Interactive Quixote: A Vision for the Future of Dead Manuscripts
By Maria Popova
The digitization of text has been a topic of increasing cultural concern in recent year and may often feel like fighting windmills as some of humanity’s greatest literary artifacts crumble under the unforgiving effects of time, tucked away in the world’s disjointed libraries. Now, Biblioteca Nacional de España, The National Library of Spain, offers an ambitious vision for what the afterlife of dying books could hold. Quijote Interactivo is an impressive interactive digitization of the original edition of Miguel de Cervantes’ cult 1605-1615 novel, Don Quixote. Though the site is entirely in Spanish, the sleek interface, rich multimedia galleries and charmingly appropriate sound design make it a joy to explore whatever your linguistic heritage.
A social widget even makes each of the 668 pages from the book shareable via email or on Facebook, and a transcription overlay makes the original 17th-century manuscript legible in Times New Roman.
Published October 29, 2010