Religion: Treasure in Microfilm

When Jesuit scholars at St. Louis University opened a medieval studies curriculum two years ago, they found themselves long on students and qualified professors, but short on the materials of church scholarship. Father Lowrie J. Daly, 37-year-old instructor in medieval history, suggested that his superiors ask permission to make microfilm copies of as many as 42,000 rare and ancient manuscripts in the Vatican Library, which some U.S. librarians have called "the most important manuscript library in the western world." Not very hopefully, St. Louis' President Paul C. Reinert forwarded a request through church channels to the Vatican librarians.

A fortnight ago, to...

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