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Libraries expand access to American and British publications, 1475 - present

Image from the Early English Books Online database.

Rutgers community members studying early English-language works may be quite heartened by the Libraries' growing access to the printed output of the English-speaking world, from 1475 to the present.

For the period 1475 through 1700, the Libraries offer Early English Books Online (EEBO) which provides the images of more than 100,000 works printed in Britain and its territories (including non- English language items printed in Great Britain). This constitutes the great majority of books published from the advent of printing in England to the end of the 17th Century. EEBO is supplemented by EEBO TCP (the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership). Since EEBO itself gives images of pages, EEBO TCP enhances access by creating fully searchable texts for 25,000 of the books included in EEBO. This allows researchers to look for words or phrases appearing in the text of any of those 25,000 titles

The Libraries' ECCO database (Eighteenth Century Collections Online), and the newer ECCO II database, a supplement that adds about 45,000 titles, extend this coverage from 1700 through 1799, providing the searchable full-text of more than 180,000 books (32,000,000 pages)--virtually every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in Great Britain during the 18th Century, plus thousands of important titles from the Americas. Coverage of books printed in the American colonies and the early Republic is completed by Early American Imprints I, with more than 36,000 full-text titles printed in America between 1639 and 1800. Thus the Libraries have quite comprehensive coverage of books published in English between 1475 and 1799.

While coverage from 1800 to the present is as yet less complete, the Libraries have a number of important resources. The newly acquired C19: The Nineteenth Century Index provides bibliographic access (not full-text) to more than 1.5 million books and official publications (of the US and UK), and nearly 19 million articles from 2500 magazines, journals, and newspapers that were printed between 1800 and 1900. It also offers bibliographic access to 71,000 archival collections dealing with the 19th Century. In addition, several other Libraries' databases offer full-text coverage of 19th Century (and 20th) Century periodicals--American Periodical Series, 1741-1900, a collection of more than one thousand American magazines from the period; African American Newspapers, a number of key papers from the early to mid Nineteenth Century; Nineteenth Century United States Newspapers, five hundred papers from all regions of the country; the complete image and text of the New York Times (1851 through 2006); and now the complete image and text of the Washington Post (1877-1993).

For more information on the databases and indexes mentioned in this story, and for assistance in conducting research using these resources, please contact Humanities Librarian Kevin Mulcahy at mulcahy@rci.rutgers.edu or by phone at 732/932-7129, ext. 129.

Posted September 22, 2009