Monday, May 11, 2009

Do You Know What's Going Digital?

The cover story of the Friday May 8 issue of The Wall Street Journal (titled The Next Age of Discovery) is about the race to digitize precious items from the past. Scholars, scientists, librarians and others are using digital technology to preserve rare manuscripts and artifacts from collections around the world. As I prepare to leave for London in a few days I have been searching the digitized collection of the British Library and have found wonderful images of works by Leonardo da Vinci and Jane Austen. The Library of Congress has an amazing collection called "American Memory" that includes slave narratives, maps, recordings and thousands of images. One of my favorites are the images of the contents of Abraham Lincoln's pockets on the evening he was assassinated. For a glimpse, click here.
How much more fascinating is the study of the past when you can see it? Here is a list of websites to browse compiled by The Wall Street Journal:
The British Library
The Library of Congress
The World Digital Library
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri at Oxford
Codex Sinaiticus
The Archimedes Palimpsest

No comments: