Watch the Process of Digitizing One of the World’s Biggest Books


Popping art and literature onto the internet is a goal of many institutions currently, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art which added 375k images online for free use and the National Galleries of Scotland who put their entire collection on the web, and now the British Library has gotten into the action by digitizing the 1660 Klencke Atlas. Though, this isn’t any ol’ atlas. The Klencke Atlas is one of the world’s largest books, standing taller than most people and spanning at an incredible six feet by seven and a half feet when open.

“We digitized the atlas in order to increase access to the 41 maps which are contained in it, which are extremely rare — some known in only three surviving copies — but not terribly well known,” Tom Harper, lead curator of antiquarian maps at the library, told Hyperallergic. “Obviously the atlas is rather a tricky thing to read — though it has wheels fixed onto it to make it easier to move around! Making the maps available free online enables researchers to study these miracles of Dutch cartography and increase our knowledge of the High Renaissance and beginnings of the scientific revolution in the 17th century.”


(h/t Hyperallergic; photo via the British Library)