What is it?

The Mechanical Curator Collection is the first release of illustrations from the British Library onto Flickr Commons.

From "A million first steps":

"These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of."

Searching on just the British Library content: