I've been unpacking my books and sorting them this evening, and I noticed a 1967 reprint of the second edition of Cyril Bailey's Latin text of On the Nature of Things, published under the Oxford Classical Texts series. I thumbed to the copyright page and discovered that both the first and second (final) editions of this text were published before 1923, and are therefore Public Domain. I will be spending some time in the next few weeks attempting to digitize this volume; hopefully soon we can host the Latin text of Lucretius here on Epicureanfriends.com.
Cyril Bailey's Latin Text of De Rerum Natura
There's also the Perseus Digital Library:
Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, Liber Primus, line 1
which has the address benefit of hyperlinking to the Latin dictionary.
But don't let these others stop you from digitizing this is you can! It would be great to have one that we know is reviewed by Bailey, possibly with his comments as to issues in the text and selecting from various versions.
Check through Internet Archive's Bailey Lucretiuses before you go to the trouble of scanning your copy. That said, I'm not sure if your exact edition is there, but no need to reinvent the wheel of it is.
Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free & Borrowable Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine
But if you're going to take the time to OCR it, and that gives us a fully digital version without formatting issues, then that too would be worthwhile. For lots of reasons reduction to basic text and/or markdown format is very desirable for use in many ways
Just as an aside, in flipping over to the Latin Library, I see that google is now more ready than in the past to translate to Latin.
But it's really NOT ready - here's the google translate of the section on Epicurus at the start of Book 1:
Human eyes were filthy with life 62
In countries under severe religion ,
the head of the air, countries showed
dreadful upon the appearance of mortals , 65
Gray was the first person to take the mortal
The eyes dared to oppose ;
the fame of the gods, neither the thunderbolts, nor threatening them with whom they have neither
murmurs sky, but the more severe
provokes the power to break tight 70
nature of the first gates barriers desire.
Therefore, the force of the lively and out
Then there came out the walls of the world by far the flame-like
and every soul of the mind and soul ,
What matters to us is the winner can rise , 75
what can not be, the power of the finite, in short, to each one
for it is the reason and the high-term clinging to the.
Why is religion in the feet, subject to the other hand
it is necessary that we match the victory of the sky.
My main reasons for wanting to do this are to have a good text, certain to be in the public domain, and free even of Creative Commons licensing. I think Creative Commons is a great project, and I've used those in the past (including my recent video) but nothing anywhere beats public domain.
The great thing about this particular text is that it was last revised in 1922, the year before the ironclad copyright cut-off. From 1923 on is where everything gets complicated.
On most sites that have the text I can't even find where they got it or what it's based on.
January 1, 2023 is Public Domain Day: Works from 1927 are open to all!
I am now looking for a Public Domain Latin/English Dictionary.
I have Cassell's Latin Dictionary, originally published 1854, but revised in 1977 and reprinted far more recently.
It appears that Perry T. Jennings has gone to considerable trouble in manually correcting an OCR digitization of the 1924 edition, which can be found here.
A comment describing his process and progress can be found under "Reviews" here.