The World at Our Fingertips: 23 Beautiful Old Texts, Available Online

The Internet's collection of old manuscripts and texts is not only growing in size but improving in quality. With a few clicks of the mouse you can zoom in on some of the earliest Hebrew scrolls, the handwritten works of Leonardo da Vinci or Jane Austen, and the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence. The British Library's digital editions include supplemental materials such as translations, explanatory essays, and, in the case of Mozart's notes, audio files of the songs he sketched out. Below, a gallery of some of the best examples.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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