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Monday, June 20, 2011
The British Library and Google to Books Available to All

The British Library and Google today announced a partnership to digitise 250,000 out-of-copyright books from the Library's collections.

Selected by the British Library and digitised by Google, both organisations will work in partnership over the coming years to deliver this content free through Google Books ( and the British Library's website ( Google will cover all digitisation costs.

This project will digitise a huge range of printed 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 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.

Researchers, students and other users of the Library will be able to view historical items from anywhere in the world as well as copy, share and manipulate text for noncommercial purposes.

Recently, the Library announced also a partnership with brightsolid to digitise up to 40 million pages of its newspaper collections and previously the Library partnered with Microsoft to digitise 65,000 19th century books, some of which are now available as an App on Apple?s iPad.

It is also planned to make the works available via Europeana (, the European Digital Library.

Google has partnered with over 40 libraries around the world.

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