Journée d’étude – Digitization and libraries: the future of the past

Between 2012 and 2017 the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican Library) joined efforts in a landmark digitization project with the aim of opening up their repositories of ancient texts. More than 1.5 million pages from their remarkable collections have been made freely available online to researchers and to the general public. The initiative was made possible by a £2 million award from The Polonsky Foundation. Dr Leonard Polonsky, who is committed to democratizing access to information, sees the increase of digital access to these two library collections — among the greatest in the world — as a significant step in sharing intellectual resources on a global scale.

To mark the end of the project, a ground-breaking conference on digitization and libraries is being held in Rome on 30 May 2018. The venue is the Conference Centre at the Augustinian Patristic Institute, which is situated just off St Peter’s Square. In the context of the Polonsky project this free conference will look at the future of digitized collections and their funding, with prominent speakers from different libraries and funding bodies across Europe.

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Conference programme :

9.15-9.30am
Welcome from Msgr. Cesare Pasini, Prefect, Vatican Apostolic Library

9.30-10.15am
Opening plenary: From Mabillon to Munich Digital: access, technology and scholarship
Anthony Grafton, Princeton University

10.15-10.45am
Coffee

10.45-12.05pm
Session one: Oxford, the Vatican and the Polonsky Project
Speakers:
– Timothy Janz, Director, Printed Books Dept, Vatican Apostolic Library
– Paola Manoni, Responsible for the Coordination of IT Services, Vatican Apostolic Library
– César Merchan-Hamann, Hebraica and Judaica Curator, Bodleian Libraries
– Emma Stanford, Digital Curator, Bodleian Libraries

12.05-12.25pm
Questions

12.25-1.30pm
Lunch

1.30-2.30pm
Session two: The future of digital libraries
Speakers:
– Dr Kristian Jensen, Head of Arts and Humanities, British Library
– Jill Cousins, Director, Hunt Museum, Limerick
– TBC

2.30-3.00pm
Questions

3-3.30pm
Tea break

3.30-4.15pm
Roundtable discussion: funding digitization
– Marc Polonsky, The Polonsky Foundation
– Charles Henry, Council on Library and Information Resources
– Maja Kominko, Arcadia Foundation

4.15-4.30pm
Closing remarks
– Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, Bodleian Libraries

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