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AI Case Study

Researchers at Roma Tre to analyse and transcribe historical documents from the Vatican Secret Archives using deep learning

While there is currently little information on the project, a team from Roma Tre University in Italy is planning to deploy deep learning to transcribe handwritten historical archives from the Vatican Secret Archives (VSA). The researchers intend to use the deep learning transcription program to analyse more than 600 archival collections, including documents such as correspondence of the popes, starting from the 8th century.


Public And Social Sector

Education And Academia

Project Overview

"Donatella Firmani, a Research Fellow at Roma Tre in Italy, is part of a team developing a deep learning transcription program at the Vatican Secret Archives (VSA), one of the largest historical archives in the world.

This project, In Codice Ratio, supports the analysis and transcription of more than 600 archival collections of historical documents from the VSA... including correspondence of the popes, starting from the eighth century.

"The VSA contains a lot of correspondence and bureaucracy, rather than say literature books, so there are many less known 'facts' that are waiting to be extracted," said Firmani, who has a master's and Ph.D. in computer science.

"Ultimately, we plan to provide paleographers with a knowledge base, that will require no computer science skills to use," Firmani said."

Reported Results

Research; results not yet available




"Handwritten documents are essential to historiography. However, historians generally have little to no advanced computer science knowledge. Therefore, it is important that historians, paleographers, and other researchers are able to comprehend the technology."



Vatican Secret Archives (VSA)

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