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Syracuse University Libraries

English & Literature Resources: Historical Books, Periodicals, & Emphemera

A subject guide to assist your research of topics in English and Literature assembled and maintained by the English subject specialist librarian.

Digitized Collections of Historical Books, Periodicals, and Ephemera


  • EEBO: Early English Books Online
    Contains scanned images from the pages of "virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700". Also check out the The EEBO Introductions Series which features commentary on "the less frequently discussed texts" in the database.
    A marked-up, full-text subset of texts from Early English Books Online, created by a consortium of academic libraries. While the full text is eventually added to the main Proquest EEBO database, at any given time this database is likely to contain slightly more of that material. As of Jan. 12, 2006 contains about 11,000 texts, with an ultimate target of size of 25,000.
    This collection of more than 230 digitized manuscripts has been produced in association with the Perdita Project, based at the Universities of Warwick and Nottingham Trent. The Latin word perdita means “lost woman,” and the Perdita Project’s mission has been to discover the manuscript writings of “lost” early modern women authors. These manuscripts contain a wide variety of writings, including poetry, religious writing, autobiographical material, cookery and medical recipes, and accounts.
  • Eighteenth Century Periodicals: Portal to newspapers and periodicals c1685-1815
    offers integrated access to the Hope Collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Eighteenth Century Journals I), the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center University of Texas (Eighteenth Century Journals II) and the British Newspaper Library at Colindale, London and the Cambridge University Library (Eighteenth Century Journals III). It brings together rare journals printed between c1685 and 1815, illuminating all aspects of eighteenth-century social, political and literary life.
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online
    A comprehensive digital edition of The Eighteenth Century microfilm set, which has aimed to include every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom, along with thousands of important works from the Americas, between 1701 and 1800. Consists of books, pamphlets, broadsides, ephemera. Subject categories include history and geography; fine arts and social sciences; medicine, science, and technology; literature and language; religion and philosophy; law; general reference. 

  • Nineteenth Century Collections Online
  • Nineteenth Century Collections Online is a multi-year global digitization and publishing program focusing on primary source collections of the long nineteenth century. Designed specifically with the researcher in mind, Nineteenth Century Collections Online is being built on a groundbreaking research platform that offers the robust search functionality and annotation and tagging tools necessary for scholarly work. The program includes a variety of content types--monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, statistics, and more--and unites them in one central, cross-searchable location.
    Popular entertainment primary source material from archival British and American collections. Includes visual sources and rare printed material from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe from 1779 to 1930. Topics covered: Spiritualism, Sensation & Magic; Circuses, Sideshows & Freaks; Music Hall, Theatre & Popular Entertainment; Moving Pictures, Optical Entertainments and the Advent of Cinema.
  • Early American Imprints I - Evans: 1639-1800
  • Provides full-text and full-page-image access to books, pamphlets and broadsides printed in America from 1639-1800. Based on the renowned American Bibliography by Charles Evans (14 vols., 1903-34, 1955-59); and subsequent bibliographic works by Roger Bristol, James Mooney and Clifford Shipton. This database includes more than 1,000 works located, cataloged and digitized since the completion of the earlier microfilmed set, Early American Imprints, 1639-1800, which was also based on Charles Evans' American Bibliography.

  • Early American Imprints II - Shaw-Shoemaker: 1801-1819
    Provides full-text and full-page-image access to books, pamphlets, and broadsides published in America from 1801 through 1819. Contains many state papers and government materials, including published reports; presidential letters and messages; and congressional, state and territorial resolutions. Based on the American Bibliography by Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, which is now supplemented by thousands of new items. Allows browsing by genre, subject, author, printing history, place of publication, and language. Allows searching in citation text, title, subject, genre, author, place of publication, publisher, and document number. Cross-searchable with other Archive of Americana collections.
  • HathiTrust Digital Library is the product of the HathiTrust, a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working together to preserve our cultural record of print materials. As of January 2013, the digital library comprises over 10 million volumes, over 3.2 million of which are public domain, and includes almost half the print holdings at SU Libraries. HathiTrust provides its members with full-text searching across the entire repository, full-text PDF downloads for items in public domain or not otherwise under copyright, and full-text access to brittle out-of-print items in SU Libraries. Log in to enable all features.

    British Periodicals
    Provides access to the searchable full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, comprising millions of high-resolution facsimile page images
  • Periodicals Archive Online
    Archive of hundreds of digitized journals published in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

    American Periodicals Series
    Consists of digitized reproductions of more than 1,100 eighteenth and nineteenth century American newspapers and periodicals. Derived from the acclaimed American periodicals series microform collection I, II, and III.
  • Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842-2003
    The Illustrated London News Historical Archive gives students and researchers unprecedented online access to the entire run of the ILN from its first publication on 14 May 1842 to its last in 2003. Each page has been digitally reproduced in full colour and every article and caption is full-text searchable with hit-term highlighting and links to corresponding illustrations.

    Times Digital Archive, 1785 - 1985
    The Times Digital Archive provides convenient access to an extraordinary library of back issues of this renowned newspaper online. By taking the microfilm collection of The Times (London) and producing a high-resolution digital format with searchable images, The Times Digital Archive represents unprecedented access to one of the most highly regarded resources for the study of 18th century history and onward.
  • TLS: Times Literary Supplement Centenary Archive
    Full text of the Times Literary Supplement with coverage from 1902 to 1990. The Archive includes the names of contributors and a biographical sketch of each reviewer.
  • Women Writers Online
    Brown University Women Writers Project developed and maintains this full-text database of rare writings by women in the Pre-Victorian era (1400-1850).This site also provides links to syllabi and course materials of teachers who use women's writing in their classes.

    Literature Online (LION)
    Full-text of more than 350,000 works of creative writing, literary nonfiction, and literary criticism. Searchable by author, title, genre, movement, school, and period.  Includes original texts, criticism, and multimedia content.