Feeds

Holy crap! EMC gives Vatican Library 2.8PB to store manuscripts

NOT on the cloud, we note....

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

The Vatican Library is losing its walls. Its 89,000 historic manuscripts are being made available online for access by scholars world-wide courtesy of EMC.

The library, properly known as the Vatican Apostolic Library, is located in the Vatican City and is one of the oldest libraries in the world, established formally in 1475 but thought to have functioned for a long time before that. The library's function is to be a resource for scholars researching history, law, philosophy, science and theology.

The Abyss of Hell

The Abyss of Hell by Sandro Botticelli in the Vatican Library

It stores some 89,000 manuscripts, including 8,900 incunabula, manuscripts printed before 1501 in Europe. The Vatican collection of these is the fourth largest in the world. It also holds some 5,000 Greek manuscripts, with authors such Homer, Sophocles, Plato, and Hippocrates, and which include New Testament manuscripts. Many of these Greek documents are decorated with Byzantine miniatures. Its most famous book is possibly the Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209, the earliest almost complete bible which dates from the 4th century.

A great many manuscripts in the library have not been formally catalogued and so much remains to be discovered, such as, possibly, unknown historical texts by Aristotle or Cicero. Digitisation will aid this because more scholars will be able to access the library's resources.

The first digitisation plans were announced in 2012, and involved a million and a half pages of material, collaboration with the UK's Bodleian Library, and a grant of £2 million from the Polonsky Foundation in London. Now it's up to 40 million pages in the first 3-year phase of a 9-year project.

EMC Vatican Library Video still

EMC Vatican LIbrary Digitisation video

A manuscript or books could have up to 500 pages, with each page needing 150MB of storage. Altogether, according to a spokesperson in an EMC video about the project, 45PB of storage will be needed.

This first phase of the project lasts three years and involves 40 million pages. EMC Italy is sponsoring this phase as part of an Information Heritage Initiative. It's contributing 2.8PB of Atmos, Isilon, and VNX storage arrays, Networker backup software and DataDomain deduplicating backup storage, and working with its Italian partner DEDAGROUP ICT Network.

Gianni Camisa, the group's managing director, provided a quote for EMC's release which perhaps suffered from translation issues; "This is a highly complex project of immense cultural value. We are pleased to offer our expertise around dematerialisation to a complex project of such historical significance." Digitisation might be a better translation of the Italian word that gave rise to dematerialisation.

The Amos storage will be used for long term conservation with the Isilon arrays used for items needing fast access. Documents will be stored in an ISO-certifiable digital format to ensure, EMC says, future availability.

At the moment a maximum of 200 scholars at a time can physically be in and use the Vatican Library. By digitising the manuscripts this can be increased to a much higher number and the manuscripts themselves, many extremely old and very fragile, will not have to handled and put at risk. The Vatican Library will be able to better preserve its heritage by becoming a library without walls. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
No biggie: EMC's XtremIO firmware upgrade 'will wipe data'
But it'll have no impact and will be seamless, we're told
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.