Put the British Library 19th Century Collection on your iPad for free

“The British Library has released 1000 books from its 19th Century collection into a free iPad app that includes novels, historical works, poetry, philosophy and scientific books,” Mel Martin reports for TUAW.

“The books have been scanned in high resolution and color so you can see the engraved illustrations, the beauty of the embossed covers, along with maps and even the texture of the paper the books were printed on,” Martin reports. “You can search the collection, browse titles by subject, and even read commentary on some of the titles.”

Martin reports, “The books can be downloaded for reading offline.”

Read more in the full article here.

More info and download link via Apple’s App Store: British Library 19th Century Collection
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[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]

25 Comments

    1. oh i don’t know… I just pulled up Robinson Crusoe…
      Scanned in, NOT a reprint in text…

      Complete with British Museum Stamp, and numbering…
      and you can on some pages SEE the ink that bled through to the next page.

      I am not a person that sits down to read a book (tech manuals aside..) but this is cool.

    2. You stick to reading the back of cereal packets, which is the upper limit of your level of intellect.
      To the great unwashed this probably sounds dull. Did mummy buy you an iPhone, when you really wanted a Droid?

      1. It’s great to see that pompous asses like yourself are still around..oh sorry used a big word for you here’s the meaning
        pompous

        Pronunciation

        pαˈmpəˈs

        Adjective

        1. grandiloquent, overblown, pontifical, portentous — puffed up with vanity; “a grandiloquent and boastful manner”; “overblown oratory”; “a pompous speech”; “pseudo-scientific gobbledygook and pontifical hooey”-

    1. just searched his name. 2 of his books there.
      both travel related.
      “the art of travel” 1856
      “narrative of an explorer in tropical south africa” 1853

      they say they will release a paid app with 60,000 titles later. Curious how much it will cost.

  1. I am disappointed to see that at least some of the books were scanned improperly. The text ink from the back of the pages is visible, obscuring the quality of the front of the page. IOW there are ‘see through’ artifacts. This is entirely preventable if a black sheet of paper is placed behind each page before scanning.

    Oddly, this see through artifact is exactly the problem with the old book scans performed by Microsoft some years back, rendering the resulting page quality to be dreadful. 🙁

  2. And guess what – the app’s not available in the UK iTunes Store – only available in the US store! Nice to see our tax £ being used to support our American Cousins. Enjoy 😉

  3. @Derek, it’s quite likely the ‘bleed-through’ you’re talking about is actually set-off; wet ink transferring from one sheet onto the sheet that falls on top of it in the print run. In litho print, a fine starch powder used to be sprayed onto the wet sheet to avoid this problem happening. I’ve not seen this app, and I have an iPhone, so it may not be available, but I’ve worked in print for many years, as an artist, Mac operator and scanner operator and retoucher, so I’m familiar with this issue in letterpress print. I used to but a sheet of exposed black film behind a page to avoid bleed-through when scanning.

    1. they should have spent many hours retouching each and every page scan to remove the bleed-through (not sure if I am serious or not about this) or they could have used some custom software filters the way Hollywood filters film frames to remove issues and “ICE” removes dust from negatives

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