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Vatican library goes hi-tech to protect its valuable collection

The 1.6million+ book collection of the Vatican library is going hi-tech with each book being implanted with computer chips for tracking purposes.

The Vatican Library was started by Pope Nicholas V in the 1450s with a collection of 350 Latin manuscripts. When Pope Nicholas dies in 1455 the collection had increased to about 1500 items and was the largest in Europe. There are quite a few articles reporting the development in the media, including one in The Age (which we couldn't access early this morning when preparing this report but we'll include the link for when their servers come back on-line).

If you are interested in finding out further information about this development though one of the best articles we came across was in the Tech News section of the website.

RF-ID technology is already widely used in warehousing and retailing. But this is thought to be the first time it has been applied on such a scale in a library. The article also discusses the difficulties the librarians are facing with bugs that destroy the paper in old manuscripts, and the problems of continual handling of valuable documents by researchers.

SOURCES – FULL STORIES: – Vatican goes hi-tech
The Age – Shelf-control the answer for Vatican

16 Jun 2004