19th Century Digitised Books Collection
In partnership with Microsoft, the British Library has digitised, and made freely available under Public Domain Mark, over 60,000 volumes (around 25 million pages) of out of copyright 18th & 19th century texts. Items within this collection cover a wide range of subject areas including geography, philosophy, history, poetry and literature and are published in a variety of languages.
This collection, sometimes referred to as the Microsoft Books/BL 19th Century collection, and its derived datasets have been made available on various platforms under an open license.
All volumes are available for view, download and full-text search from the British Library Catalogue - https://explore.bl.uk - via the Library’s IIIF standard enabled Universal Viewer. Use the search term “blmsd” in Explore to limit results to this specific collection.
Over 1 million images extracted from the book pages programmatically can be found on British Library’s Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/
The Flickr API can be used to directly download large sets of these images, and other metadata such as user-generated tag information: https://www.flickr.com/services/developer/
JISC Historic Texts holds a full copy of this collection: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/historical-texts
Wikimedia Commons offers a useful introduction to the collection, including a Synoptic Index, as well as projects to georeference maps found in the texts: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:British_Library/Mechanical_Curator_collection