About this Project

Through the generous support of the Polonsky Foundation, this project will make 1.5 million digitized pages freely available over the next three years. Portions of the Bodleian and Vatican Libraries’ collections of Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts, and incunabula have been selected for digitization by a team of scholars and curators from around the world. The selection process has been informed by a balance of scholarly and practical concerns; conservation staff at the Bodleian and Vatican Libraries have worked with curators to assess not only the significance of the content, but the physical condition of the items, prioritizing items that are robust enough to withstand being transported to the imaging studio and handled by the photographers. In order to preserve the integrity and completeness of the manuscript collections, the libraries have also agreed to digitize whole collections where appropriate. The complete list of works to be digitized can be accessed here for Greek manuscripts, here for Hebrew manuscripts, and here for incunabula. If you are working with materials from one of these subject areas and you would like to see a particular item digitized, you may submit your request to the relevant curator for review.

While the Vatican and the Bodleian have been creating digital images from our collections for a number of years, this project has provided an opportunity for both libraries to increase the scale of their digitization services. In both cases, this has meant significant investments in the equipment, infrastructure and people that make digitization possible. Over the course of this project, both libraries will also be revealing information about their digitization techniques and methods. More information about the digitization process can be found on our project blog.


Steering Committee

Richard Ovenden, Co-Chair (Interim Bodley’s Librarian)

Mons. Cesare Pasini, Co-Chair (Prefect, Vatican Library)

Wolfram Horstmann (Associate Director for Digital Libraries and IT, Bodleian Libraries)

Adalbert Roth (Director of the Department of Printed Books, Vatican Library)

Christine Madsen, Secretary (Head of Digital Programmes, Bodleian Libraries)


Selection Committee

Malachi Beit-Arié (Ludwig Jesselson Professor Emeritus of Codicology & Palaeography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Alan Coates (Curator, Rare Books, Bodleian Libraries)

Chris Fletcher (Keeper of Special Collections, Bodleian Libraries)

Timothy Janz (Curator of Greek Manuscripts, Vatican Library)

Kristian Jensen (Head of Arts and Humanities, British Library)

Paola Manoni (Metadata Specialist, Vatican Library)

Christine Madsen (Head of Digital Programmes, Bodleian Libraries)

César Merchán Hamann (Director of the Leopold Muller Memorial Library; Yarnton and Hebraica and Judaica Curator, Bodleian Libraries)

Richard Ovenden (Interim Bodley's Librarian, Bodleian Libraries)

Delio Proverbio (Curator of Oriental Manuscripts, Vatican Library)

Adalbert Roth (Director of the Department of Printed Books, Vatican Library)

Aviad Stollman (Judaica Collections Curator, National Library of Israel)

Nigel Wilson (Emeritus Fellow, Lincoln College Oxford)


Technical Committee

James Allan (Head of Imaging Services, Bodleian Libraries)

Luciano Ammenti (Head of Information Technology Centre, Vatican Library)

Nicole Gilroy (Head of Book Conservation, Bodleian Libraries)

Wolfram Horstmann (Associate Director of Digital Library Programmes and IT, Bodleian Libraries)

Christine Madsen (Head of Digital Programmes, Bodleian Libraries; Manager of the Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project)

Paola Manoni (Metadata Specialist, Vatican Library)

Matthew McGrattan (Digitization Service Manager and Imaging Specialist, Bodleian Libraries)

Angela Nuñez Gaitán (Head of the Conservation Workshop, Vatican Library)

Michael Popham (Head of Digital Collections, Bodleian Libraries)

Irmgard Schuler (Head of Photographic Laboratory, Vatican Library)


Web Editing and Content Production
Emma Stanford (Graduate Trainee, Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services)
David Tomkins (Project Consultant, Bodleian Libraries)

Software Engineers 
Matthew McGrattan (Digitization Service Manager and Imaging Specialist, Bodleian Libraries)
J Matthew Wilcoxson (Bodleian Libraries)
Monica Messaggi Kaya (Advisor, Bodleian Libraries)

Web Design
Global Initiative

Bodleian Libraries Communications
Oana Romocea, Communications Manager

Maria Franchini, Lead Translator and Copy Editor (Bodleian Libraries)
Paola D’Andrea (DPhil student in Classical Languages and Literature, University of Oxford)
Caterina Franchi (DPhil student in Byzantine Literature, University of Oxford)
Vera Rondano (MPhil student in Egyptology, University of Oxford)

Video Filming and Editing
Oxford University Press Office
Vatican Television Centre