Da Vinci's "Codex" launched on iPad

Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:30am EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Alice Baghdjian

LONDON (Reuters) - "The Da Vinci Code" may have been a popular e-book for years, but now readers around the world can view the manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Arundel in high definition on iPad as the British Library launches its "e-book treasures" series.

The Italian manuscript written in Da Vinci's characteristic "mirror writing" -- left-handed and moving from right to left -- 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.

The loose papers which form the codex date from various periods of Da Vinci's career and were collected together in a bound volume after his death in 1519.

"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," said Frances Brindle of the British Library in London.

"The Library is committed to maximizing access to all of its collections and increasingly, digital variations of books and manuscripts are allowing us to do just that."

The e-books feature page-turning technology to recreate the experience of holding the manuscripts and will enable users to access in-depth detail about the works they are viewing, including written, video and audio interpretations.

Mercator's Atlas is another precious manuscript available to download alongside Da Vinci's Arundel Codex.

The volume was painstakingly compiled by hand in the 16th century by Flemish mapmaker Gerardus Mercator, the man believed to have coined the term "atlas" for a collection of maps.   Continued...

 
<p>An Apple iPad 2 is pictured showing a library through a software application at the Hong Kong Book Fair July 20, 2011. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu</p>