Vatican Apostolic Treasures Go Online
- NHNE News List
Current Members: 720
Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message.
Thanks to Jordan Wagner.
H-P PUTS VATICAN TREASURES ON THE NET
Los Angeles Times / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 30, 2002
Hewlett-Packard Co. has a divine new client. Considering the slowdown in
corporate spending, it's a blessing.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based technology giant and the Holy See said Tuesday
that they had placed selected treasures from the Vatican's Apostolic Library
on the Internet.
Scans of ancient bible texts, rare works of art and hand-written letters
from the likes of Michelangelo and Martin Luther were chosen by Vatican
officials for the site debut. The collection had previously been open only
to scholars and church officials.
Vatican officials selected items to place on the site from among the
library's vast collection of nearly 2 million printed volumes, including
8,000 printed before 1500, 75,000 manuscripts and hundreds of thousands of
coins and medals. HP's contribution included technical consulting along with
donated computer servers, scanners and other hardware items.
Didier Philippe, HP's director of strategy and development in Europe, said
the motivation for the donation had more to do with history and art than
But he recognized that the Catholic Church at large can potentially be a
"It is a very decentralized organization," Philippe said, speaking from
Geneva. "They have bishops all over the world making decisions about what
equipment they buy."
Officials at the Vatican, which has been an HP customer for about 10 years,
could not be reached for comment.
The association with the Vatican may not provide a big boost to HP's sales.
But the donation could help HP mend damage done to its image last year
during its contentious proxy fight to take over Compaq Computer Corp., said
Rob Enderle, technology analyst for the research firm Giga Information
"They still have core value in the brand, but they want to be trusted again,
like the old HP," Enderle said. "This is the kind of thing a company can use
to recoup an image."
HP shares lost 27 cents to close at $15 Tuesday on the New York Stock
Biblical scholar Anthony Tambasco, a professor of theology at Georgetown
University in Washington, D.C., was eager to explore the site, given that
the church highly restricts access to the library, even for scholars. His
initial impression was that the site was difficult to navigate and its
offerings were frustratingly limited.
For instance, only one page from the rare "B" version of the "Codex
Vaticanus" Bible is available online. And although much of the site is in
English and other languages, large portions of it -- including an enticing
section called "Vatican Secret Archives" -- are only in Italian.
"This is not of much use to scholars," he said. "It's more like a museum
HP spokeswoman Alison Connor said the site would eventually become more
comprehensive. "This is just for the rollout," she said. "They are just
scratching the surface."
The Vatican Library was founded in 1451 by Pope Nicholas V. It was first
opened to researchers in 1883.
The site can be accessed in English at the following Vatican link:
Click on "The Holy See (English)". Then click on "Vatican Library" ; then
click on "The Treasures of the Library".
NHNE News List:
To subscribe, send a message to:
To unsubscribe, send a message to:
To review current posts:
Published by NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE)
NHNE Website: http://www.nhne.com/
Phone: (928) 282-6120
Fax: (815) 346-1492
Appreciate what we are doing?
You can say so with a tax-deductible donation:
P.O. Box 2242
Sedona, AZ 86339