Once completed, the Connected History Project search engine will index digitized books, newspapers, manuscripts, genealogical records, maps and images that date from 1500 to 1900. It will give academics or members of the public a single site that lets them search all the collections.
"There are a number of electronic resources that have been created by universities and by commercial providers," said Professor Robert Shoemaker from the University of Sheffield which is heading the project. "They are all available, and all separate and some require subscriptions."
Twelve institutions have signed up to contribute their collections but more are expected to join in the future. The initial partners include the University of Sheffield, the Institute of Historical Research, the University of Hertfordshire and King's College, London. The first phase of the Connected History project should be completed by March 2011.
You can read more in an article by Mark Ward in the BBC News site at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8577164.stm. The article is a bit short on details, however. Will it include Wales? Scotland? Northern Ireland? or perhaps even Ireland?
My thanks to Doris Wheeler for telling me about the article.