British Library Treasures smartphone and tablet app

By Shem Pennant,

Technology can often be useful in furthering the cause of education (and ignorance if you casually glance over oh I don’t know most comment threads on the internet) and its always interesting to look at new gadgets, developments and applications that help broaden the mind – we were quite fond of the iMinds app here at LG Towers.

British-Library-app

Well the studious folks at the British Library, which you should really visit if you ever have the chance, have embraced the Brave New World that hath such smartphones in it and have produced an iOS app for iPhones and iPod touches as well as an HD app for the iPad. For all you Google-phone owners about to let out yet another disappointed sigh don’t worry – an Android app is also available.

So what does a British Library app entail? Created in conjunction with Toura, a leading technology platform for mobile guides, the ‘Treasures’ app, will present a rich selection of the items featured in the Library’s Sir John Ritblat Treasures Gallery, providing the opportunity for interaction with the Library’s collections at home, on the move or within the Gallery itself. It’s not a substitute for going and seeing the collection – but it’s certainly a nice supplement.

Through the app users will experience an up close and personal experience with some of the Library’s most unique items, such as the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the world’s oldest bible Codex Sinaiticus, Nelson’s Battle Plan, written before his victory at Trafalgar, Galileo’s letters and Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks. Expert commentary is provided on many of the items and users can watch, for example, videos of explorer Ben Fogle talking about Scott’s Diary and Linguist David Crystal discussing the 1,000 year old poem Beowulf.

Literary highlights include Charles Dickens’s handwritten draft of Nicholas Nickleby and Jane Austen’s teenage writings, while key historical documents include 2000-year-old Oracle Bones from China and an original Magna Carta of 1215. The section devoted to music includes manuscript scores from some of the best-known classical composers, such as Handel, Purcell, Mozart and Schubert, alongside hand-written lyrics by The Beatles.

Treasures will be available for download globally on iPhone and iPod Touch, in the iTunes App and in the Android Marketplace for £2.39 (US $3.99). The HD version is available for download globally for iPad for a price of £3.49 (US $5.99).

The Library is also offering an introductory price of £1.19 (US $1.99) for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android smartphones, and £2.39 (US $3.99) for iPad until 24 Jan.

More information can be found at here.