By Gary Eng Walk
Updated March 15, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

It doesn’t take long to tour IBM Digital Library (, devoted to IBM’s state-of-the-artimage-digitizing process. What you see (six works from the Vatican’s collection of rare books and art) is a far cry from what you could be seeing (20,000 works transferred byte by byte but accessible only to scholars). Unfortunately, the Vatican, concerned about copyrights, has held back the bulk of the pictures from the Internet community — in other words, IBM did its job too well. Perusing the Renaissance map of Venice or the page from a 16th-century Aztec manuscript, you can appreciate the extraordinary detail and vivid color. But this visual feast will leave you hungry for more. B