British Library launches smartphone app

Literary bookworms will soon be able to view information from the British Library’s
Sir John Ritblat Treasures Gallery, thanks to a new app.
Treasures will be available to iPhone, Android and iPad users, giving them over 100 of the Library’s greatest collection items. This includes 250 high-definition images, over 40 videos providing expert commentary, textual interpretation for deeper understanding and up to date information about the Library’s current exhibitions.

Readers can also get up close and personal with items such as the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the world’s oldest bible, the Codex Sinaiticus, Nelson’s Battle Plan, written before his victory at Trafalgar, Galileo’s letters and Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks.

Those not too au fait with the texts can learn more through videos and by listening to experts talking about them.

For example Ben Fogle talks about Scott’s Diary and Linguist David Crystal discusses the 1,000 year old poem Beowulf.

Also included is Charles Dickens’s handwritten draft of Nicholas Nickleby and Jane Austen’s teenage writings.

Music bods can also take part with a section devoted to manuscript scores from classical composers, such as Handel, Purcell, Mozart and Schubert. There’s also hand-written lyrics by The Beatles.

For the religious amongst us, texts include the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Gutenberg Bible. Other faiths are represented by the Golden Haggadah, Sultan Baybars’ Qur’an, and Buddhist, Daoist, Hindu, Sikh and Zoroastrian manuscripts.

Treasures costx £2.39 for the Android App and £3.49 for the iPad.

The Library is also offering an introductory price of £1.19 for iPhone, and iPod Touch until 24 January.