Today and Tomorrow: the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, a Story Open to the Future
New buildings and new technologies have contributed to keeping the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana not only in step with the times, but in some cases even ahead of them. The digitization project for manuscripts is proceeding rapidly, and in the Vatican Digital Library many millions of pages are now available online, free of charge, for about 18,000 manuscripts. They can be consulted, studied and, thanks to the new possibilities offered by the IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) technology, also compared with others, annotated and with the possibility of making available the results of one's research.
It is a new way of looking at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana: it certainly continues to remain a physical place, in a specific place, to be visited in person to consult the originals, but it expands to become a virtual place that can be "frequented" from anywhere in the world.
The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, aware of the responsibility it has before all humanity, is committed in every way to always be up to its dual mission, already indicated by its founder Pope Nicholas V (r. 1447-1455): on the one hand that of collecting and preserving in the best way the treasures it contains, on the other that of making its collections available to the scientific community all over the world, so that the texts and the knowledge they contain can circulate and produce new texts and new knowledge, contributing to the growth of the whole humanity.