Bible buffs beware: the Bodleian has entered the furore of the online market with a mobile phone app that immerses users in the history of the King James Bible.
The app, which is the first to be released by the Bodleian library, will coincide with celebrations for the book’s 400th anniversary.
According to its programmers, “The Making of the King James Bible” will offer users a step-by step account of the book’s history, in addition to the role Oxford had to play in its formation. Other perks include a soundtrack from the Corpus Christi Choir and a high resolution copy of the “Wicked Bible”, an infamous 1631 tome that contained the misprint “Thou shalt commit adultery”.
The misprint had provoked Christians into burning nearly all surviving copies of the book.
Some students believe the app will improve integration between the University and the public. One 2nd year History student praised it as “an important step forward, which would have the potential to be an invaluable tool for historians and enthusiasts alike.”
“They (the University) have tried to do this kind of thing before with lecture podcasts,” she continued, “but I hear the general consensus on those was that, although high quality and interesting, they weren’t very popular . However I think this Bible app looks rather promising.”
The student declined to comment on whether she would pay the asking price of 69 pence for the product. Another expressed concern that the app was “something of a cash-cow” that would “merely whip up greater hysteria about the library’s extensive Bible exhibition.”
Richard Ovenden, Deputy Librarian, Bodleian Libraries, said: ‘A key aspect of the Bodleian cultural strategy is to share our renowned collections with the general public locally and internationally. The new technology is giving us the opportunity to reach out to people worldwide and we are pleased we can make our treasures available in this format as well. ’