September 14, 2010.
What you are seeing is, in Benedict XVI's words, “a place of Science, Culture and Humanism, without distinction of race, culture or religion”. It is the Vatican Apostolic Library and the Pope said those words when he visited it in 2007.
Now, three years later, Benedict XVI will find it much improved thanks to the repairs, modifications and restructuring.Card. Raffaele Farina
Archivist and Librarian of the Vatican Apostolic Library"Our work concentrated on creating more open spaces, and on technology. Now we are looking forward to the reopening with greater enthusiasm because there has been a development, an adaptation of the library structure to modern requirements."
Requirements such as moving from the old card index to the digitalization of each of the 1,600,000 volumes and more than 150,000 manuscripts. This is a way of optimizing the time of the more than 20,000 scholars from 60 countries who use this unique library each year.
But not everything is ready. Some details are still unfinished such as converting the Sistine Hall into a reading room, a project which has been put into the hands of Italian architect Paolo Portoghesi.Card. Raffaele Farina
Archivist and Librarian of the Vatican Apostolic Library"Paolo Portoghesi is famous architect from Rome who specializes in the Baroque, and he offered to complete the project to restore this Hall."
The work enabled the rediscovery of these beautiful rooms, which are normally closed to the public. Only experts and doctorate students are allowed to enter.
At the end of this year the Library will welcome a very important university professor and theologian: Joseph Ratzinger.Card. Raffaele Farina
Archivist and Librarian of the Vatican Apostolic Library"I think it will be at the end of October, or in November, but that is just a conjecture. The Pope's visits inside the Vatican are announced just a few days beforehand."
Despite being the library of the world's smallest State, the Vatican Apostolic Library now encloses the latest technology within its walls, alongside manuscripts of Virgil and a Bible from the fourth century. Past, present and future to ensure that Culture remains available for everyone.