One of the world’s largest collections of historic books, pamphlets and periodicals housed at the British Library at, 96 Euston Road, London, are to be scanned by Google and made available on the Internet in a deal reached with Google.

The deal is to scan 250,000 texts dating back to the 18th century will allow readers to not only view, but to search and copy the out-of-copyright works at no charge.

The works selected to be digitized date from between 1700 and 1870. The project is expected to take some years to complete with Google covering the costs of digitizing.

A pamphlet about Queen Marie Antionette, as well as, Spanish inventor Narcisco Monturiol’s 1858 plans for one of the world’s first submarines will be included.

According to chief executive Dame Lynne Brindle, the idea is an extension of the library’s predecessors in the 19th century to provide knowledge access to everyone.

Peter Barron, director of external relations at Google said that the technology available today not only preserves history and culture for posterity, it also brings history to life in new ways.

The digitized works represent a small fraction of the library’s collection totaling more than 150 million items representing every age of written civilization, which includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken language.

Google has similar partnerships with about 40 libraries around the world.

If you’d like to read more, please click on the British Library or

There’s also a link to the British Library on my Blogroll links


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1 Comment on British Library makes a deal with Google

  1. LInda Gartz says:

    I heard this reported on World News on NPR yesterday. What a fabulous trove of information for the world at large. It’s hard to comprehend sometimes how dramatically our lives have changed because of the internet. We are taking it for granted now. A young documentary producer I met three years ago when I was in production asked, “How did you do research before the internet?” !!! She was serious.

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