“In the nineteenth century it was an ambition of our predecessors to give everybody access to as much of the world’s information as possible, to ensure that knowledge was not restricted to those who could afford private libraries. The way of doing it then was to buy books from the entire world and to make them available in Reading Rooms."
Chief executive Dame Lynne Brindley said in a press release that the British Library will continue this tradition by means of the 21st century. The British Library and Google will join forches to digitze 250,000 books from the library’s collections, including printed books, pamphlets and periodicals from 1700 to 1870 in a variety of languages.
The digitized books will be available to anyone who wants to do research. The content will be delivered free through Google Books and the British Library’s website.
Read Mike Kelley's article in The Library Journal: