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British Library debuts smart-phone app

January 10, 2011 | 10:54 am

GutenbergBritain's national library is marrying high-brow culture with popular technology with the release of a smart-phone app that will allow consumers to browse images of a Gutenberg Bible or Jane Austen's teenage writings on their morning train ride.

The Treasures app, launched Monday for Apple and Android devices, offers a guided tour of 100 literary, musical, scientific and historical pieces in the British Library's collection. An HD version is available for the iPad.

Among the pieces included in the collection are a handwritten draft of Charles Dickens's "Nicholas Nickleby," manuscript scores from Mozart, an original Magna Carta from 1215, and manuscripts documenting the scientific work of Copernicus and Galileo.

The app also include sound and video recordings of interviews with curators and experts.

Frances Brindle, the library's director of marketing, said in a statement: "We are delighted to be able to make our unique collection items available to a wider audience via this interactive app in such a dynamic format."


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Photo: Words from a page written and printed in Latin from a Gutenberg Bible produced in the 15th century. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times