The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana have announced a new digitisation drive, aiming to make a selection of their ancient texts freely available online.
© Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
A £2 million award from the Polonsky Foundation will see 1.5 million pages from both collections put into digital format.
“I am pleased to support this exciting new project, where the Bodleian Libraries and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana will make important collections accessible to scholars and the general public worldwide,” says Dr Polonsky.
The four-year project will result in digital collections of Greek manuscripts, 15th-century printed books (incunabula), Hebrew manuscripts and early printed books.
The online archive will benefit scholars at both the BAV and the Bodleian by uniting materials dispersed between the two collections over the centuries.
Bodleian Librarian Sarah Thomas says the initiative will "transcend the limitations of time and space" which have "restricted access to knowledge".
“Today’s world - and tomorrow’s - is one of global connectedness," she believes.
"The Bodleian Libraries are pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in this cross-cultural collaboration.”