Interactive display at Library of Congress makes Bible come alive


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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Separation of church and state is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution but that doesn't mean the Bible can't be admired and appreciated by a public or government institution. Take the Library of Congress in Washington.

It has an immense Bible collection, one augmented with modern technology. The interactive equipment available in the Library of Congress is making the Scriptures accessible to a high-tech generation, said Robert M. Sokol, project manager for the "New Visitors Experience" program at the largest library in the world.

The most celebrated Bibles in the collection are the Gutenberg Bible and the Giant Bible of Mainz -- proudly featured in the library's Great Hall.

To give the public greater access to the enormous glass-encased -- and centuries old Bibles -- the Library of Congress installed the interactive system in 2008, allowing visitors to use a touch screen to flip through the pages and read the text.

Sokol, the library's lead expert on the interactive equipment, told Catholic News Service the technology not only teaches visitors about the history and artistry of these books, but also gives the public closer access to them, since actually touching the volumes is out of the question.