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These Ancient texts from Bodleian and Vatican Libraries are now available to view online

an iluminated early Christian text

Copyright Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticano.

Want to see the Vatican’s art treasures? Now you can

For the first time, ordinary members of the public from around the world can view some of the most important and unique bibles and biblical texts in existence from the comfort of their own home.

An international team of scholars and curators chose a selection of texts from the Bodleian and Vatican Libraries collections of Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts and early printed books. Conservation staff worked closely with curators to ensure that the objects chosen were appropriate in both content and condition.

The collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticano builds on both libraries’ individual digitisation projects and has allowed them to increase the scale and pace with which they can digitise their most significant collections, while taking into consideration the fragile condition of their most ancient texts.

a photo of an ancient illuminated text with Hebrew illuminated script

Copyright the Bodleian Libraries

An illuminated text with side decoration

Copyright Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticano.

a photo of a page of illuminated text

Copyright The Bodleian Libraries

a photo of a page of old text

Copyright The Bodleian Libraries

a page of text from an illuinated manuscript

Copyright The Bodleian Libraries

A dedicated website – available in both English and Italian – reveals the first batch of digitised books in the four-year project. Images are zoomable, allowing them to be used for scholarly research and analysis. Essays and video presentations have also been made by experts including the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès.

The collaboration began in April 2012 with the aim of opening up the two libraries’ vast resources and to make a selection of their outstanding collections freely available to anyone. More than 1.5 million digitised pages will eventually be made available.

The digitised texts can be accessed at http://bav.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/

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venue

Bodleian Library

Oxford, Oxfordshire

The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford form the largest university library system in the United Kingdom. They include the principal University library—the Bodleian Library—which has been a library of legal deposit for 400 years; major research libraries; and libraries attached to faculties, departments and other institutions of the…

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