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Google's Helping the British Library Digitize 250,000 Books

250,000 of the British Library's out-of-copyright books from 1700 to 1870 will be digitized by Google, both sides confirmed today. This means the whole world will get access to important tomes, pamphlets and periodicals spanning some 40 million pages, via Google Books and the British Library's website.

As the British Library says, this period "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," so there's bound to be something for everyone there. I'll take the UK income tax works, please. [British Library]

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Why only 1700-1870? I could understand them not letting books pre 1700 being scanned (as it might damage them), but what about 1870+ . The UK copyright for books is life of the author +70 years (I think) so there should be plenty to do up to about 1900.