The library’s revamped online services features a more powerful search tool to make it easier to conduct research.
The library’s prefect, Msgr. Cesare Pasini told Vatican News that the revamped website, www.vaticanlibrary.va, was inaugurated on July 16 to serve researchers who, because of the lockdown, have not been able to visit the library in person. On June 1, the library reopened to only a small number of scholars each day.
In the interview with Vatican News, Pasini said that developing a “modern and up-to-date tool” that is “at the service of visitors” would help fulfill Pope Francis’ goal of “reaching the peripheries.”
The Vatican Library is one of the oldest libraries in the world, officially established in 1475 by Pope Nicolas V as a research library for history, law, philosophy, literature, and theology. Today its collection includes 75,000 codices, and about 1.1 million books, 400,000 coins and medals.
Among its many treasures are an illustrated fragment of Virgil’s Aeneid that dates back 1,600 years, Sandro Botticelli’s 1450 illustration of The Divine Comedy, and a collection of poems, notes, and preparatory sketches by Michelangelo.
The website’s new look follows a digitization of the library’s contents which began in 2014. With the website easier to navigate, researchers will find it easier to search within the library’s archives.
Registered searchers now have access to enhanced search functions, and can ask the library’s staff questions and order digital copies of the manuscripts and other materials, Pasini said in the interview.
“We are the pope’s librarians,” he said. “That is why we want to truly be at the service of our visitors with a modern and up-to-date tool that immediately provides what people are searching for or even offers them something more.”
If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.
Here are some numbers:
- 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
- Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
- Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
- We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)
As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.
Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!