With Grant, UVA to Digitize Historic Texts

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A nearly quarter-million-dollar grant is helping the University of Virginia digitize a collection of historic pages.

The McGregor Library includes rare books from the exploration of America up to the year 1900. It features one of only six surviving copies of a 1495 pamphlet detailing Christopher Columbus' voyage to the new world. A $245,000 grant from the library's namesake foundation will put those pages online.

“We certainly want readers to keep coming and use the original books, but if we digitize them and make them freely available online, then potentially anyone anywhere in the world can access them 24/7,” said David Whitesell, curator for the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

The library expects to digitize 75,000 pages over the next three years. Right now, you can view some of the books in an exhibit at the small special collections library at UVA.