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Serious Storage

In tech news this last week, I saw an article on how the Vatican’s library digitization project received 2.8 petabytes of storage for the first phase of the project.  And that’s just the first phase.  With 80,000 manuscripts and a rough estimate of 40 million pages to digitize, the project is expected to take 10 years and an estimated 45 petabytes of storage total. 

For a better idea of just how much storage that is, using the standard size hard drive we currently order, it would be 180,000 hard drives.  If we took that many standard 3.5 in drives and laid them side by side, the line would stretch nearly 10 miles.  Even using the largest individual drive I’ve seen for retail sale at 4 terabytes, that’s still 11,250 drives.  That’s a lot of data to store and back up. 

As of January, 256 digitized manuscripts have been made available to the public.  Though you’re going to have to dust off your Latin: http://www.vaticanlibrary.va/home.php?pag=mss_digitalizzati

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