The British Library has given Google access to a quarter of a million out-of-copyright books for its Google Books digital library project. The effort will involve scanning as many as 40 million pages from books published between 1700 and 1870, from the French Revolution to the end of slavery, and will include material in several major European languages. The effort will focus on books that aren't yet freely available online.
Once digitised, they'll be available for full text search, download and reading through Google Books or the library’s website.
Details in the press release.
Treasures of the British Library at Amazon.com