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LONDON: A copy of The Ten Commandments dating back two millennia and the earliest written Gaelic are just two of a number of incredibly rare manuscripts now freely available online to the world as part of a Cambridge University digital project.
Nash Papyrus — one of the oldest known manuscripts containing text from the Hebrew Bible — has become one of the latest treasures of humanity to join Isaac Newton’s notebooks, the Nuremberg Chronicle and other rare texts as part of the Cambridge Digital Library, the university said yesterday.
“Cambridge University Library preserves works of great importance to faith traditions and communities around the world,” University Librarian Anne Jarvis said in a statement.
“Because of their age and delicacy these manuscripts are seldom able to be viewed — and when they are displayed, we can only show one or two pages.”
Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nash Papyrus, was by far the oldest manuscript containing text from the Hebrew Bible and like most fragile historical documents, only available to select academics for scrutiny.
The university’s digital library is making 25,000 new images, including an ancient copy of the New Testament, available on its website (http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/). REUTERS