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Eighteenth-Century Studies: Online Resources: Gateway/Portal Websites

This is a guide to both free web sites and electronic primary resources we have purchased or subscribe to on/about the long 18th century. Last updated 06-05-2023

Gateway/Portal Websites


American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library

"American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections."  Left lower side of entry screen offers "more browse options". Click there.  On the next screen near top right, click on browse by time period, 1700-1799, etc.

American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

offers links to other societies interested in the 18th century.

Archives Hub

Based at University of Manchester, provides 23,000-plus descriptions of archives in 189 UK repositories.  Search for material in particular repositories or across repositories.  Browse names of places, persons, events, organizations.  Search by keyword or phrase. 

Archives Portal Europe

One of the largest portals for entry to archival collections in Europe.  Search by topic across institutions or by country. 

British Library

Offers some material free online.  Click on "Search tips and advanced searching" and then choose online gallery or catalogues. Try entering "eighteenth century" as the topic in the online gallery, for example.

British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

BSECS promotes the study of all aspects of the global 'long' eighteenth century. Website offers links to general websites, those of academic institutions, societies, and specialists. One of the largest portals for entry to archival collections in Europe.  Search by topic across institutions or by country. 

C18th Connect: Eighteenth-Century Scholarship Online

18thConnect gathers together a community of scholars that shapes the world of digital resources. Its main concerns are:
Access via plain-text searching for all scholars to open access and proprietary and digital archives including EEBO and ECCO, even if their institutions are unable to afford those resources; Peer-review of the growing number of digital resources and archives for which 18thConnect offers an online finding aid; Reflection on Best Practices with scholars who are negotiating new modes of publication and scholarly production.


A database of 6000 important collections from almost 2000 museums, galleries, archives, and libraries in the United Kingdom, including material held in the U.K. but originating elsewhere in the world.  Developed, managed, and funded by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council.  Search/browse by chronological period, person as subject, topic, or culture.

Digital Bodleian

The single, central portal to the multiple and separate digital collections created by the Bodleian Library at Oxford University over the past two decades. Designed for item-level searching or collection-level browsing; links to each collection unfold as one scrolls down. Collections range from medieval and Oriental manuscripts to late-20th-century political posters, and include maps, ephemera, games, and texts. Only collection-level materials are identified on the home page.

Eighteenth-Century Book Tracker

Ben Pauley's (English dept., Eastern Connecticut State University) finding aid for freely-available online facsimile editions of 18th-century books, no matter where located.  Helps users locate texts found in Good Books, the Internet Archive, etc.   Contains bibliographical records and link to facsimile online.  Currently includes 2,423 links, representing 1,071 texts and 20 periodicals.  Built by the users.

Eighteenth-Century English Phonology Database

This is an online database designed for the study of eighteenth-century English phonology, which will allow users to investigate the social, regional and lexical distribution of phonological variants in eighteenth-century English. Search full texts of eighteenth-century English language dictionaries for various phonological elements.

Eighteenth-Century Resources

These pages cover all the significant and reliable Internet resources the author, Jack Lynch, Rutgers University, has been able to discover that focus on the (very long) eighteenth century. The collection includes information on literature, history, art, music, religion, economics, philosophy, and so on, from around the world, as well as the home pages of societies and people who work on eighteenth-century topics. The site is aimed especially at scholars and students. As a rule, he has excluded commercial sites, breaking that rule only when there seemed to be genuinely useful information on a commercial page. Links are divided into two large groups: pointers to Web sites are on the main pages, but there is also a set of pages devoted to electronic texts of eighteenth-century authors. Everything except the electronic texts now includes a brief annotation. Lynch's own interests and expertise lie in British literature and history.

Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade

Created here at Michigan State University by History Dept. prof. Walter Hawthorne and others working with MSU Matrix.  Has two parts: an open access journal, the Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation and a database of over 5 million entries from primary sources and translated into metadata.  Has a federated search function.  Using keywords scholars can retrieve metadata related to people, places, and events.  Records include links to geographical places, archival documents, and related people.  Information in the database comes from libraries, archives, museums, and other collections.

European History Primary Sources

Provides Links to free scholarly websites of digitized primary documents and online digital archives on European history.  Browse by  country, language, period, subject, or type of source.

EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe

These links connect to Western European (mainly primary) historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated. They shed light on key historical happenings within the respective countries (and within the broadest sense of political, economic, social, and cultural history). Covers medieval and Renaissance, Europe as a supranational region, as well as documents of individual countries. From Brigham Young University.

European Library

The European Library web service is a portal which offers access to the combined resources (books, magazines, journals.... - both digital and non-digital) of the 43 national libraries of Europe. It offers free searching and delivers digital objects - some free, some priced.


In development.  Access books online, maps, recordings, photographs, archive documents, paintings, films from EU member states' cultural institutions. 

Free Online Palaeography Resources

Palaeography is the art of reading old handwriting, especially that used prior to 1750.  This is a guide to books on this subject, to free online resources for learning how to, and some places that offer courses/workshops.

French Connection

This is a site offering links to French and Francophone cultural resources, including: history, current events, and media; language and literature; art and culture; libraries; e-texts; government information; publishing; tourism; industry and trade; education. Also links to gateways and search engines.


Gallica is a database of some 70,000 French texts and 80,000 images created by the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, chosen from its own and other French collections. Contains literature, history, science, philosophy, law, economic and political science materials. See also Gallica 2.

