.- After being closed for three years for restructuring and restoration, the Apostolic Vatican Library will reopen on September 20. The renewed facilities will provide easier access to the wealth of information the library houses.
The announcement of the reopening originally came from the prefect of the Vatican library, Msgr. Cesare Pasini, last December, but speaking with Vatican Radio on Sunday, he refreshed the anticipation for the occasion.
He explained in an interview that having the library closed for the last three years has permitted "so many works" to be carried out which will shortly be available for the benefit of scholars. It will be easier to move in the library, he said, and access to the contents of the library will be made easier through "more refined computerized services."
The Vatican library maintains more than one million printed books, over 150,000 manuscript volumes, hundreds of thousands of coins and medals and around 70,000 prints and engravings.
During the years of renovation, Msgr. Pasini said "Everything has been repainted, spruced up, restructured, renovated ... "
A week before the date chosen for this fall's inauguration, the Vatican librarian, Cardinal Raffaele Farina, will present the entirety of the project in a press conference. He will also highlight future plans for the facilities, including the next item of business: remodeling the Sistine Hall of the Vatican Library to be a reading room.
The first major initiative set to take place in the library this fall, according to the library's newsletter, is a conference in November to examine it as "a place for research and as an institution at the service of scholarship."