British Library : online gallery turning the pages 2.0

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‘British Library: Online Gallery Turning the Pages 2.0’ is an innovative website/software hybrid that has been created by the British Library and its partners. For users who have fast broadband and Windows Vista, the website offers sixteen online facsimiles of rare books in the British Library collection. The books look and act like the original books in the original bindings and have pages which turn realistically; users can zoom in on fine details or to magnify details using a high-quality ‘virtual loupe.’ Book titles include: da Vinci’s ‘Codex Arundel’ and ‘Codex Leicester’; Charles Dodgson’s original bound manuscript of ‘Alice’s Adventures under Ground’; William Blake’s ‘Notebook’; the ‘Lindisfarne Gospels’; and the ‘Sherbourne Missal’, among others. Users can also hear the books being read by professional actors. The website is free, and requires registration only for the function that allows individuals to make and keep personal notes about the books. The books can be searched by keyword. The website will also function with Windows XP, but XP users will first need to download and install the free Microsoft .Net Framework v3.0. XP users may also need to specifically give the .Net framework Internet access through a firewall. The website is a good example of the forthcoming range of sophisticated ‘browser-delivered software applications.’

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