Internet users will be able from Friday to view the first editions of The Canterbury Tales online rather than having to visit the British Library where the original versions are kept…
It is hoped the digitisation of the volume on the 603rd anniversary of its author’s death will make it easier for scholars and the public to access it.
A team from Keio University in Tokyo, the project’s sponsor, have photographed the work into 1,300 high-definition images which have been put on the web.
Kristian Jensen, head of Western European Printed Collections at the British Library, said: “This project follows the library’s successful digitisation of its two copies of the Gutenberg Bible, a site which received one million hits in its first six months.
“This is the beauty of digitisation, to take something of great intellectual value which is rare and fragile, and make it available to anyone and everyone.”