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Consisting of every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom during the 18th century, along with thousands of important works from the Americas, Eighteenth Century Collections Online was the most ambitious single scholarly digitization project ever undertaken. Bearing witness to what many scholars consider the three most significant events in world history — The American Revolution, The French Revolution and The Industrial Revolution — this two-part resource features:

  • Full-text search capabilities
  • Canonical titles of the period as well as contemporary works that analyze and debate those titles
  • Works by both well-known and lesser-known authors

From books and directories, bibles and sheet music, to sermons and pamphlets, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Part I features a variety of materials to provide a critical tool for both faculty research and classroom use. This collection has been sourced largely from the British Library as well as other leading institutions including Oxford, Harvard, Huntington, Cambridge and others. The books have been filmed over the past few decades and those film collections have now been digitized.

Detailed Overview

ECCO contains thousands of titles, each of which falls into one of seven subject areas.

• History and Geography — Explore ancient and contemporary times, voyages and discoveries, biographies and memoirs, genealogical collections, gazetteers, church antiquities and tourist guides of Britain. Topics include chronologies, recreation, military, travel diaries and topography. This collection presents a comprehensive picture of the American Revolution from the British perspective
• Social Science and Fine Arts — Social Science looks at manufacturers and merchants, artisans and skilled workers, international business, banking, taxation and lotteries. Topics include current events, social reform, business/economics/finance and political science. Fine Arts reviews music, painting, theater and architecture, building and carpentry, vocal and instrumental music, paintings, prints drawings, coins and metals, collectibles and private art collections
• Medicine, Science and Technology — Science, applied science and technology, treatment of diseases and conditions are covered. Topics include agriculture, cookbooks, military technology, natural philosophy, scientific education and more
• Literature and Language — Find celebrated eighteenth-century essayists, novelists, poets and playwrights — including hundreds of works by the best known authors as well as many by lesser-known authors. Topics include drama, poetry, ballads, religion, grammar, dictionaries, songs from plays, satire, book catalogues and more
Religion and Philosophy — Resources include sermons, bibles and prayer books to moral and ethical debates and prescriptions for proper conduct
• Law — Follow the development of law in the British Empire. Topics include acts, criminal and international law, appellants' cases and more
• Reference — View ephemeral material on the whole of life during the century

More Information: Brochure (PDF, 1 MB)

Title List

Download the complete Title List, available in the following formats


Curriculum Alignment

Only Gale Digital Collections offers the depth and breadth of historic content that scholarly researchers demand. Spanning continents and centuries, GDC delivers thousands of rare primary sources, archival newspapers and periodicals, commentaries, images, manuscripts and much more.

Reviews & Testimonials

"Fans of Gale's Eighteenth Century Collections Online will be happy to learn that the new Part II: New Editions release offers users a fresh new interface with advanced search and display tools and expands ECCO's content by almost 50,000 titles - i.e. almost seven million pages of new content. Yeah, I told you it was hot in here." --Library Journal, April 1, 2009

— Library Journal

"This database will be extremely useful in college and university libraries. Many of these writing are not made available to the public due to their scarcity and their delicate conditions. This database makes the literature of the eighteenth century available to students and scholars alike."--ARBA (2004)


"First introduced in 2005, Eighteenth Century collections Online has expanded from 1500,000 to over 180,000 titles (200,00 volumes), primarily in English, issued 1701-1800. The improvements in this new version enhance the experience of using this important resource. Recommended. Research libraries supporting upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers.."--Choice, April 2010

— L. J. Sherlock

"Another of the latest 'hot' products to wow scholars, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, a comprehensive digital edition of The Eighteenth Century microfilm resource, includes nearly every significant English-language title and edition published between 1701 and 1800 in the UK, along with thousands of important works from the Americas - amounting to full-text searching of some 33 million pages of material. A wonderful addition of primary source material to have readily accessible." --Library Journal, November 15, 2008

