Vatican teams with Bodleian for US$3.2 million digitization project

Thanks to a US$3.2 million grant from the Polonsky Foundation, rare manuscripts from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana will be digitized and made available online through both libraries. NPR's Annaliese Quinn has the story and interview.

Included in the project will be a Gutenberg Bible from 1455, an annotated manuscript of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, and the oldest surviving Hebrew codex, as well as a number of "Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts, and incunabula, or 15th-century printed books.

According to the project's website, "these groups have been chosen for their scholarly importance and for the strength of their collections in both libraries, and they will include both religious and secular texts." The scholar Malachi Beit-AriƩ called the project a "unique cultural and scholarly enterprise which will provide students, scholars and the general public with easy access to these rich hidden treasures." The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said in a that the collection is "something that inspires worship," adding that upon seeing the texts, "there is just a lifting of the spirits."