According to an article on BBC news (although there is no sign of this on the BL’s press release pages)

More than 100,000 old books previously unavailable to the public will go online thanks to a mass digitisation programme at the British Library.

The programme focuses on 19th-Century books, many of which are unknown as few were reprinted after first editions.

There is not too much information about the project but it is obviously has the hand of Microsoft – the initial delivery mechanism will be Microsoft’s Live Book Search. There are no dates mentioned concerning when the books will become available online.

It’s interesting to see the different access models used by the British Library for their various collections. EEBO (Early English Books Online) is available at a price; its nineteenth-century newspapers will be free to the university and college sector in the UK but other users will have to pay, while this project seems like it will be freely available online.

I suppose this reflects the amount of money that partners are prepared to pump into BL digitisatition projects; and this in case Microsoft is supplying plenty of cash to to make the nineteenth-century books freely available. How else can Microsoft try and keep up with Google?