William Faithorne: title-page to The Art of Graveing and Etching (London,
                    1662)British Printed Images to 1700 is a digital library of prints and book illustrations from early modern Britain. It also offers various resources aimed at furthering our knowledge and understanding of them. The project began in April 2006, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under their Resource Enhancement Scheme. Led by Professor Michael Hunter from the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London, bpi1700 is a collaboration between Birkbeck and technical staff at the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King’s College, London. The project has also involved the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, and the Department of Word and Image at the Victoria and Albert Museum. (See The corpus.)

The core of the project is the database, a fully searchable library of several thousand printed images. The image records have been organized in such a way that copies and variations of the same print are gathered together within a single record (for further information on the rationale of the database, click here). Prints can be searched for by producer, by name of person depicted, and by subject, and it is possible to combine various search criteria. The subject search is based on a systematically organized thesaurus arranged by topic, based on and largely compatible with ICONCLASS (for further information see The subject index).