as the page turns: minus the unforgettable smell of old paper & ink

This is a stretch break that’s bound to inspire the writer, artist, genius, seeker, and lover of writing, words, and books in you.

If you’re not able to pop over to London’s magnificent British Library, visit their extraordinary website here. Using your mouse, you can “turn the pages” of the personal notebooks of Mozart, William Blake, Leonardo DaVinci, and more (complete with audio explanations, selections read aloud, musical snippets, sketches, etc.) A selection of sacred texts from a variety of faiths includes The Lindisfarne Gospels, Sultan Baybars’ Qur’an, the 15th-century Lisbon Bible (Jewish), and more.

And, in a stunning bit of synchronicity (See the post from yesterday, 5/13), you can peruse Lewis Carroll’s original “Alice,” penned and illustrated by Carroll himself; also, some early Jane Austen in her own hand.

There are some technical requirements (I’m on a MAC, and all I know is that when I tried it, it worked!) If you don’t have the necessary bells and whistles, there’s an “accessible” option that presents the static pages, though I must admit, the real thrill was “turning the pages” of priceless manuscripts (and not having to worry about leaving smudges or stains!).

Thanks to Dara at for the tip. Her Do-It-Yourself Scholar blog features the best free courses and lectures the Internet has to offer.

Warning: If this is your kind of thing, don’t expect to whip through the website in a hurry! And, alas, the Internet is not very good (yet) at recreating the olfactory experience that brings so many bibliophiles to our knees. Ahhh, paper! Ahhh, ink!

4 thoughts

  1. thank you so much for posting this. imagine reading those precious works in the comfort of my own seat, thousands of miles away!


  2. This sounds completely tantalizing! I will set a goodly amount of time to waft through the dusty pages of history, feel the feelings and smell the smells.


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