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Vatican Library Launches NFT Project for Cultural Preservation

Shalini Nagarajan
Last updated: | 2 min read
Vatican Embraces Web3: NFTs for Cultural Heritage

The Vatican Library on Monday revealed plans to broaden Web3 adoption by granting non-transferable NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) to those who support its manuscript collections.

Currently, the “experimental” project is limited to donors from Italy supporting the Vatican Apostolic Library.

The library, which has a huge collection of old handwritten documents and printed books, explained the program in a statement. Italians who promote the NFT project on their social media profiles until July 16 will receive a “Silver NFT.” This NFT allows access to a unique collection of high-resolution images depicting 15 manuscripts from the library.

Meanwhile, those who donate will receive a “Gold NFT” for access to all the high-resolution manuscript pictures in the selection. This experiment might even expand in the future, letting people explore the library virtually through immersive XR (extended reality) technology.
The Apostolic Library is situated within Vatican City in a building that dates back to the late 16th century.

Vatican Library Hints at Immersive Reality Experiences with Web3 Push


The Vatican said it has partnered with Japanese tech giant NTT DATA to leverage Web3 and build a stronger online community. The project aims to connect the library with its supporters through this approach.

Last year, NTT revealed plans to invest heavily in Web3 infrastructure, with a commitment of up to $4b. The company is further diving into the crypto space with a subsidiary aiming to launch its own crypto wallet by the end of 2024.

In the future, the Vatican library hinted at potentially allowing virtual or augmented reality tours of the library itself. “I believe that our heritage requires special attention and dedication geared toward preservation and promotion,” Father Mauro Mantovani,the Vatican Apostolic Library’s prefect, said this week.

The Vatican Library’s Digital Transformation for a Modern World


With its new Web3 project, the Vatican Library is continuing its centuries-long mission of public outreach. Founded during the 14th century, the library has roots stretching back to the 4th century as part of the Catholic Church’s vast collection of historical documents. This project signifies the library’s ongoing commitment to making its ancient treasures accessible to a wider audience.

In 2020, the Vatican unveiled a modernized website for its library. This upgrade offered improved search features and simplified access to digitized treasures. Users could now explore high-resolution reproductions of manuscripts, archival materials, coins, medals, and even incunabula – European printed works from before the 16th century.