The US Library of Congress in Washington, US, is the largest library in the world with an immense collection of antique Bibles.

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

The New Visitors Experience project gives visitors unimagined access to the large glass-encased Bibles, flipping through the pages and reading the text via the library's interactive touch screen system.

The technology not only teaches visitors about the history and artistry of the books, but also gives them unprecedented access as physically touching the books is out of the question, Robert M. Sokol, project manager told the Orthodox Anglican website VirtueOnline.

Users can see the pages, zoom in, get detailed information about the text, and really inspect the artwork, type and handwritten passages on the historic manuscripts.

"When we show manuscripts and printed material, especially in book format, you can only see two pages at any given time," said Mr Sokol.

"So the first thing we wanted to do with the interactives was allow people to be able to virtually turn the pages and flip through to see more."

The technology has also provided curators with a tool to better preserve historic editions for future generations.

The library contains thousands of original Bibles and manuscripts in more than 150 languages - about 1,500 of which are considered significant editions for their rare or historic value - although the volume of books makes it impossible for them all to be linked up to the system.

Bibles displayed at the library include the Giant Bible of Mainz, the last great handwritten Bible of Europe, and the Bible collection of the United States' third president, Thomas Jefferson.

The first Bible printed in America is there, and also the Lincoln Bible most recently used to swear in Barack Obama as the nation's 44th President.

The touch screen system is attracting visitors both young and old, said Sokol.

"The younger people usually go to the interactives first, and then check out the actual Bibles," he said.

"And the older people tend to check out the actual Bibles first, and then go to the interactives to learn more about them."

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£65,000
In stock