Cambridge University Library

Digitisation: a virtual revelation


King Street, Sydney, 1908 (Royal Commonwealth Society collections)

Anyone, anywhere, with a thirst for knowledge and an internet connection, can access digitised versions of the University Library’s Special Collections. The opportunities for scholarship and for educational engagement are stunning.

  1. The Royal Commonwealth Society’s extraordinary collection of photographs is nothing short of a definitive documentary representation of Empire.
  2. Cambridge University Library MS. Ee.3.59 contains the only copy of an illustrated Anglo-Norman verse Life of St Edward the Confessor, written in England probably in the later 1230s or early 1240s, and preserved in this manuscript, executed c.1250-60. It can be viewed in its entirety as part of the Cambridge Digital Library.
  3. The Cairo Genizah Collection of ancient manuscripts rescued from the main synagogue in Cairo is the largest of its kind in the world, and offers up extraordinarily edifying information about the lives – public and private – of medieval Jews, Christians and Muslims for scholars ranging from sophisticated researchers to primary schoolchildren.
  4. The Library’s copy of the Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed in Europe using moveable type, has been digitised in collaboration with Keio University, Japan, and can be compared with other copies of the same book.

Central to the success of the UL’s digitisation policy is its highly advanced digital repository, DSpace@Cambridge.