Have librarians turn pages of a book for you over the internet

This is, to me at least, quite bizarre. If you want to view a rare manuscript or book in the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany, you now can, instead of going there yourself, have a librarian put the book in front of a webcam and beam the image of the manuscript right to your screen anywhere in the world. If you need to go forward or back a page, then just ask the lucky librarian to turn it for you. One presumes both of you will need bathroom breaks from time to time. Of course, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to go to Wolfenbüttel yourself, but perhaps this will work in a pinch if you can’t find the time or funding to make the trip. Still, more bizarre than useful in my book.

(Via Roger Pearse.)