Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

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Digital images of every page of more than 180,000 books published during the 18th century. With full-text searching of approximately 32 million pages, Eighteenth Century Collections Online allows researchers new methods of access to critical information in the fields of history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, science, and more.

ECCO includes a variety of materials—from books and directories, Bibles, sheet music and sermons to advertisements—and works by many well-known and lesser-known authors, all providing a diverse collection of material for the researcher of the eighteenth century. ECCO Part II covers the same subjects areas as the original collection, with an emphaisis on literature, social science and religion titles. This second edition includes from the library holdings of the British Library, Bodleian, Cambridge, National Library of Scotland and the Ransom Center at the University of Texas.

The collection is divided into seven subject areas:

  • History and Geography
    Ancient and contemporary history, accounts of voyages and discoveries, historical biographies and memoirs, genealogical collections, gazetteers, works on church antiquities and tourist guides of Britain. Topics include chronologies, recreation (travel, sports, parlor games), military history, maps, local history, and topography. It should also be noted that this collection presents a comprehensive picture of the American Revolution from the British perspective.
  • Social Science and Fine Arts
    Social Science: Materials on manufacturers and merchants, artisans and skilled workers, and international business, banking, taxation, and lotteries. Topics include current events, social reform, business/economics/finance (general advertising, lotteries, trade bills, and more), political science (parliamentary papers, political satire, political essays, speech/addresses, handbills, parish registers, poll books, and more).
    Fine Arts, Music, Art, and Architecture: Treatises on music, painting, theater, and architecture as well as books on building and carpentry, catalogs pertaining to vocal and instrumental music, paintings, prints, drawings, coins and metals and other collectibles, and material about private art collections.
  • Medicine, Science and Technology
    Many branches of science, works on applied science and technology, and works and treatises on the treatment of diseases and conditions. Topics include agriculture, cookbooks, military technology, natural philosophy, scientific education, and more.
  • Literature and Language
    Celebrated eighteenth-century essayists, novelists, poets, and playwrights, as well as Shakespeare’s plays, poems, and collected works. Topics include drama, poetry, ballads, religious poems, grammar, dictionaries, songs from plays, satire, book catalogues, and more.
  • Philosophy and Religion
    From sermons, Bibles, and prayer books to moral and ethical debates and prescriptions for proper conduct.
  • Law
    Development of law in the British Empire between 1701 and 1800. Topics include acts, criminal and international law, appellants’ cases, and more.
  • General Reference
    Ephemeral material on the whole of life in the eighteenth century. Topics include almanacs, catalogues, and more.

The collection is an ongoing project based on The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC), a machine-readable union list of the holdings of the British Library, as well as those from more than 1,500 university, private, and public libraries worldwide.

Coverage: 1701-1800

The acquisition of this database was made possible through the support of the Unidel Foundation.

Related Research Guides:

English and American Literature

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