October 3, 2011
Fr. Federico Lombardi, left, talks with Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, in the Vatican's high-definition TV studio.

CNS PHOTO | PAUL HARING

Fr. Federico Lombardi, left, talks with Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, in the Vatican's high-definition TV studio.

Looking at the centuries-old buildings and palaces, not many people would know the Vatican has become a techie paradise, a wonderland of modern equipment and know-how.

For instance, the Vatican Library is using NASA technology to digitize its treasures, according to The Activity of the Holy See: 2010, a yearbook published by the Vatican in September.

The digital file format is standard among the world's astronomers for storing, sending and manipulating images.

The library is using the format to digitize some 80,000 manuscripts because the files will be readable long into the future, avoiding the risk of the technology becoming obsolete, the yearbook said.

The Vatican Library reopened in 2010 completely revamped with Wi-Fi for scholars and visitor badges tagged with RFID tracking chips.

The radio frequency identification chips are already embedded in many of the library's open holdings so volumes can be found and re-shelved more easily.