A friend just passed on this news to me and I couldn't wait to share it with you! The British Library has announced a plan to digitalize their entire collection of medieval manuscripts (25,000 books dating before 1600) and make them accessible over the internet. Once the project is finished, “Anybody can enjoy them whether they are the leading academic on some aspect of that manuscript … or a schoolchild doing a project,” according to Claire Breay, head of medieval and earlier manuscripts at the library.
Financial Times magazine has been allowed to publish six of these manuscripts on their website, so you can go and view them right now! Here is the link to the FT article, which is also full of fascinating details about various manuscripts in the collection. (Like the one from a Book of Hours in 1540 with illustrations reflecting the first renderings of the game of golf.)
I am so excited! What a treasure trove this will be to researchers, including historical authors like me! (I am pretty sure one of Siri's descendants--my heroine in Illuminations of the Heart--is going to grow up to be an illuminator, too. :-) )