The Bodleian Libraries and the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana announce a new partnership and academic initiative

1 March 2011

The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana (BAV) in a project to share library skills and promote research.

The partnership, to be managed by the Centre for the Study of the Book at the Bodleian, will see both libraries working together to pool their expertise and resources, with the aim of promoting understanding of their outstanding collections of early books and manuscripts.

Academics and library curators will exchange annual visits to share research and professional skills in the study of early books and manuscripts. Collaboration on projects promoting access to library materials, particularly digitisation, will be encouraged.

Richard Ovenden, Associate Director and Keeper of the Special Collections at the Bodleian said: ‘Geographical boundaries are not boundaries to expertise and learning. Through this partnership, academics and librarians at two of the world’s greatest libraries will be able to access and share information and knowledge amassed over centuries.’

Adalbert Roth, Director of the Printed Books Department at the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana said, ‘The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana was founded by Pope Nicholas V in 1451 "for the common convenience of the learned". This spirit has remained unchanged and accompanies the Vatican Library on its way into the future, on which the partnership with the Bodleian Library is an important road mark. The partnership unites two of the oldest libraries in Europe as they continue their mission for the benefit of science and culture. It aims to stimulate research by constantly facilitating access to the collections of manuscripts and old printed books preserved in both libraries.’

The Vatican Library joins Leiden University Library, Princeton University, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, and the British Library as partners with the Bodleian’s Centre for the Study of the Book.

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