Vive la différence!
||A sample page from the new French version of Turning The Pages
With assistance from library colleagues in Paris, the National Library of Medicine now offers the web version of its popular
interactive program Turning The Pages (TTP) in French as well as in English. This unique system, allowing users to "touch and turn" the digitized pages of rare historical volumes in a highly realistic way, is available on site at NLM and to users worldwide at www.nlm.nih.gov/turningthepages
. The French version debuted on July 14, Bastille Day.
Turning The Pages gives users a virtual way of letting their fingers do the walking
through treasures from the NLM collection-there are even page-turning sound effects, to enhance the experience-
without posing any danger to these centuries-old items. Equipped with touch screen technology and animation
software produced by NLM's Lister Hill Center, the onsite Turning The Pages kiosks at NLM allow a visitor
to thumb through these beautiful old books virtually.
In the web version, home users with an Internet connection
may click and turn the pages from anywhere in the world. In both systems, patrons may magnify the pages for more detail, read or listen to explanations of the text and, in some cases, access additional
information on the books in the form of curators' notes from NLM's History of Medicine Division.
NLM was able to launch TTP Online in French (Tournez Les Pages) thanks to translations done by M. Guy Cobolet, director of the Bibliothèque
Interuniversitaire de Médecine et d'Odontologie, a large medical
library in Paris. Tournez Les Pages offers explanations of the text, curators' notes and instructions for a francophone audience spread over Canada, Europe, North and West Africa and in French-speaking pockets
around the globe. On TTP Online's main introductory page, a user may click on an icon of the French tricolor to go to the equivalent page in French. Voilà!
Clicking on Les Livres in the menu bar, the French-speaking user sees a list of five books, though only the first one currently has translations. This is by Ambroise Paré (1510-1590), a French surgeon from humble beginnings who would revolutionize the way surgeons treated wounds. This 1585 edition of his Oeuvres
(Collected Works) is both his masterpiece
and his monument, gathering together a lifetime's experience and study. Translations for the other books are planned.