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Vatican Apostolic Treasures Go Online

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 720 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... Thanks to Jordan Wagner. ... H-P PUTS VATICAN
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2002
      NHNE News List
      Current Members: 720
      Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message.


      Thanks to Jordan Wagner.


      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
      with business.

      But he recognized that the Catholic Church at large can potentially be a
      huge buyer.

      "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".


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