A couple of years ago none of us would have access to or possibly even been aware of the incredible manuscripts and documents held in our libraries and archives.
The digitization projects undertaken by these institutions, have enabled ‘amateur’ historians to access items previously only available to professional scholars.
- The University of Cambridge holds some of the most important historical collections in the world.
- In it’s archives, are some of the worlds most significant Qur’ans, the largest and most important collection of Jewish Genizah materials, including over 190,000 fragments of Genizah scrolls, that are of equal significance as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Add to this the Gutenberg Bible from 1455 and the Book of Deer from the C10th and the historical importance of it’s religious manuscripts alone is staggering.
- To have it made accessible, on line for us all to experience, is wonderful. As new scholars are able to explore these texts who knows what they may turn up?
So what else is available on line from the Cambridge archive?
- An initial selection of the Newton Papers have been released, see Newtons notebooks whilst he was at Cambridge and the books in which he first began to record his thoughts on calculus, written whilst he was away from Cambridge to escape the plague.
- The beautiful Islamic manuscripts, the first of which was donated to the University when it founded it’s Professorship of Arabic in 1630
Take time to explore the University of Cambridge Digital Library and see what other collections are available.
Some of the older collections can be found by clicking here, they include the Gutenberg Bible and many other beautiful manuscripts, even if your Medieval Latin is not up to the mark, they are worth looking at for the glorious illuminations alone