The British Library and Google have just announced a partnership to digitise and make available over 40 million pages from out-of-copyright (ie: public domain) books in the BL’s collection. According to the press release, the materials will include
…books, pamphlets and periodicals dated 1700 to 1870, the period that saw the French and Industrial Revolutions, The Battle of Trafalgar and the Crimean War, the invention of rail travel and of the telegraph, the beginning of UK income tax, and the end of slavery. It will include material in a variety of major European languages, and will focus on books that are not yet freely available in digital form online.
Once digitised, these unique items will be available for full text search, download and reading through Google Books, as well as being searchable through the Library’s website and stored in perpetuity within the Library’s digital archive.
Image: Toussaint Louverture, Extract from the Report addressed to the Executive Directory by Citizen, 1797, British Library Board Courtesy of the BL