Search Museum Next

Digital Bodleian digitises one millionth image for free download

Original notebook belonging to poet Jenny Joseph

The Bodleian Libraries’ Digital Bodleian website has uploaded its millionth image from its collections to be seen and freely used anywhere in the world.

Part of the University of Oxford, the Bodleian Libraries launched Digital Bodleian in 2015 as a free resource with direct access to its collections.

The website now displays a wide range of items from manuscripts, books, archives, photographs and paintings. These include British political election posters from the past 100 years, beautifully illuminated medieval manuscripts, centuries-old maps and Victorian board games.

One millionth image

The one millionth image to be digitised is from an original notebook of poet Jenny Joseph, who studied at St Hilda’s College and maintained a connection with Oxford all her life, showing the first draft of her poem, ‘Warning’, which was voted the ‘nation’s favourite poem’ in a BBC poll in 2006.

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian at the Bodleian Libraries, said: “Whether you are a student, a researcher or someone who has a personal passion we are delighted to be able to make our collections, built up over the last 400 years, for all to be able to view, download and use.”

The Bodleian Libraries have been digitising content since the early 1990s and were the first library outside the US to partner with Google as part of their mass-digitisation programme.

Digital Bodleian’s top ten downloads of the past year are:

  1. Romance of Alexander etc. from the 14th century, MS. Bodl. 264
  2. The Ashmole Bestiary from the 13th century, MS. Ashmole 1511
  3. Divine Comedy, MS. Holkham misc. 48
  4. Book of Wonders, MS. Bodl. Or. 133
  5. Bestiary, MS. Bodl. 764
  6. The Caedmon Manuscript, MS. Junius 11
  7. Notes on the geography and administration of the Roman Empire, MS. Canon. Misc. 378
  8. Georgian liturgical manuscript written by the founder of the Monastery of the Holy Cross, MS. Georg. b. 1
  9. Codex Mendoza, MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1
  10. Kennicott Bible, MS. Kennicott 1

About the author – Adrian Murphy

Adrian is the Editor of MuseumNext and has 20 years’ experience as a journalist, half of which has been writing for the cultural sector.

Related Content

Museum Thought Leaders Urge One-to-One Action to Support Ukraine’s Museums

Renowned museum thought leaders Elaine Heumann Gurian and Linda Norris have called upon the museum world to support Ukrainian institutions and those who work in...

How one Museum is expanding their digital footprint with a Metaverse approach

You may have heard buzzwords like “Metaverse” and “Web3” but what does the future of digital experiences mean for museums and galleries? The Shangri La...

Active Image: providing a marketplace and community for digital imagery

Founded in 2018 by Henning Lohner, Active Image is a Berlin-based start-up with the mission to accelerate the transformation of the visual art experience by...

Subscribe to the latest museum thinking

Fresh ideas from museums around the globe in your inbox each week