Bodleian Libraries and Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

A collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries of Oxford and the Vatican Library to digitise over 1.5 million pages from their collections

Project details

The Bodleian Libraries of Oxford and the Biblioteca Vaticana Apostolica combined efforts to digitise significant items from their rich repositories. The digitisation project focussed on four categories of works: printed books from the 15th century (incunabula), and manuscripts in Greek, Latin and Hebrew.

The items from the Bodleian and Vatican Libraries’ collections were selected for digitisation by a team of scholars and curators from around the world. The selection process was informed by a balance of scholarly and practical concerns; conservation staff at the Bodleian and Vatican Libraries worked with curators to assess not only the significance of the content, but the physical condition of the items, prioritising items that are robust enough to withstand being transported to the imaging studio and handled by the photographers. In order to preserve the integrity and completeness of the manuscript collections, the libraries agreed to digitise whole collections where appropriate.

The collaboration began in 2012 and culminated in a conference held in Rome in May 2018.

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Subject area: Cultural heritage and digitisation

Subject areas

Cultural heritage and digitisation

We support major libraries and museums in digitising and displaying the riches of their collections, to make them available to researchers and the wider public in innovative and attractive ways.

Humanities education and research

We support research in the humanities at significant academic institutions, educational initiatives to inspire young people about the humanities, and the broadening of educational opportunity.

Excellence and innovation in the arts

We support artistic heritage, the development of new creative work and the nurturing of young performers.