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Turning the pages

01 December 2010

Turning the pagesDr David Grant, Professor Elizabeth Treasure and Janet Peters with the Turning the Pages software

New technology designed to allow users to virtually ‘turn’ the pages of digitised books has been unveiled in Cardiff by the University’s Vice-Chancellor.

Dr David Grant and Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, visited Information Services’ Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR) section where the new 40" digital 3D touch-screen and Turning the Pages software is based.

The new software will give users the opportunity to view some of Wales’ oldest books and manuscripts, which form part of the collection of 14,000 rare items transferred to the University earlier in the year.

Users will be able to turn pages in real-life 3D mode, zoom in, magnify images, and admire some of the magnificently illustrated books and manuscripts in the University’s collections.

SCOLAR’s purchase of the touch-screen and software, as part of a grant from the Wolfson Foundation, makes Cardiff the first institution in Wales to use such technology to display digital rare books.

University Librarian, Janet Peters, and Head of SCOLAR, Peter Keelan, were present at the launch. They were joined by Arts and Social Studies Library Site Librarian, Duncan Montgomery, and Mark Barrett from Graphic Services, who produced the digital scans of the rare books for Turning the Pages.

A number of academic staff from the Schools of History, Archaeology and Religion, English, Communication and Philosophy, and the Welsh School of Architecture also attended.

After the launch, the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor were taken on a tour of SCOLAR and saw a selection of SCOLAR’s archives, which contained some of the letters, notes and photographs donated for use by future researchers. They also saw the current exhibition of rare books and manuscripts.

Head of SCOLAR, Peter Keelan, said: "Cardiff University is the first institution in Wales to use Turning the Pages, and with the support of the Assembly Government and Cymal, we will now be making available portable versions of Turning the Pages to tour Wales - another first for SCOLAR."

The rare books can be viewed by appointment with SCOLAR staff between 9am and 5pm on weekdays.

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