November 22, 2010
A copy of the Borgianus Latinus, right, a missal for Christmas made for Pope Alexander VI, is displayed in a new exhibit on the Vatican Library.

CNS PHOTO | PAUL HARING

A copy of the Borgianus Latinus, right, a missal for Christmas made for Pope Alexander VI, is displayed in a new exhibit on the Vatican Library.

State-of-the-art technology and the latest in multi-media presentation techniques reveal some of the centuries-old treasures housed in the “pope’s library” in a new exhibit at the Vatican.

The show’s blend of antique and super-modern aims to give a glimpse of the vast and varied collection of books, manuscripts and prints that line the Vatican Library’s 50 km of shelves.

From Nov. 11 to Jan. 31, the exhibit Know the Vatican Library: A Story Open to the Future offers a virtual glimpse of the papal library that is off-limits to all but the most highly qualified scholars from around the world.

The show, held in the Braccio Carlo Magno next to St. Peter’s Square, is part of the celebration marking the end of a three-year restoration of the papal library.

The exhibit was conceived “to allow all those who don’t have the privilege to enter” to get to know the library, said the Vatican archivist, Cardinal Raffaele Farina.

Visitors walk in to a re-creation of the frescoed Sistino hall, where they can see in video images on the walls of how monks of centuries past toiled at their desks as they wrote their manuscripts and illuminated them with exquisite drawings.