Check out some of the British Library’s rare books on its Turning the Pages web site.  Created in partnership with the Armadillo Systems, this interactive application uses Adobe’s Shockwave Player which allows you to open a book on your desktop and leaf through the pages with your mouse in a 3D environment. Turning the pages of these online books gives the illusion that you are viewing or reading the actual physical book. 

Other neat features of this web site include:

  • Zooming in and panning around each of the pages
  • Listening to the actual story and/or notes explaining the significance and beauty of the book. 

Some of the rare books in this collection include:

  • Diamond Sutra – Hidden for centuries in a sealed-up cave in north-west China, this copy of the ‘Diamond Sutra’ is the world’s earliest complete survival of a dated printed scroll. It was made in AD 868.
  • Sforza Hours is one of the most beautifully decorated Renaissance books of hours in the Library’s collection.
  • Alice’s Adventures Under Ground is one of the most famous of all the British Library’s literary manuscripts. It is Lewis Carroll’s hand-written and illustrated version of the work later published as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865).
  • Leonardo DaVinci’s Notebook is a collection of Leonardo’s manuscripts written between 1478 and 1518 and but together in a notebook after his death.
  • Sultan Baybars’ Qur’an – The most magnificent of the British Library’s Qur’an collection, each of its seven volumes is written in gold . It was made in Cairo between 1304 and 1306 for a high-ranking court official who later became Baybars II, ruler of the Mamluk Sultanate.
  • Mozart’s Musical Diary – Includes entries from some of Mozart’s best-known works, such as The Marriage of Figaro, the clarinet concerto, the fourth horn concerto, and the Jupiter symphony.

Click here to check out these awesome books.

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