The British Library Now Has an iPad App

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British Library Treasures HD

British Library Treasures HD is the new iPad app from The British Library. Having the word treasures in the app title is apt, since the British Library houses literally millions of documents that represent major parts of the world’s history. It holds over 150 million items in total.

We hold 14 million books, 920,000 journal and newspaper titles, 58 million patents, 3 million sound recordings, and so much more..

Here’s a slice of the app’s Intro on its App Store page:

The app includes over 100 highlights from our collections, including literary, historical, music-related and scientific documents – alongside illuminated manuscripts and sacred texts. Each is presented through high-resolution images, allowing the viewer to zoom in and explore in extraordinary detail.

Literary highlights include Charles Dickens’s handwritten draft of Nicholas Nickleby and Jane Austen’s teenage writings, while key historical documents include 2000-year-old Oracle Bones from China, an original Magna Carta of 1215, Elizabeth I’s famous Tilbury speech before the Spanish Armada, and a recording of suffragette Christabel Pankhurst’s speech after her release from prison.

The section devoted to music includes manuscript scores from some of the best-known classical composers, such as Handel, Purcell, Mozart and Schubert, alongside calypso and traditional folk music. A section devoted to maps showcases some of the most interesting and beautiful maps and views from the collection.

This app likely won’t offer a lot of bells or whistles, but if you’re a history buff it should be one that grabs your attention.

I’ve installed the app, but haven’t had a chance to look at it just yet – will do soon.

You can find British Library Treasures HD in the App Store now, with it’s price having been lowered in its first few days in the store from $7.99 to $3.99 – perhaps as an introductory sale.


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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