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On Bastille Day, July 14th, NLM Launches "Turning The Pages" Online in French

Tournez Les Pages Grants Greater Access to Treasures of Medical History

Vive la différence! With assistance from library colleagues in Paris, the National Library of Medicine is pleased to offer the Web version of its popular interactive program, Turning The Pages, in French as well as 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 via the NLM home page, at //

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 on-site Turning The Pages kiosks at NLM allow a visitor to thumb through these beautiful old books virtually. In the Web version (TTP Online), 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, the director of the Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Médecine et d'Odontologie (BIUM), 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.