Pope Francis is the chillest pope that the Vatican has ever seen: uttering "fuck" at weekly blessings, admiring chocolate statues of himself, picking up hitchhikers in his tricked-out Popemobile. But now the man in charge of thousands of precious documents wants the underlings of the internet to have access.
A Japanese tech company called NTT Data has begun digitizing over 3,000 documents at the cost of over 20 million dollars. In the 1980s, the Vatican convinced Japan's Nippon Television to aid in restoration of the Sistine Chapel, so there seems to be a bond between Japan's big bucks and the Vatican's historical lack of funds.
"The manuscripts that will be digitized extend from pre-Columbian America to China and Japan in the Far East, passing through all the languages and cultures that have marked the culture of Europe."
The goal is to make all 82,000 of the Vatican library's manuscripts available for browsing from the darkest corners of our digital world without ever having to board a plane. Some of the first documents to become available include "copies of works of classical Greek and Latin literature and mediaeval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts." Get your browsing fingers ready. Excitement abounds.