This was announced back in June but the collection has grown significantly since that date. It now includes 45K titles, up from 19K. Here is more from the press release:

BiblioLabs, LLC and the British Library have launched their British Library 19th Century Historical Collection App for iPad – now available on the App Store. The App was announced in June with an initial offering of a thousand 19th century books – it now makes some 45,000 titles available to subscribers, expanding to over 60,000 titles by the end of the year.

For just £1.99 a month in the UK [$2.99 a month, US and rest of the world] users will be able to explore historical and antiquarian books that range from classic novels to original accounts by Victorian travellers, and from science and exploration to poetry, memoir and military history.

The app makes use of the intimate and tactile interface of the iPad to recreate the experience of flipping through volumes taken from the shelves of one of the world’s great libraries. The collection can be navigated by theme and keyword search and the high resolution digital images render in colour the look and feel of the original pages, their bindings, and any plates, engravings or other illustrations.

Remarkable hidden gems include a contemporary account of the exhumation of Napoleon’s body, the memoir of a battlefield nurse during the American Civil War and an ethnographic study from 1884 of the gypsies of the Scottish Borders.

“This app makes 45,000 books from the Library’s unrivalled collections available to users around the world, at a price that over 12 months is equivalent to just one hardback book,” said Mitchell Davis, a founder of BiblioLabs. “Those who prefer to dip in can do so for a month and have at their disposal, for barely the price of a magazine, a bibliophile’s dream.”

“The online appetite for original historical content is huge and the Library is delighted to be working with BiblioLabs to transform the accessibility and visibility of this remarkable collection of 19th century books,” said Caroline Brazier, the British Library’s Director of Scholarship and Collections. “Our vision is to make more of our vast collections available to all, and the iPad App is a spectacular example of how this can work.”

Along with the many titles in English, the App also features classics in Spanish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese and Dutch. One featured collection is the range of some 425 Italian imprints, which reflects a broad spectrum of 19th century Italian interests including emigration to the Americas, the colonial experience in Eritrea and Somalia, and in-depth studies of the history and customs of the different peoples that finally came together to form a single nation at the time of Italian Unification in 1861.

As the subscription collection grows from 45,000 to 60,000 by the end of this year, more curated subject areas will be developed, giving users a variety of different routes into this huge and endlessly diverse collection. Other notable features include options to create lists of favourite titles, download books for offline reading and share interesting books with friends via email at no cost to either user.

Via No Shelf Required


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