Thanks to major funding from Microsoft, the British Library‘s eBook Publishing Project is to make over 65,000 works of fiction dating from the 19th century freely available to owners of the Amazon Kindle.
Out-of-copyright works by the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy are already available as free eBooks through services such as Google Books, reports The Times. However, when they are accessed via the British Library’s service, readers will be able to view pages from the original editions stored within the library’s collection.
The British Library must, by law, be sent a copy of every book published in the UK. A programme to scan and digitise the Library’s contents has been under way for over three years, funded in part by significant donations from Microsoft.
As for Amazon, not only will they enable users of their Kindle eReader to access historically accurate digital representations of thousands of famous books, but Amazon customers will also be able to order printed copies for between £15 and £20 including original typefaces and illustrations.
The service is set to go live this spring.