"Pope's Library" to Reopen in 2010

Congress and Publication Planned for the Occasion

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 29, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican Library, which has been closed for renovation since July 14, 2007, will be opening its doors again in 2010.

The library’s prefect, Monsignor Cesare Pasini, announced this Sunday on Vatican Radio.

On the occasion of the reopening, the first volume of a «History of the Vatican Library» will be published, he reported.

As well, the prefect said, a congress will be organized, with a presentation by researchers who will explain their work over the past 50-60 years, and how the library is a place of investigation.

The congress will also present the general overview of the institution and its functions.

During the renovation, the Vatican Library has updated its services with an online Internet catalogue and the photographic reproduction of various manuscripts.

This library is one of the oldest in the world, and is known for its collection of manuscripts from all historical ages.

It holds some 75,000 codices and some 1.1 million printed books, with 8,300 incunabula.

The Codex Vaticanus, the oldest copy of the Bible written some 1,700 years ago, is part of the collection.

Shortly before the library closed, Benedict XVI visited it on June 25, 2007, and affirmed that the institution is the «Pope’s library,» belonging directly to him.

The Pontiff underlined its mission to be a «welcoming house of knowledge, culture and humanity, which opens its doors to scholars from every part of the world, irrespective of their origin, religion or culture.»

All who work at the library, he continued, have the task of fostering «the synthesis between culture and faith.»

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