Cambridge Digital Library

The Cambridge Digital Library is a project operated by the Cambridge University Library designed to make items from the unique and distinctive collections of Cambridge University Library available online. The project was initially funded by a donation of £1.5 million GBP from Dr. Leonard Polonsky, with the purpose of developing the technical infrastructure and producing an initial batch of online content. The first step of the project, known as the Foundations Project, ran from mid-2010 to early 2014, and was themed around two main strands, Faith and Science.[1][2]

Faith Collection


The "Faith Collection" will have works from many different religious beliefs, including Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. The Library's collections include some of the earliest Qur'an fragments on parchment, a section of devotional works and mystic treatises, a unique copy of the Kitāb al-Tawhīd by al-Māturīdī, and the first known Qur'an commentary written in Persian. The Library also owns over 1000 manuscripts in Hebrew. They cover a wide range of texts, such as Bibles, commentaries, liturgy, philosophy, kabbalah, literature, and legal documents. There are scrolls and fragments of this information, however, the majority of these manuscripts are in codex form. The oldest piece which the library possesses in this particular collection is a copy of the 10 commandments written on papyrus. The Library's Christian pieces include the Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, an important New Testament manuscript, the Moore Bede, and the Book of Cerne. The Library also houses some of the earliest surviving Buddhist manuscripts. It plans to incorporate all of these into the digital library.[3][4]

Science Collection


The pieces that the Library plans to use in the scientific portion of its digital library focuses on original scientific manuscripts. The Library holds a large collection in the history of science. These begin with the works of Sir Isaac Newton. The Library also has many papers from other famous scientists, including Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin, Adam Sedgwick, J.J. Thomson, Ernest Rutherford, James Clerk Maxwell, and Sir George Gabriel Stokes.[2][5][6][7]


  1. ^ Jarvis, Anne (December 2011). "Introducing the Cambridge Digital Library". West Road, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Library. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b Keller, David (19 December 2012). "Cambridge Digital Library looks to turn traditional library 'inside out'". BBC News (online). U.K. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  3. ^ Jarvis, Anne (December 2011). "The Foundations of Faith Collections". West Road, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Library. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  4. ^ "10 Commandments digitized by University of Cambridge". BBC News (online). U.K. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2013. A 2,000-year-old copy of the 10 Commandments and other key religious manuscripts have been digitised and put online by the University of Cambridge.
  5. ^ Jarvis, Anne (December 2011). "The Foundations of Science Collection". West Road, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Library. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Cambridge University puts Isaac Newton papers online". BBC News (online). U.K. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2013. The notebooks in which Sir Isaac Newton worked out the theories on which much classical science is based have been put online by Cambridge University.
  7. ^ "Newton Papers". West Road, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Library. December 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2013. Cambridge University Library holds the largest and most important collection of the scientific works of Isaac Newton (1642–1727). Newton was closely associated with Cambridge. He came to the University as a student in 1661...