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British Library Posts Handwritten Greek Texts Online Free of Charge!

The British Library said Monday that it was making more than a quarter of its 1,000 volume strong collection of handwritten Greek texts available online, free of charge.  Curators hope the posting will be an asset  to historians, biblical scholars and students of classical Greece alike.
The manuscripts include a famous collection of Aesopic fables discovered on Mount Athos in 1844.  They have long been available to scholars who made the trip to the British Library’s reading rooms.  Curator Scot McKendrick said their posting to the web was opening antiquity to the entire world.
Although millions of books have been made available online in recent years, notably through Google Books’ mass scanning program, ancient texts have taken much longer to emerge from archives.
The library has moved aggressively to put large amounts of its collection online.  This includes 19th century newspapers to the jewels of its collection – The Lindisfarne Gospels, a selection of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches and the Codex Sinaiticus; the oldest surviving complete copy of the Christian Bible.
The library’s Greek manuscript project was funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which supports Greek related initiatives in arts and culture.  Another batch of about 250 documents are due to be published online in 2012.

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