Los Angeles Times: Using artificial intelligence, researchers are teaching a computer to read the Vatican’s secret archives

Los Angeles Times: Using artificial intelligence, researchers are teaching a computer to read the Vatican’s secret archives. “The archives’ heavily laden shelves stretch 53 miles down dimly lighted corridors and are packed with papal correspondence dating to the 8th century and penned by the likes of Mary Queen of Scots and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The only problem: There is so much of it. More than 1,000 scholars are let in annually to scour the shelves, but much has yet to be read, let alone inventoried, digitized or translated. Which is why one IT professor in Rome decided it was time to let algorithms loose in the hallowed halls of the Vatican, using artificial intelligence software taught to read medieval Latin.”

The Guardian: Vatican advises nuns not to overindulge in social media

The Guardian: Vatican advises nuns not to overindulge in social media. “The Vatican has advised cloistered nuns not to overindulge in social media to avoid sullying their contemplative world with ‘noise, news and words’. In a document published by the Vatican’s office for religious life, nuns were told that while they were allowed to use Facebook or Twitter and read online news, they were advised to do so ‘with discretion and sobriety’.”

Vatican Museums Launches New Web Site

The Vatican Museums has launched a new Web site. “The new director of the Vatican museums, Barbara Jatta, presented a new multimedia web site to journalists at the Vatican press office on Monday. The user-friendly site, available in Italian, English, French, Spanish and German, contains thousands of images plus over fifty videos and virtual tours and has taken almost three years to complete.”

Vatican Digitizes 1600-Year-Old Edition of Virgil

The Vatican Library has digitized a 1600-year-old edition of Virgil. “Created in Rome around 400AD, the Vatican Virgil consists of 76 surviving pages, and 50 illustrations. The fragments of text are from the Latin poet’s Aeneid, his epic tale of Aeneas’s journey from the sack of Troy to Carthage, the underworld and then Italy, where he founds Rome. It also contains fragments from Virgil’s poem of the land, The Georgics, but the original manuscript is likely to have contained all of Virgil’s canonical works.”

Vatican Refuses to Open Holocaust-Era Archives

The Vatican is refusing to open its Holocaust-era archives. “The debate over the church’s secret wartime files is not new. The Vatican is the only country in Europe that refuses to open all of its World War II archives to independent historians and researchers. The issue is more than simply an academic debate over the appropriate rules for public disclosure of historically significant documents. The church’s files are thought to contain important information about the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe.”

Vatican Launches Digital Library

The Vatican has launched a new digital library. “At a press conference in the Vatican on Wednesday, a new online digital library was launched, offering access to over a thousand papal documents on communications from the first to the twenty-first century. The initiative, known as the Baragli Project, features papal teachings on communication, translated into different languages, and is geared especially to those working in Catholic education and training centres.”