The British Library is hoping to cash in on the popularity of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code by launching an ebook for the iPad which will allow users to view the manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Arundel.
While Dan Brown’s turgid novel, and even more odious film, proved to be multi-million pound money spinners, the British Library has rather more high-minded intentions in mind with this ebook. The British Library is offering the work of Da Vinci as the first part of its eBook Treasures series which will allow iPad users to download entire ancient manuscripts. Though it is still hoping to make some money on the scheme, charging £9.99 for Leonardo's inner most thoughts.
Codex Arundel (1478-1518) is a collection of notes, drawings and short treatises on subjects ranging from the physical properties of water to descriptions of a prehistoric sea monster. It is written in Da Vinci’s characteristic “mirror writing”, that is left handed and moving from right to left.
Developed with Armadillo Systems, each eBook allows users to access greater content and in-depth detail about the item such as written, video and audio interpretation. The eBooks are viewable full-screen and can also be viewed offline.
Also launching today is Mercator’s Atlas of Europe (1570s) and future releases as part of the eBook Treasures series will include: Alice’s Adventures Underground, which is Lewis Carroll’s handwritten and illustrated original of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; the Tyndale Bible (1526), which was the first English language Bible to appear in print and for music lovers, Handel’s ‘Messiah’ (1741) and Beethoven’s Pastoral Sketchbook (1808).
Frances Brindle, the British Library’s Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications commented: “The iPad allows for greater intimacy and engagement akin to reading the original and we are delighted to be the first to provide full access to some of our unique Treasures in this way. The Library is committed to maximising access to all of its collections and increasingly, digital variations of books and manuscripts are allowing us to do just that.”
75 titles will be published in the series over the next two years. The Codex Arundel (£9.99) and Mercator’s Atlas of Europe (£6.99) are now available in the iBookstore. There’s also an introductory offer allowing you to get the Codex Arundel HD Highlights for £3.99.
Source: British Library