18 October 2021
From Turning the Pages to Virtual Books
Some of our earliest high-quality digitised manuscripts and printed books are now available again through our website for anybody to read. They were digitised from the mid-1990s on, using the "Turning the Pages" software created by the Library in collaboration with Armadillo Systems. You might remember seeing them on stand-alone electronic consoles in various parts of the Library. The digitisations include realistic animations of the pages being physically turned and laid down.
Some of the items involved are important in the history of science:
- The complete Codex Arundel, a collection of pages from the private sketchbooks and notebooks of the Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci, predominantly dealing with physics.
- Highlights of Andreas Vesalius's "De Humani Corporis Fabrica", the first modern anatomical textbook, with artwork thought to be by the studio of Titian.
- Highlights of Elizabeth Blackwell's "A Curious Herbal", the first British herbal by a woman, created in the 1730s to buy her ne'er-do-well husband out of debtors' prison.
- Highlights of John James Audubon's famed "Birds of America".
Feel free to browse them on your computer.