EMC Corporation is providing 2.8 petabytes of storage to help the Vatican Apostolic Library digitise its entire catalogue of historic manuscripts and incunabula (a book or pamphlet printed before 1501). The current digitisation project brings together a number of organisations and institutional partners, including Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, the Polonsky Foundation and the University of Heidelberg.
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 digitised 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.
Working with its systems integrator partner Dedagroup, EMC will provide 2.8 petabytes of storage capacity – enough to store the 40 million pages of digitised 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.
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.
Past EMC Information Heritage initiatives include: supporting the JFK Library (Boston, USA) in the process of digitising and archiving its entire collection; creating a high-resolution, 3D 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.