October 11, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.
Digital and other New Media tools have made a great amount of books available. Many are free. It is interesting to note who the developers are. The British Library has scanned centuries old books including the Codex Arundel, the Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci.
The Story of Leonardo’s Notebooks
From Open Culture,
“For hundreds of years, the huge, secretive collection of manuscripts remained mostly unseen by all but the most rarified of collectors. After Leonardo’s death in France, writes the British Library, his student Francesco Melzi “brought many of his manuscripts and drawings back to Italy. Melzi’s heirs, who had no idea of the importance of the manuscripts, gradually disposed of them.” Nonetheless, over 5,000 pages of notes “still exist in Leonardo’s ‘mirror writing’, from right to left.” *
The Notebooks Digitized
“The digitized notebooks debuted in 2007 as a joint project of the British Library and Microsoft called “Turning the Pages 2.0,” an interactive feature that allows viewers to “turn” the pages of the notebooks with animations. Onscreen glosses explain the content of the cryptic notes surrounding the many technical drawings, diagrams, and schematics (see a selection of the notebooks in this animated format here). For an overwhelming amount of Leonardo, you can look through 570 digitized pages of [the] Codex Arundel here.” (OpenCulture).
The Technology Turning the Pages™
As this site is devoted to the uses of New Media tools to make fine art and literature accessible to everyone, everywhere, we want to write about the technology behind the Leonardo Notebooks and a great number of other books and manuscripts. Below is a short description and a video of the technology called “Turning Pages.”
As explained at Turning the Pages™ , it “was originally conceived in 1996 and Armadillo Systems have been developing the software since 2001, helping libraries, museums and galleries around the world provide access to their collections. The earliest books were at the British Library.”
“[The Goal was] to produce the most compelling solution for providing access and interpretation for rare books, manuscripts and single sheet items (such as maps or charters).”
“In 2006 [Armadillo Systems] worked with Microsoft to develop TTP 2.0 which produced incredibly realistic three-dimensional books, including the ability of gilding to catch the light as the pages turn and to mimic both paper and vellum books.I n 2013 [the company] launched TTP 3.0, a complete re-code for the online version, taking advantage of HTML5 to provide access to books on all browsers and devices.”
Image Credit: British Library