Google has struck a deal with the British Library to make thousands of historic books available online.

The deal, announced Monday, will let Internet users read, search and copy 250,000 texts published between 1700 and 1870. 

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

Google has similar deals with libraries around the world. Its plan to put millions of copyrighted titles online has been opposed by the publishing industry and is the subject of a legal battle  in the United States.

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

In 2010, it announced plans to digitize up to 40 million pages of newspapers dating back three and a half centuries and, a year earlier, released nearly 24,000 rare audio tracks online.