Vatican Library to Reward Supporters and Donors with NFTs in New Experimental Project

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Vatican Library to Reward Supporters and Donors with NFTs in New Experimental Project
Photo: Depositphotos

Financial and social media supporters of the Vatican Library will receive NFTs in a new experimental project.

The Vatican Library has announced plans to widen its adoption of Web3 technologies by presenting its donors with non-transferable NFTs (non-fungible tokens). The Library will offer these NFTs to donors who support its manuscript collections.

In a recent statement, the Vatican Library explained that the project is only “experimental” at the moment. Therefore, only donors from Italy are eligible to receive the NFTs.

The Vatican Library NFTs

Each Italian who helps to promote the NFT project on their social media accounts through July 16 will receive a “Silver NFT”. The non-fungible token will grant them access to a specially curated collection of high-resolution images of 15 library manuscripts. For financial donors, the Library will distribute a “Gold NFT”, with access to 21 high-resolution images of manuscripts in the collection.

According to Father Mauro Mantovani, the prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Vatican’s heritage “requires special attention and dedication” to support its promotion and continued preservation. The Vatican said it may expand its use of technology to promote the Library in the future. This may include allowing people to visit the Library via immersive extended reality (XR) using virtual or augmented reality technology.

The Vatican is also using NFTs and Web3 technology to preserve and archive its content. In an official release last April, Japanese multinational technology services provider NTT Data revealed a partnership with the Vatican Library to digitize the Library’s collection of assets. They jointly launched the Vatican Library Web3 Support Project to preserve the valuable pieces in the collection and ensure they are more easily accessible to the general public.

Digitizing the Vatican’s Collection

NTT Data is handling the project through its Advanced Museum Library Archives Deposit (AMLAD). The Japanese company created AMLAD to preserve and disseminate valuable manuscripts, prints, ancient books, and other data held by libraries, archives, museums, and enterprises. NTT Data is using AMLAD to digitize and curate the data so that they are indexed and searchable via smartphones, computers, and other devices. According to NTT Data, the Vatican Library and AMLAD have collaborated on digitization since 2014.

Global Standards for Easy Public Access

NTT Data explains that the AMLAD solution employs several advanced tools and technologies, including metadata management, digital restoration, and 3D scanning. The company believes this ensures that all digital representations of cultural artifacts are as detailed and accurate as possible. The AMLAD tool is not restricted to libraries, museums, and galleries.

Furthermore, AMLAD is digitizing according to international library classifications and data structures to ensure compliance with global standards. AMLAD also takes the Vatican Library’s specific rules into account.

Currently, the Library preserves more than 1.5 million printed books and about 180,000 manuscripts. It also has about 9,000 incunabula, more than 200,000 photographs, over 150,000 prints, and at least 300,000 coins and medals. While the current library dates to the 14th century, some believe there is enough evidence to presume that there has been a library owned by the Catholic Church since the 300s.

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