British Library: Virtual exhibitions

Posted by jerry on January 20th, 2004 — Posted in History, Journal, Writing

This morning, my partner Sharon pointed me to a new site from the British Library devoted to virtual exhibitions. The site has some lovely use of flash – tastefully restrained – which livens up the presentation enormously.

I particularly enjoyed the `literary landscapes’ section which marries literary figures with maps and images providing a context for their writing. Having visited Loch Katrine in Scotland (and taken the steam boat ride along its length), I liked the section on Sir Walter Scott despite his highly romanticised view of scotland portrayed in his writings, and the accompanying hand-coloured engraving by FJ Sargent from 1811. The web version has handy navigation icons and a zoom function – which works well on the high resolution images. There are maps too, providing a rich backdrop to a number of Scott’s novels.

Also included are Chaucer’s Kent, Wordsworth’s Lake District, Thomas Hardy’s Dorset, Jane Austen’s Bath (the place, not the ablution), and Defoe’s Moll Flanders.

I had a good poke (okay click) around in the Durham exhibition too – I loved the section on Jarrow Priory.

There is also a great ‘about Collect Britain’ page which talks about the digitisation project and the designers.

All in all a good site, well designed and informative – well worth a visit!

Cheers
Jerry

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