The British Library has slammed down its first app, letting Android, iPhone and iPad devices gorge themselves on some of the world’s rarest and most interesting printed works.
Stuffed full o’content
The app offers over 100 highlights from the the British Library collection, including literary, historical, music-related and scientific documents plus illuminated manuscripts and sacred texts.
With the images served up in high-resolution, users can zoom in to get close up and personal with the detail, and also check out sound recordings and nearly 50 short videos, apparently “all Wi-Fi-enabled” (we’re not quite sure what a Wi-Fi enabled video is, to be honest)
There’s also interviews with British Library curators, linguist David Crystal and TV presenter and explorer Ben Fogle, but the real star is the content which includes Charles Dickens’s handwritten draft of Nicholas Nickleby and Jane Austen’s teenage writings, plus an original Magna Carta of 1215 and a recording of suffragette Christabel Pankhurst’s speech after her release from prison.
Get a Handel on it
Music buffs may enjoy perusing the manuscript scores from well-known classical composers like Handel, Purcell, Mozart and Schubert, while the maps collection showcases ‘the most interesting and beautiful maps and views from the collection’.
There’s loads of religious stuff onboard for the tambourine shakers, while the scientific section includes important manuscripts, notebooks and letters.
The app will be regularly updated with information on British Library exhibitions, and is available to download on iPhone and iPod Touch, in the iTunes App and in the Android Marketplace for £2.39 (or scan the squiggly thing below), while a HD version for the Apple iPad priced will cost £3.49.