From the latest happenings in things historical. This January 1, 2015 a partnership of the world’s universities opened up their rare manuscript collections to the general public via the internet. Before January 1, these manuscripts had only been available to scholars with an associated university pass. This event opens up primary source material research in this area to the general public.
This is being done in phases. The initial phase releases manuscripts from the early modern era. The service is free.
Google Books may have some of these titles but for now probably they don’t.
The books are available to the public in text files. PDF files are still only available to University subscribers.
My thanks to Professor John R. Yamamoto-Wilson of Sophia University in Tokyo for bringing this news to everyone’s attention (via LinkedIn).
The University Free Partnership
Professor John’s blog post last year.
The discussion in LinkedIn. (Basic membership in LinkedIn is free.)