pbahra writes with part of an excellent story at the WSJ: "The British Library today announced its first partnership with Google, under which Google will digitize 250,000 items from the library's vast collection of work produced between 1700-1870. The Library, the only British institution that automatically receives a copy of every book and periodical to go on sale in the United Kingdom and Ireland, joins around 40 libraries worldwide in allowing Google to digitize part of its collection and make it freely available and searchable online, at books.google.co.uk and the British Library website, www.bl.uk. ... As well as published books, the 1700-1870 collection will also contain pamphlets and periodicals from across Europe. This was a period of political and technological turmoil, covering much of the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, the introduction of UK income tax and the invention of the telegraph and railway. All of these topics are covered, as are the quirkier matters of the day, such as the account, from 1775, of a stuffed hippopotamus owned by the Prince of Orange."