Briefly Noted: The British Library “Treasures” iPad App

I do love the British Library. But it’s so much harder to enjoy when you’re not living in the UK. The next best thing at the moment would be the British Library ‘Treasures’ iPhone/iPad app. If only it were free. But that’s ok. It’s still a good-looking app, including high quality images of famed texts, and some video and sound recordings for good measure. My only gripe is that I get the feeling the BL is holding out on us — 100 items from their famed collection is a decent start, but for a $5.99 app, it’s a little light on content.

CNET (“British Library app brings Beowulf, The Beatles”) has a better rundown of the app contents than you’ll find on iTunes:

The Gutenberg Bible, Lindisfarne Gospels, and Sultan Baybars’ Qur’an;

• Handwritten lyrics by The Beatles;

• Original scores by Mozart, Schubert, Handel, and Purcell;

• Charles Dickens’ handwritten draft of “Nicholas Nickleby”;

• The writings of Jane Austen as a teenager;

• Letters by Galileo and notebooks from Leonardo da Vinci;

• And it’s the British Library, so of course there has to be a version of the Magna Carta from 1215.

Here’s a link to the British Library app on iTunes.


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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

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