The images are derived from 65,000 titles held in the library that were published in the 17th – 19th centuries. They include comics, maps, advertisements, poems, and much (much!) more. They have been uploaded through the library’s “Mechanical Curator,” and have been tagged by publication date, book title and author. The British Library writes:
We plan to launch a crowdsourcing application at the beginning of next year, to help describe what the images portray. Our intention is to use this data to train automated classifiers that will run against the whole of the content… We are looking to crowdsource information about what is depicted in the images themselves, as well as using analytical methods to interpret them as a whole.
You can view more of these wonderful images on The British Library’s Flickr website.