17 Feb 2010

Samples of medieval books put online

4:08 pm on 17 February 2010

The University of Otago has published online samples of 38 books it owns that were printed before 1501, in a bid to promote greater interest in them.

The medieval books are mostly religious texts in European languages, handbound and handprinted on handmade paper, and illustrated with woodcuts.

Special Collections Librarian Donald Kerr hopes the samples on the university's website will encourage more scholarly use of the books.

Dr Kerr says the oldest book in the collection was printed in 1472, less than 20 years after the first printing press was invented.