Cambridge University Library is going to put Codex Bezae online, or so I read in a Daily Telegraph story. Better still, they’re preparing to put all their books online, and make them freely available. That’s what we want to hear.
Anne Jarvis, the university Librarian, said that the exciting new plans would open up priceless collections to students worldwide.
She said: “Our library contains evidence of some of the greatest ideas and discoveries over two millennia.
“We want to make it accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world with an internet connection and a thirst for knowledge.
Good for them! Codex Bezae will be in the first tranche, as — at little pointlessly — will be a Gutenberg bible.
I hope they attract lots of funding. This will be the first UK library to take mass free access seriously, and if they do it, will probably guarantee the existence of the library into the digital age.
Dan Wallace and the chaps at CSNTM who photograph manuscripts of the bible were in Cambridge trying to negotiate access. I suspect their efforts — seemingly fruitless at the time — probably helped change minds and create expectations at CUL.
I’m increasingly impressed with what Anne Jarvis is doing. I’ve just discovered that even people like me — readers not part of the university — can use the library Wifi network if we get a ‘Lapwing ticket’, valid for a limited period. It doesn’t look as if they charge, either, which is as it should be. Lack of access to electronic resources is a real pain for the occasional visitor, and they have addressed it.
I have also received my copy of Croke and Harries, Religious conflict in fourth century Rome, and started to read it. Lots of excellent texts in translation.
But it’s much too sunny today to be sat in doors, so I went off to Norwich today instead.