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Vatican, Bodleian Libraries will publish millions of ancient texts online

Works that will be available for perusal will include Gutenberg's Bible, believed to be the first text ever printed.

By / April 12, 2012

The Bodleian Library system will collaborate with the Vatican to release millions of pages of ancient manuscripts.

By Roman Kirillov

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Various ancient manuscripts will soon be made available online through a collaboration with the Vatican and the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University.

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More than 1.5 million pages of text will be made available, including 15th-century writings, Hebrew text, and works from the Greeks, including writings by Plato, Sophocles, Homer, and Hippocrates. Other works will be  “De Europa” by Pope Pius II Piccolomini and the 42-line Bible printed by Johannes Gutenberg, believed to be the first text ever printed.

The project was made possible through a grant of $3.2 million from the Polonsky Foundation.

“Transforming these ancient texts and images into digital form helps transcend the limitations of time and space, which have in the past restricted access to knowledge,” Bodley librarian Sarah Thomas told the BBC.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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