A sixteenth century edition of predictions by Nostradamus has become the first book from France's vast archive of literature to be digitally preserved by Google.

The collection of prophecies is from a vault containing 500,000 classic French books stored at the Municipal Library of Lyon.

Nostradamus is best known for The Prophecies, the first edition of which appeared in 1555 and has rarely been out of print since his death.

A new digital books deal between the Lyon library and US internet giant Google could signal the start of seeing the fiercely protective nation's works become fully accessible to the international public.

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