At the end of last year the British Library decided to allow photography of copyright-expired material in some specialised reading rooms. This has just been extended to the one I usually use for fiction etc., so I've spent the morning taking photos of the covers of some of George Griffith's books, and the first chapter of The Great Weather Syndicate. When I get home I'll try OCR on the images. It's a bit trickier than scanning, and I obviously want to avoid anything that might damage the book; so far it's also a bit tiring since I have to hold the book at arms length to take the pictures with my iPad, and it's a 300+ page book. But if the OCR works well I'll try a wide angle converter lens, see if that helps, and possibly my Fuji bridge camera rather than the iPad.
More later, I hope.
later - really not good enough to be practical, unless I spend a lot of time tweaking every page before OCR. It would probably be easier to type the text manually, and I really don't feel inclined to do 300-page books that way. However, while I was doing this I stumbled across someone selling a relatively affordable copy of The Great Pirate Syndicate, so I've bought that and will scan it normally as time permits. I also found The Lord of Labour on line here: