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National Trust unveils online book archive

8th April 2010

The National Trust has launched a digital collection of more than 155,000 historic books held at 160 of its sites, with another 70,000 set to be catalogued.

Containing works such as the library of miniature children's books at A La Ronde house in Devon and the 17th-century atlases at Cheshire's Dunham Massey, the archive allows members of the public and scholars to access a range of information about the trust's collections.

As well as copies of the books themselves, readers can view information such as where the works came from, how they are bound, who originally owned them and how they came be held by the site.

Mark Purcell, the National Trust's libraries curator, commented: 'This project represents an exciting and important step forward in making our book collection more accessible to historians, researchers and students.'

Among the works included in the collection is the private library of Rudyard Kipling, an autographed manuscript of Virginia Woolf's Orlando, the bible Charles I is thought to have used on the scaffold and the earliest-known English ABC.

Last month, the National Trust focused attention on another literary classic, when it opened the Alice in Wonderland Experience at Antony House near Plymouth.

The home was used by British film director Tim Burton when he was shooting his adaptation of the Lewis Carroll book.

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