An Exhibit at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540

ROME REBORN: THE VATICAN LIBRARY AND RENAISSANCE CULTURE presents some 200 of the Vatican Library's most precious manuscripts, books, and maps--many of which played a key role in the humanist recovery of the classical heritage of Greece and Rome. The exhibition presents the untold story of the Vatican Library as the intellectual driving force behind the emergence of Rome as a political and scholarly superpower during the Renaissance. The exhibit will be on display in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress from January 8, 1993 through April 30, 1993. The online exhibit will be available by anonymous FTP and the World Wide Web indefinitely. (The current location of the World Wide Web exhibit may change, however.)

The exhibit is divided into nine (9) sections: The Vatican Library, Archaeology, Humanism, Mathematics, Music, Medicine & Biology, Nature Described, A Wider World I: How the Orient Came to Rome, and A Wider World II: How Rome Went to China. Each section contains exhibit text and separate image files for each object. This online exhibit includes not only objects from the Library of Congress exhibit, but also the alternate objects (brought from Rome to be used if there were a problem with one of the primary objects) and items omitted later in the planning process.

The exhibit text consists of the captions used in the exhibit at the Library of Congress (LC). Each caption includes the Vatican Library's accession number, the pages displayed (where appropriate), the Online Exhibit Number (which is the corresponding image file's filename), and the Object List Number (used in setting up the exhibit).

A 336 page catalog, "Rome Reborn: The Vatican Library and Renaissance Culture" is available from the EXPO Book Store

There is a complete list of objects found in both the exhibit and the catalog. This index is organized by the Vatican Library's accession number and for each object lists a brief title, the Plate Number (used in the catalog), the Online Exhibit Number (image filename), and other control numbers used in planning the exhibit at LC.

Because the exhibit text consists of only brief captions, the image files are of greater importance in this exhibit.

The Library of Congress is grateful to GTE ImageSpan for digitizing the images from 35mm slides and for providing JPEG compression software.

The /pub/vatican.exhibit/viewers FTP directory on includes some shareware JPEG viewers and an extraction program. If you know of other or better public domain JPEG viewers that we should load here, please send information on where to obtain them to the system technician, K.D. Ellis, (Internet address One issue of Tom Lane's JPEG FAQ is in this directory as well. See the README.viewers files in the that subdirectory for more information about this document and where to get the most recent version.

The text and images in the Online Exhibit ROME REBORN: THE VATICAN LIBRARY AND RENAISSANCE CULTURE are for the personal use of students, scholars, and the public. Any commercial use or publication of them is strictly prohibited.

Questions or comments about the content of the exhibit should be sent to while any questions or comments on the system should be sent to

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