Saturday, July 5, 2008

Turning the Pages: Masterpieces of the British Library online

British Library logo The British Library holds a copy of every book ever published in the UK, including some of the most priceless literary treasures in existence, such as the Codex Sinaiticus — one of the oldest versions of the New Testament. However, not everyone can get to the library in London to read these books.

To provide public access to these literary treasures, the British Library has digitized the pages of 15 of their most valuable works. This collection, including the Lindisfarne Gospels, is now available online to the public as the Turning the Pages online gallery. By simply downloading an Adobe Shockwave plugin, or using other technology, you gain access to a world of interactivity.

Lindisfarne Gospels
Lindisfarne Gospels The Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the most magnificent manuscripts of the early Middle Ages, was written and decorated by the monk Eadfrith at the end of the 7th century. The book was decorated with jewels and precious metals later in the 8th century by Billfrith the Anchorite. The translation of the Latin text of the Gospels is the earliest surviving example of Gospel text in any form of the English language.

Turning the pages
Once the book is downloaded onto your computer you can turn the book’s pages by clicking on a page and dragging it across the book.

Turning the pages

Magnifying content on the pages
Many of the books in the Turning the Pages collection have magnificent complex illustrations that you can only really appreciate when you see the detail. You can use the magnifying window to examine the detail on any page.

Magnifying the content

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