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Early English Books Online (EEBO): About

What is Early English Books Online (EEBO)?

EEBO - Early English Books online - logo
Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains over 22 million digital page images of virtually every work printed in the English language as well as works printed in Great Britain and its dependencies from 1473-1700 in any language. The collection draws from the following bibliographic records:

  • The Short-Title Catalogue I (Pollard & Redgrave, 1475–1640), a collection that comprehensively documents the English Renaissance -- an era that witnessed the rebirth of classical humanism, the broadening of the known world, and the rapid spread of printing and education.

  • The Short-Title Catalogue II (Wing, 1641–1700), spanning the tumultuous years of the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration.

  • The Thomason Tracts, a compendium of broadsides on the English Civil War (1640-1661).

  • The Early English Books Tract Supplements, which provides an exceptional perspective on many aspects of 16th- and 17th-century British life. Over the course of many years, small items such as broadsides and pamphlets were often collected into "scrapbooks," or tract volumes, classified by various criteria such as dates or topics. These tract volumes, primarily from the British Library, allow readers to see the material in the same order as they would when leafing through the original volume.

EEBO enables research in many subject areas, including English literature, history, Classical reception, philosophy, linguistics, religion, music, fine arts, gender studies, education, mathematics, and science.

  • EEBO consists of facsimile images  together with rich descriptive bibliographic metadata containing Library of Congress Subject Headings and copious bibliographic references.

  • The collection Includes works by major authors such as Shakespeare, Malory, Spenser, Bacon, More, Erasmus, Boyle, Newton and Galileo together with a host of less frequently studied writers.

  • The collection includes a wide array of different kinds of historical documents, from Bibles, prayer books, royal statutes, proclamations, and military, religious and other public documents, through to almanacs, musical exercises, calendars, broadsides, periodicals and newsbooks, pamphlets and proclamations.

  • The EEBO Introductions Series provides concise and informative commentaries on some of the less well known texts in EEBO. Each contribution to the series has been prepared by a specialist in the field of early modern studies and offers insights into a range of contextual, bibliographical, and reception-based issues associated with a given EEBO text.


For an overview of EEBO, take this quick online tour!

Central EEBO graphic

Need help?

If you have questions about accessing and using EEBO, please contact Peggy Burge, Humanities Librarian, or one of the other liaison librarians.