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Vatican and Oxford libraries scan ancient works, let scholars stay in their armchairs

Sharif Sakr

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Two of the world's most hallowed libraries are about to get even quieter, having been given $3 million to go with the flow and put some of their oldest collections online. The Vatican Library and Oxford University's Bodleian Library will together offer up 1.5 million pages of hoary text, including Gutenberg's Latin Bible from the 15th Century, a 1,200-year-old Hebrew codex called the "Sifra," and enough Greek philosophy to make even Homer seem succinct. At the end of a five-year flatbed scanner marathon, these digital copies will be accessible to speakers of dead languages everywhere, and hopefully for less than sacrilegious prices.

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