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Research Guides

Finding Primary Sources

When studying literature, a "primary source" can be the text itself, or relevant documents (letters from the author, historical documents from the time period, etc.) that help interpret meaning. Search the following databases to locate primary materials from 18th Century England:

  • Burney Collection of 17th & 18th Century British Newspapers - [UW restricted]
    Full-text access to the British Library's collection of the newspapers, pamphlets, and books gathered by Reverend Charles Burney (1757-1817)--the largest and most comprehensive collection of early English news media. More than twelve hundred titles and almost one million pages are included.
  • ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online) - [UW restricted]
    ECCO includes 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. Subject categories include history and geography; fine arts; social sciences; medicine, science, and technology; literature and language; religion and philosophy; law; general reference.
  • Electronic Enlightenment - [UW restricted]
    Access to correspondence between the greatest thinkers and writers of the 18th century and their families and friends, bankers and booksellers, patrons and publishers.
  • Internet Library of Early Journals: 18th and 19th Century
    A joint project by the Universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford, which "aims to digitise substantial runs of 18th and 19th century journals, and make these images available on the Internet, together with their associated bibliographic data."
  • Times (of London) - [UW restricted]
    Full-text access to the London Times from 1785-1985. Does not include text of Times Literary Supplement.
  • Empire Online - [UW restricted]
    Approximately 60,000 images of original documents linked to essays by leading scholars in the field of Empire Studies. The sections cover Cultural Contacts, 1492-1969 (2003); Empire Writing and the Literature of Empire (2003/4); The Visible Empire (2004/5); Religion and Empire (2005/6); and Race, Class and Colonialism, c1783-1969.
  • 18thConnect
    An online finding aid and scholarly community in the field of eighteenth-century literary and historical studies. Peer-reviews digital resources and catalogs them in ways that make them interoperable with all peer-reviewed scholarly materials that have been digitized within our field, offering a kind of table of contents to the best Internet resources in eighteenth-century studies.