The Vatican has brought in Japan's NTT DATA to help digitally archive the manuscripts of the Vatican Apostolic Library.
The overall project, which was started by the Vatican Apostolic Library some years ago, is intended to digitally archive all manuscripts preserved in the Library, amounting to some 82,000 items and 41 million pages.
NTT DATA will provide "highly sustainable storage formats", metadata management to increase search efficiency, optimised search algorithms, and a user-friendly search interface, said the Vatican.
The initial collaboration between the Vatican Apostolic Library and NTT DATA, worth around $22.6 million, will cover about 3,000 documents over a four-year period.
“We gladly accepted the collaboration of NTT DATA to support the further improvement of the project of digital archiving of our manuscripts using their innovative technologies,” said Monsignor Cesare Pasini, prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library.
“In so doing, we will further nurture our mission of preserving these treasures of humankind and making them more widely available and known in a deep spirit of universality," he said.