GEMMS Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons' Project

Being developed at the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.  Available independently here, or also as a free resource in the ITER database.  It is " an open-access, group-sourced, comprehensive, fully searchable, online bibliographic database of early modern sermon manuscripts from the British Isles and North America."

Global Gateway: World Culture and Resources

Portal of the Library of Congress offering access to its international research collections.  Lots of info about what is in the Library of Congress about other parts of the world, present and past.  Some full texts.  Research guides to L.C. collections.  Portals to online resources in other countries.

Google Books

Search or browse for books digitized from major American university library collections.  Full texts for items no longer under copyright, principally published prior to 1922.  Snippets from books still in copyright.

H-France Professional Resources

H-France is the premier American, scholarly electronic discussion list about the history of France, offered by H-Net. Within their website is this page "Resources" which offers links to online history resources, maps, bibliographies and indexes, databases, dictionaries, search engines, some phone books, and guides to some cities, including Paris. There are also links to practical information: searching for lodging, government, libraries, museums, the Metro, trains, universities, the weather.

Institute of Historical Research (U.K.)

The IHR at University of London is an international research/information center whose mission is to support the study of (primarily) British history. IHR offers an open-access library, conferences and seminars open to the public, postgraduate degrees, research training, and networking for those students, digital and print research material, and publishes the journal Historical Research.This web site is a portal to its online info and that of its partners: British History Online, Centre for Contemporary British History, Centre for Metropolitan History, Victoria County History, England's Past for Everyone, London's Past Online, etc. IHR's library catalog provides access to the chief printed primary sources for medieval and modern history of Great Britain and western Europe, their colonial expansion, and the history of the Americas. Also offers access to their research centers. History in Focus features original articles, book reviews, and links to historical resources on selected topics. Some, but not all, the information is freely accessible.

Internet Global History Sourcebook

The Global History Sourcebook is dedicated to exploration of interaction between world cultures. It does not, then, look at ''world history''as the history of the various separate cultures (for that see the linked pages, which do take that approach), but at ways in which the "world" has a history in its own right. Specifically this means looking at the ways in which cultures contact each other, the ways they influence each other, and the ways new cultural forms emerge.

Internet Modern History Sourcebook

Collection of primary sources of historic documents from the early modern period to the present for both Europe and the Americas. Includes links to other sources of information on modern history and on the nature of historiography, and links to maps, images, and music.

Intute: Arts and Humanities (U.K.)

Access to the best Web resources for education and research, selected and evaluated by a network of subject specialists. There are over 21,000 Web resources listed here that are freely available by keyword searching and browsing. Fields covered include humanities in general, art and the creative, history, languages, literatures. The history pages come from Humbul Humanities Hub originally.


The International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, founded with the initiative of Theodore Besterman, promotes the growth, development and coordination of studies and research relating to the eighteenth century in all aspects of its cultural heritage (historical, philosophical, ideological, religious, linguistic, literary, scientific, artistic, juridical) in all countries, without exception; the Society is non-profit-making and non-political.  The website offers links to websites on 18th century topics and figures and to research centers. 

Jisc Archives Hub

The Archives Hub is a free online service giving access to descriptions of archives held in UK repositories (such as universities, company archives and local history centres). It does not hold any archive material itself but provides a means to cross-search archival descriptions from different institutions.It also provides descriptions of online resources, often including digital content, and holds information on individual repositories. Use the Archives Hub to find unique sources for your research, both physical and digital. Search across descriptions of archives, held at over 380 institutions across the UK.  New descriptions are added every week, often representing collections being made available for the first time.

Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature

Medieval, Renaissance, 17th Century and Restoration and 18th Century literary texts. Entries for each author include: works, biography, criticism, quotations and links. Texts are from The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 6th ed.

MedHist: the Guide to History of Medicine Resources

MedHist is a free catalogue of evaluated, high quality Internet resources and websites relating to the history of medicine and allied sciences, covering all aspects of the history of health and development of medical knowledge. It is aimed at students and staff working within the further and higher education sectors, although it will also appeal to anyone with a general interest in the subject area. No new resources have been added to MedHist since February 2010, but existing resources will be checked and broken links will be fixed until July 2011.

OpenDOAR the Directory of Open Access Repositories

An authoritative directory of academic open access repositories.  Search for repositories by name or keyword.  Search for contents in repositories.  Search by geographic area.

SOLO: Search Oxford Libraries Online

Is the primary public search interface for the library catalogues and services provided by the Bodleian Libraries. It contains records for over five million of the estimated ten million print titles held by libraries within the University of Oxford.

UK Web Archive

Covers all subjects.  Contains archived web sites that may not be able to be found anywhere else anymore or have changed, collected since 2004, by a the British Library in partnership with the Wellcome Library (history of medicine), National Library of Wales, JISC, a cooperative of academic libraries, and others.  Browse by discipline, website title, or special collection by name.  Or, search by keyword.  Contents:  ephemera, grey literature, scholarly research material.  For scholars, journalists, educators, students seeking scholarly material.  Also has links to other similar archiving web sites in Europe and America.

European Studies Web

Provides links to excellent academically oriented resources in classics, Dutch, French, German, British, Iberian, Italian, and Scandinavian studies, as well as in medieval and renaissance studies, and in social science and history. Points to European library catalogs and to newspapers and news sources. Created and maintained by American Library Association, European Studies Section's librarians. ESS aims to promote the improvement of library services supporting study and research in European affairs from ancient times to the present.

World Digital Library

Offered by UNESCO.  Maps, manuscripts, rare books, films, sound recordings, prints, photographs.  Can be browsed by date or place.