14/12/2011

Celebrate a Victorian Christmas on the iPad


Old Father Christmas - cover

The British Library and partner BiblioLabs introduce the Victorian Christmas iPad app – a collection of Victorian books of songs, poetry, plays and stories to entertain and bring cheer to the festive season. For £6.99 ($9.99 US) the app offers readers a library of more than 75 titles from the British Library’s 19th Century Historical Collection.

The tactile interface of the Apple iPad creates a beautiful display of original pages, plates, engravings and illustrations rendered in high-resolution images. Easy to navigate, the app allows users to browse easily and enjoy Victorian illustrations and book designs in their original, full colour.

See: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/victorian-christmas/id475329730?mt=8 (UK)
and
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/victorian-christmas/id475329730?mt=8 (US / rest of world).

This compilation features Christmas stories and poems by well-loved authors like Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It also includes Christmas inspired detective stories, murder mysteries, ghost stories and romances by less renowned authors. Lovingly rendered books that retell the nativity story and delicately illustrated books of cherished Christmas carols are highlights of the app. The works are drawn from the vast collections of the British Library and include titles from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and India.

The Victorian Christmas app will take readers back to an era when families gathered in front of the fire after dinner to tell stories, act out comic pantomimes and sing songs of celebration. The app breathes fresh life into these classic editions and will captivate readers of all ages throughout the festive season.

Sam Tillett, the British Library’s Strategic Relationship Manager said: “This is the ideal gift for anyone who loves Christmas. It’s traditional to indulge in a little seasonal nostalgia and this app allows you to immerse yourself in the memories and sensations of Christmas past – the wonderful thing about the iPad is that you’re also able to share the experience, exploring these wonderful old volumes almost as if you were browsing the shelves of the British Library together.”

The app is built by BiblioLabs, a media-technology firm that brings historic content to new audiences, both in print-on-demand and digital formats. BiblioLabs curates content from repositories around the world and has licensed millions of historic artifacts through partnerships with content aggregators and libraries. BiblioLabs has hundreds of curated Antiquarian Book Apps scheduled to launch in 2012.

BiblioLabs founder & SVP of Business Development Mitchell Davis says his company is providing fresh context and relevance to the overwhelming amount of historical content available to Internet users. “We have built the tools to enable the discovery, enhancement, and niche publication of important historical works in thousands of disciplines and distribute those works globally,” Davis says. “We live in an era that will see a democratization of historical discovery like the world has never seen and we are at the centre of that development. We are very happy to be able to make it easy for people to browse and read these charming historical books celebrating the Christmas season.”

Notes to Editors:

Contact: Ben Sanderson, British Library
ben.sanderson@bl.uk
+44 (0)1937 546126

Carolyn Morris, BiblioLabs
carolyn@bibliolabs.com
1-603-244-6925

BiblioLabs, LLC is a hybrid software-media company, with a focus on using technology to enable curators and subject matter experts to discover, enhance and create new works from the wealth of licensed, open source and public domain materials available within their core database. They work with leading organizations around the world to create widespread commercial access to rare and interesting materials in both print-on-demand and digital formats.

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation. It includes: books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. www.bl.uk and follow @britishlibrary

For more information contact:

  • Ben Sanderson
  • The British Library
  • t:+44 (0) 1937 546 126
  • m:+44 (0) 7810 056848
  • f:+44 (0) 20 7412 7168
  • e: ben.sanderson@bl.uk

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