smarphone apps

Souvenir Sunday: What would Alice do?

Although she didn’t really mean to, Alice – of Alice on Wonderland fame – ended up going on one of the wildest travel adventures ever “documented.”

Want to see the original notes of her journey?  The British Library happens to have the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well Galileo’s letters, Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks, manuscript scores from classical composers such as Handel, Purcell, Mozart and Schubert, and lots more.

Can’t just pop over to London to take a look-see? The next best thing might just be the British Library’s new smartphone app (iPad, iPhone, Android) which lets you page through more than 100 of the library’s treasures, including Jane Austen’s teenage writings, maps, scientific papers, an original Magna Carta 1215 and audio clips from historical figures such as Nelson Mandela.

The app isn’t free; it costs $3.99 for iPhone, iTouch and Android ($5.99 for the iPad), but there’s an introductory offer of $1.99 ($3.99 for the iPad) through January 24, 2011.

Not sure it’s worth 2 bucks?  Here’s a really lovely video that includes a sampling of what you’ll get to see on the app.

I’ve downloaded the program, but haven’t had much time to play around with it. When I do, I hope I’ll find photos and more information the world’s smallest atlas and some of the other teeny tiny books in the British Library’s collection.