Thousands of historic books and papers from the British Library’s collection will be available online through a new partnership with Google.

A deal announced on Monday stated that about 250,000 copies published between 18th and 19th century will go online. It will let internet users to read, search and copy text for free either from British Library’s website or through Google books.

The deal applies to works in the library's collection that are no longer covered by copyright restrictions, ABC news reported.

The British Library has a collection of 14 million books and almost 1 million periodicals.

Dame Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, announced the deal at a press conference on Monday, in London.

Google Books, a venture by the US search technology giant that started in 2004 has made similar deals with other libraries around the world. It has already scanned more than 15 million copies, but it has been opposed by the publishing industry and is the subject of a legal battle in the United States.

Last year, Google announced its plans to digitize 40 million pages of newspapers around the world.