The Jan. 3 issue of The New Yorker has a fascinating article by Daniel Mendelsohn about the Vatican Library and its conversion to 21st century technology.
The article gives an overview of many of the unique manuscripts that library possesses. And it provides a glimpse of its efforts to modernize -- i.e., put the collection on line -- over the past several years.
Turns out the library has been closed for three years while this process took place under Msgr. Cesare Pasini, its current Prefect. The author gives him credit for understanding both the needs of the scholarly community and the concerns of the Curia.
If you are visiting Rome, the library recently re-opened.