Thursday, 25 February 2010

British Library announces 65,000 free texts for the Kindle

Got room for 65,000 19th century classics?
The British Library has taken the welcome step of making their archive of  65,000 19th century classics available as free downloads on the Amazon  Kindle.

Originally digitised in partnership with Microsoft Livesearch, the British Library’s new deal with Amazon will unlock 65,000 editions of 19th century philosophy, history, poetry and literature – over 25 million pages of content. The arrangement covers Amazon's sites in US, the UK, France and Germany.

The BL says of the initiative, "covering the likes of Dickens, Austen, and Conan Doyle, the 65,000 titles also include a range of lesser know Victorian classics such as, A Strange Story by Edward Lytton, one of the period's most popular novelists - now largely neglected, and The Story of a Modern Woman by Ella Hepworth Dixon, described as 'the greatest unread novel of female struggle'. "

More on this, here

Kindle in New Zealand
This of course will only be of marginal interest to people in New Zealand - because, unlike the likes of their tiny neighbours in the Pacific, Kiribati, Fiji,  New Caledonia, Tuvalu, and even the Cook Islands, the Kindle is not available here. And, there doesn't seem to be any plans to change that?

Kindle for Blackberry - buffering
As I tap, I am also a  confused owner of the Kindle for Blackberry. I downloaded it okay, here - despite being told it was only available for US customers.   It seem to install just fine - but watch this space for news as to whether I actually manage to download and install any texts. Right now - it is buffering - buffering buffering

I would especailly like to understand how mere mortals in the colonies can get a hold of the BL ones mentioned above? And  yes, advice, help, gratefully received.


paul said...

Actually this sucks.

Why just Amazon - why not make them available for all platforms - that support an open standard - ePub - or Adobe Acrobat (or both) - and should be available via an open place.

Like the Open Library nda the HathiTrust.

Imagine if the British Library put 65,000 largely out-of-print 19th Century titles into the open library and worked with someone like OCLC to make them available through WorldCat and to trickle that down to every library in the world.

This is like the British Library saying our partnership with Microsoft failed because they gave up, and got bored - so let's try someone else like Amazon!

Instead of the single way they should be saying here is a print on demand partner and these are available for may platforms including the Kindle, beut we also want to make these availble through every library catalogue in the UK and the world.

And work out the vectors from the British National Bibliography and to World Cat and other places.

Paul Reynolds said...

Very strong argument - can only agree

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