The British Library has uploaded to Flickr over one million public domain images from 17th, 18th and 19th century books.
Starting next year, they will enlist the participation of the web in describing enough of the images to give the automated cataloguing systems a start. There is an article about the project here.
The images above were pulled from just the first two pages out of 10,200 pages of the Flickr set.
Most of the scans reflect the yellowing of the old paper, but those handy with image editing software can brighten these up considerably. Many of the images are fairly large.
For those unfamiliar with downloading images from Flickr: click to open the detail image, Control-click (Mac) or right-click (Win) and choose a size; then drag to your desktop. Alternately, click on the three dots at lower right on the detail page and choose “View all sizes”.
If you enjoy line art like I do, I’ll issue a Major Timesink Warning.