SA 3.0 DE allowed by the University of Heidelberg Library.



The Pope has a twitter account, Cardinals regularly blog, and Vatican City has ATMs where you can make an electronic donation of “Peter’s Pence” to purchase mementos, pay museum fees, and buy stamps.

And in even more exciting news (at least to us RM geeks) we can access the Vatican’s amazing library through cloud technology, now that the Vatican Apostolic Library has digitized over 10,000 of its collection to date.

They’ve also made them much easier to search by adding metadata and creating a helpful, user-friendly interface for the benefit of all.

Luciano Ammenti, chief information officer at the library, said that the church wants all 82,000 documents in the collection – of which only about 20% have actually been read  – to be available to readers around the globe.  Says Ammenti, “In so doing, we will further nurture our mission of preserving these treasures of humankind.”

By effectively using cloud computing and digital imaging to connect individuals, create and strengthen a sense of belonging, and now to make rare manuscripts and history accessible to the world without jeopardizing the integrity of the fragile original documents, the Vatican is making the most of the power of modern technology to bring people and knowledge together to create a stronger, powerful global community.

We have to wonder, when will the Pope start including helpful links and digital images to illustrate his frequent tweets?


This entry was posted in Articles, Digital History. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply