The Bodleian's treasures, available to all

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 10:44 AM

In 2004, Google began a partnership with Oxford University Library to scan mostly 19th century public domain books from its Bodleian library. Five years on, we're delighted to announce the end of this phase of our scanning with Oxford, our first European partner. Together, we have digitized and made available on Google Book Search many hundreds of thousands of public domain books from the Bodleian and other Oxford libraries, representing the bulk of their available public domain content.

From English to German, to Spanish and French, most of the digitized works date from the 19th century and range from classic literature to more scientific volumes in fields including Geography, Philosophy or Anthropology. Among some of the works now available through Book Search, you can find the first English translation of Newton's Mathematical principles of natural philosophy from 1729, the first edition of Jane Austen's Emma, and John Cassell's Illustrated History of England. You can search and read the full text of these works on Google Book Search, and download and print a pdf if you wish to.

So, does this mean we are done?

Far from it! With most of Oxford's 19th century public domain works now digitized and available to users online, we look forward to continuing our partnership with Oxford to digitize more content as it becomes available and work together to bring more books to more people in more languages around the world.

"Library users have always loved browsing books for the serendipitous discoveries they provide. Digital books offer a similar thrill, but on multiple levels-- deep entry into the texts or the ability to browse the virtual shelf of books assembled from the world's great libraries," says Sarah E. Thomas, Bodley's Librarian and Director of Oxford University Library Services.

For more information on Book Search, visit


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