— Library Journal

"The ECCO interface is certainly not an 18th Century Artifact. Thomson Gale has used clean simple design that ensures that the scanned image a user is researching is placed at the center of the screen. The top of the screen features the essential data of author, title name, publisher, year of publication, the scan's page number and which index the page is from. If your user base needs regular access to original 18th Century works this is the most comprehensive database available. With Athens authentication, this vast 18th Century library is sure to become a more embedded component of 21st Century research." --Information World Review, February 2005

— Information World Review

"...ECCO's most salient feature is that it is fully searchable, and that it offers various means of broadening or narrowing searches, of which level-of-fuzziness is most notable...as I have come to realize, that many LiOn searches fail to turn up words that are in fact present in texts that are in its database. Because ECCO uses microfilms rather than transcriptions, it has largely overcome this very serious problem...More scholars, it seems to me, will be seeking to investigate a topic in depth, within a period rather than across periods, and for this ECCO is invaluable...ECCO appears to be greatly superior to any searchable, electronic rival known to me...But I am confident that for more advanced research of various kinds, ECCO will be welcomed at once, widely and warmly, and that as its database expands and more and more scholars become aware of what can be done with it, it will establish itself as an indispensable tool...My best wishes to you--and for the success of this admirable project."--Professor George Starr (UCSB) (April 2004)

— other than publication

"...breadth of coverage and great utility for specialized research on many subjects. Recommended." --Choice, April 2005

— Choice

"ECCO provides excellent access to a broad range of materials in a wide array of disciplines, covering an important era in world history" --Reference Reviews, August 2004

— Reference Reviews

"Eighteenth Century Collections Online is a comprehensive digital edition. As the promotional material claims, 'The Eighteenth Century Collection Online is the most ambitious single digitization project ever undertaken. It delivers every significant English-language title printed in Great Britain during the 18th century, along with thousands of important works from the Americas.' With an assertion like that, it's no wonder the resource's popularity has taken hold on campuses worldwide." --NetConnect, Spring 2008

— NetConnect

"This system performs well; you can literally browse by alphabet or type in the beginning of a name or title to pull up a suggested list. The online Search Tips section is nothing short of superb. Best of all, it is constantly available at the top of every screen. THE BOTTOM LINE: The content, scope, accessibility of Eighteenth Century Collections Online are astonishing. Enthusiastically recommended for all academic, public, a research libraries serving serious literary scholarship." Database and Disc Reviews, May 2004

— Voice of Youth Advocates

"ECCO provides excellent access to a broad range of materials in a wide array of disciplines, covering an important era of world history."--Reference Review (August 2004)

— Reference Reviews

“Today eighteenth century scholars have many print and electronic archives at their disposal, but ECCO is unquestionably the best. Compiled by the best research universities in North America and Britain, ECCO offers the largest archive of its kind, boasting more than a hundred thousand fully text searchable texts. In this vast collection, scholars can research both ideas and images, getting an intimate look at eighteenth century Britain and the Americas. For instance, in an undergraduate or graduate class, students could examine Samuel Johnson's renowned pamphlet, The False Alarm, that attempted to defuse the volatile Wilkite crisis of the late 1760s and early 1770s, brought about by the expulsion of John Wilkes from parliament. Then the class could examine numerous illustrations of Wilkes, such as famous images of him entitled "Wilkes and liberty." Whatever interests scholars and students bring to ECCO, they will find this huge electronic archive, with its sophisticated search engines, motivates new knowledge. Researchers following up footnotes to contemporary scholarship in print will find that new worlds of teaching and scholarship are opened up. Anthologized texts taught in the classroom, accompanied by ECCO, take on a hypertext quality, nearly impossible to find in ordinary anthologies sold by publishers. In short, with ECCO, the print world and the electronic world find a symbiotic relationship, yielding endless possibilities for teaching and scholarship." --Dr. Mark A. Pedreira, University of Puerto Rico, March 2006

— University of Puerto Rico

"ECCO has been invaluable to my research on eighteenth-century literature and culture. Having a full-text, searchable database on my screen allowed me access to even the most obscure primary materials at my convenience, saving me airfare to a major collection. Completing my recent publications would have been much more difficult without ECCO."

— Dr. Elizabeth Bohls


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