If you haven’t done so already you might like to check out the British Library’s Turning the Pages feature. This is software that enables you to leaf through old and rare volumes rather as if they were physically in front of you. The Library has just announced that it is licensing the Turning the Pages Toolkit to museums and libraries for no cost.
The user has to download a client application to see the full beauty of the software, only available for Windows Vista, alas. However, a few books can be seen using Shockwave instead, which still gives you a very pleasing set of functions: the old pages can be viewed as modern text; you can listen to a narrator read them; and you can pass a magnifier over the page to gain some increase in leglibility.
The image to the left is a drawing of Henry the Fifth done by a juvenile Jane Austen in her manuscript book on the History of England, a delight to see and to listen to.
I would like to see a legal institution here make use of this technology to present our important and rare records for everyone to see.