Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Greek Manuscripts Online

The British Library is making a quarter of its collection of Greek Manuscripts available online. Like Mikhail Emelianov at Perverse Egalitarianism, I think that this is one of the better uses of the digitization of books--  creating increased accessibility to rare texts; or, as he states, delivering "manuscripts to the people."

The collection has been long available to scholars who could afford a trip to the British Library's reading rooms, but not for those who are less likely to already live in the proximity (relatively speaking) or who could not find a prestigious source of funding for such a trip. At the NYT reports:
...curator Scot McKendrick said their posting to the web was opening antiquity to the entire world.
McKendrick said that London could be an expensive place to spend time poring over the Greek texts' tiny, faded script or picking through hundreds of pages of parchment.
"Not every scholar can afford to come here weeks and months on end," he said. The big attraction of browsing the texts online "is the ability to do it at your own desk whenever you wish to do it — and do it for free as well."
The manuscripts can be found at the British Library's site here.

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