29 March 2013

Digitizing the Vatican library

Et aujourd’hui, la Bibliothèque numérise, pour rendre ses collections encore plus accessibles. Un projet d’une ampleur considérable: 82.000 manuscrits, 500 pages en moyenne par manuscrit, 150Mb par page scannée… A la fin du projet, cela représentera 45 Pétabytes de données. Ça me donne le vertige.
 The video is in English.  Text from Curiosités de Titam.


  1. I'd love to know what that includes. And more importantly, what it does not include.

  2. 150 Megabits or 18.75 Megabytes per page sounds excessive.

  3. I doubt it is excessive if one wants to recognize the individual hands of different scribes and argue about the true shape of an ambiguous letter on a damaged book.

    Often the meaning of whole passages in textual criticism turn on if that one funny letter is an Omicron with a smudge in the middle or a Theta where the author's stylus was running low on ink when he crossed it.

    We have to remember that these are not perfectly legible texts printed on brilliantly clean white paper with modern offset printing suitable for optical character recognition.

  4. There is a point where you reach diminishing returns. And the original would need to be consulted to scan in different spectrums and range of light. Unless that is what the total figure includes.


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