British Library showcases book reader for Vista

Researchers, academics, students and historians will soon have access to some of the most ancient and fragile historical documents and books hidden away in Britain’s biggest and most important library.

British Library showcases book reader for Vista

The British Library has demonstrated a digital book application called Turning the Pages 2.0, that it has developed to run on Windows Vista, taking advantage of the enhanced 3D graphics capabilities of the new operating system.

The application can provide readers with a similar experience to reading a traditional and often fragile book. The book application contains exact scans of historical books and documents such as the Magna Carta.

‘For us the real bonus is the simplification of the digitisation and the presentation of the books. We can now accelerate our plans to offer digital access to our books – it is a major step forward for the British Library and it is a real opportunity to transform the way people interact with historical material.’ said Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library speaking to IT PRO at the UK launch of Windows Vista and Office.

One of the books to be digitised and offered via the digital book application is the Codex Leicester, one of last surviving notebooks of Leonardo Di Vinci, which is owned by Bill Gates. This will be offered alongside a digital version of the Codex Arundel, which the British Library owns, via its website.

Scholars can rotate images 360 degrees, make notes that can be shared publicly, and collaborate on their studies and observations of the documents on offer.

‘We are now working with international libraries to find ways to maintain access to historical documents and information for generations to come,’ added Brindley.

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