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Eighteenth Century Collections Online


    The University of Delaware Library announces the availability of a new electronic resource, Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), which is now listed on the New Databases page as well as the Databases page of the Library web [www.lib.udel.edu].  The acquisition of ECCO was made possible through the support of the Unidel Foundation.

    Eighteenth Century Collections Online is a massive digitization of some 150,000 titles published in Great Britain and the colonies from 1701-1800.  It includes full-text searches of approximately 26 million pages

    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. 

    The Library has acquired all seven subject areas of this collection: History and Geography; Social Science and Fine Arts; Medicine, Science, and Technology; Literature and Language; Philosophy and Religion; Law; and General Reference.  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.  It is published by Thomson Gale.

    ECCO can be searched by keyword, author, title, or word (or phrase) in full text.  As many users have pointed out given the sheer number of pages of data within the vast ECCO collection, the physical condition of the original printed works that were filmed, variant English-language spellings, and the typesetting tools and techniques employed in the eighteenth century, ECCO is a remarkable achievement.

    “The Library is extremely appreciative of the support of the Unidel Foundation which has enabled this phenomenal electronic resource to be available,” stated Susan Brynteson, the May Morris Director of Libraries.  “Students in numerous disciplines will find relevant documents in it.”
    Dr. Matthew Kinservik, Associate Professor of English, stated “ECCO is going to revolutionize 18th-century studies.  I can foresee the day (and not far off) when the quality of scholarship on 18th-century topics—British and American—will be determined by whether a scholar has access to ECCO or not.  The work of those who can use ECCO is going to be better substantiated, more thorough, more impressive than it otherwise could be.  We are extremely fortunate to now have access at the University of Delaware.”

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