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Vatican Library Opens Doors After Three-Years of Restoration

7 years ago116 views

One of the world's oldest libraries based at the Vatican will open its doors this month after three years of restoration. The library has been brought into modern times with new technological installations. It is home to some of the world's rarest manuscripts.


The library, located inside the Vatican walls, was first established by Pope Nicholas V in 1451, when the pontiff decided to share his manuscript collection rather than keep it privately for himself.


Now all the books and manuscripts have not only had a good dust but have also been fitted with micro chips to help track their location.

[Ambrogio Maria Piazzoni, Deputy Prefect, Apostolic Vatican Library]: (male, Italian)
"We established a radio-frequency control system for books because in a library like this if a book is put back in the wrong place it's like losing it, we would not find it again if not by chance. With this new system it's much easier to keep track of books. Researchers will also find technological innovations like wi-fi internet connection available in every room. They will be able to use their own laptop computers to search our catalogue and to use other library services like requesting manuscripts."


One of the library's most precious manuscripts are two pages of the Bodmer Papyri. Originally found in Egypt, these 22 papyri contain segments from the old and new testaments.

[Father Cesare Pasini, Library Prefect]: (Male, Italian)
"There is everything (in the library), religious and non religious things. This outstanding piece (the Bodmer Papyri ) relates to the Biblical world, it was donated to us recently but it is our most precious item: it is the 'Bodmer Papyrus 14-15' that contains the gospels of Luke and John in a version of 200 AD. If we think that John died around 100 AD, it means the manuscript came only two or three generations after him."

The Vatican library will officially open on September 20.