Digitized Book Collections

Among the many collections of digitized books are the following:

Parker Library

The Parker Library in Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University holds Old English texts which account for nearly a quarter of all extant manuscripts in Anglo-Saxon. These include the earliest copy of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (c. 890), the Old English Bede and King Alfred´s translation of Gregory the Great´s Pastoral Care. The Parker Library also contains key Anglo-Norman and Middle English texts ranging from the Ancrene Wisse and the Brut Chronicle to one of the finest copies of Chaucer´s Troilus and Criseyde. Most of these texts are being digitized in a collaboration with Stanford University, in a mass digitization project which is expected to conclude in 2009.

British Library Online Gallery

The Turning the Pages project at the British Library makes available digitized manuscripts and major historical documents.

The John Rylands University Library (The University of Manchester)

Manchester University’s John Rylands library is the largest non-legal deposit academic library in the United Kingdom.

The Old Bailey Online

The Old Bailey, also known as Justice Hall, the Sessions House, and the Central Criminal Court, was named after the street in which it was located, just off Newgate Street and next to Newgate Prison, in the western part of the City of London.

The Old Bailey Proceedings Online makes available a fully searchable, digitised collection of all surviving editions of the Old Bailey Proceedings from 1674 to 1913, and of the Ordinary of Newgate’s Accounts, 1690 to 1772. It allows access to over 210,000 trials and biographical details of approximately 3,000 men and women executed at Tyburn, free of charge for non-commercial use.

Codex Sinaiticus – The World’s Oldest Bible

The Codex Sinaiticus is being digitally scanned and progressively made available on the internet. It is intended that the whole manuscript will be available online by July 09. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the Codex Sinaiticus contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. As part of this mass digitization project, the Codex Sinaiticus is also being transcribed so that a machine-readable transcription, linked by word to the manuscript images, is available for research and analysis.


Europeana is an ambitious initiative to give online access to over 3 million cultural artifacts — including digitized books, maps, paintings and videos — from some of Europe’s top museums including the Louvre in Paris and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Europeana is an initiative of the European Union, and so is available in 23 languages including English, French, German and Spanish.

Europeana positions itself as Europe’s digital library, museum and archive. Europeana promises easy access to digitized books, films, paintings, newspapers, sounds and archives from Europe’s greatest collections starting from December 2008.