Online page turners

Another great internet find from one of our savvy teachers. This time credit goes to Ms. Blim, who told Ms. Sicard, who showed me this site. If anyone showed it to Ms. Blim, sorry, she’s getting the credit this time.

Ms. Blim turned us on to The British Library’s website which has a great collection of exhibits available online. Amongst this impressive collection is a section called Turning the Pages™. This exhibit allows visitors to get their virtual hands on virtual copies of real (and very cool) manuscripts. Currently there are only fifteen manuscripts available, but the selection is eclectic and includes Leonardo’s notebook, Mercator’s Atlas (first in the world, thank you) and the world’s first “printed” scroll; China’s Diamond Sutra (so many golds, and now the Diamond, too).

Turning the Pages™ is another step towards fulfilling one of the great promises of the internet – its ability to grant everyone access to the world’s magnificent cultural treasures. Years ago, the Gutenberg Project began digitizing the words of all the classic works whose copyrights (remember those?) had expired. This meant that anyone with an internet connection could access Socrates, Shakespeare, and Twain, or at least their words. What was missing was the ability to include illustrations, and the feel of interactivity. This program, while still very limited, gives us all the chance to see the remaining bits of evidence of how this whole need to communicate started.

Though it took me a few tries to properly download the shockwave plugin needed, it was worth the effort. Obviously a librarian would say something like that, so you’ll have to visit the site to see for yourself.


© 2008 henry toromoreno

About htwilson

born in brooklyn, raised in queens, massachusetts, that's where I be.
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