In late March 2014, Monsignor Cesare Pasini, prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library, announced that it will partner with Japanese IT company NTT Data Corporation to digitize 3,000 manuscripts through 2018. The ultimate goal is to scan the entire collection – 82,000 handmade books with over 20 million folios. The collaboration, a deal worth 18 million euro, will help the library to make considerable headway on the vast project, aiming to complete 15,000 documents at the end of four years.
The books to be scanned include the fourth-century “Vatican Virgil,” one of the three surviving illuminated manuscripts from late antiquity, and a copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy illustrated by Sandro Botticelli.
Folios 8v and 18v of the Vatican Vergil (Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Cod. Vat. lat. 3225). Death of Laocoön (18v). Illustration of text from the Aeneid; Cyclops laboring (8v). Illustration of text from the Georgics.