Modern technology and ancient culture are coming together once again as the Vatican embarks on a new digitization project that will see rare Greek and Hebrew texts converted and preserved in electronic format.
According to Good eReader, the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana has elected to digitize approximately 1.5 million pages of ancient Greek and Hebrew manuscripts in addition to another print collection dating back to the 15th century. The digitization process is expected to take approximately five years to complete and will be supported by the Bodleian Libraries, the University of Oxford and a grant from the Polonsky Foundation.
"Transforming these ancient texts and images into digital form helps transcend the limitation of time and space which have in the past restricted access to knowledge," project coordinator Sarah Thomas told the news outlet. "Scholars will be able to interrogate these documents in fresh approaches as a result of their online availability."
Expanding accessibility to cultural materials is one of the primary benefits of digitization, but by bringing resources online, collaborative potential is also expanded. According to University of Maryland professor and Huffington Post contributor Kari Kraus, crowdsourcing projects that invite contributions from the general public are going a long way toward raising awareness for and bolstering the appeal of digitization projects.