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Wednesday, 5 December, 2001, 17:15 GMT
Austen off to Australia
The British Library is delighted to be part of exhibition
The British Library is "delighted" to be part of the exhibition
Manuscripts from Jane Austen and Charles Dickens are among nine rare items being lent to Australia by the British Library.

The valuable collection is going to the National Library of Australia in Canberra as part of a exhibition of world literary treasures.

More than 150 items from 35 major collections across the globe will be included.

Among the many items are the handwritten Em2 manuscript by Albert Einstein, the Dead Sea Scroll containing the Ten Commandments and the typescript containing the conclusion to Martin Luther King's celebrated I Have A Dream speech.

More than 150 items from 35 major collections across the globe will be included.


We are pleased to have the opportunity to show off our finest items in Australia

Clive Field, British Library
Unique

The first printing of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales by William Caxton and Charles Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby will also form part of the exhibition entitled Treasures from the World's Great Libraries.

The British Library's Clive Field said the collection will be a unique gathering of some of the world's most valuable works.

He said: "Treasures from the World's Great Libraries will be a singular opportunity to see all these wonderful items under one roof.

"The British Library's collections are among the world's best, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to show off our finest items in Australia."

Highlight

Other countries loaning items for the exhibition include Brazil, France, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, South Africa, Spain and the Vatican City.

The National Library of Australia say the collection will "bring together for the first time in history the wonders of human culture, endeavour and learning".

It is the first exhibition of its kind and will be the cultural highlight on Australia's 2001/2002 calendar of events.

The exhibition opens in Canberra on 7 December and will run until 24 February.

See also:

15 May 01 | New Media
Virtual European library planned
14 Jun 01 | Sci/Tech
British Library plans digital future
05 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Olivier archive saved for nation
22 Nov 00 | UK
Gutenberg Bible goes online
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