British Library launches "Europe's oldest book" appeal
by Sam Watts(Reuters Life!) - The British Library has launched an appeal to help it buy the oldest book in Europe, an "almost miraculous" survival from the Anglo Saxon period over 1,000 years ago.
The small volume was buried with one of England's most popular saints, Saint Cuthbert at a time when the country was being swept by continental invasions following the departure of the Romans, and despite its age is still in perfect condition with its original leather cover.
The Library is now just 2.75 million pounds ($4.4 million)from its target of 9 million pounds to buy the Cuthbert Gospel.
The book was loaned to the library in 1979 and has stayed there ever since but if the bid is successful it will stay there permanently.
It has also been agreed that if the gospel is purchased, it will spend half the year at Durham Cathedral, where the saint is buried. (more) http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/15/us-britain-book-cuthbert-idUSTRE76E3IV20110715 (photo) http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/11991