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Eighteenth-Century Studies: Online Resources: Scholarly Websites A-G

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

Scholarly Websites A-G


History Highway: a 21st Century Guide to Internet Resources Reference and DMC 4 West (CD) D 16.117 .H55 2006

An annotated bibliography of web sites.

A2A: Access to Archives

Contains catalogues describing archives held locally throughout England and dating from the 8th century to the present day.

Art World in Britain 1660-1735

Offers a database of information on art sales of this period, a places database where you can learn where the artworks are located today as well as about significant places related to art of this period, a people database which contains 6000 names of people associated with the world of art at the time, and a sources database for finding transcriptions of sources, bibliographic records and painting titles.

Austen Said: Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels

From University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Allows users to visualize and analyze the language patterns of Austen's most popular works. Word frequencies is a place to begin. View data about unique vocabularies of particular characters in a novel. Or, compare vocabularies used by characters sharing the same age, gender, or character type (such as cad, fool, or heroine).In the novel visualization section view highlighted examples of free indirect discourse, a technique Austen used. Search tool allows user to find select words or phrases in all six of her published novels.

Ballad Operas Online

Ballad operas are "British stage productions from 1728-1760 that combine a comic or sentimental play with musical numbers that re-used 'common tunes'".  Site created at Oxford University, but a collective effort of British and American music scholars.  Sections on theater and dance history, cultural history, political history, stars of ballad operas.  Audio samples link.

BBC History

BBC is the largest broadcasting organization in the world.  This site has an interactive timeline, A-Z index, history for children, features on particularly noteworthy dates, history of personages, as well as links to TV and radio programs.

Beinecke Library, Yale University

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is Yale University's principal repository for literary papers and for early manuscripts and rare books in the fields of literature, theology, history, and the natural sciences. In addition to its general collection of rare books and manuscripts, the library houses the Yale Collection of American Literature, the Yale Collection of German Literature, the Yale Collection of Western Americana, and the Osborn Collection (contains 18th century materials).  Books and manuscripts at Yale have been extensively described since 1926 in the "Yale University Library Gazette," which is available in many libraries.

Bentham Project

The aim of the Bentham Project is to produce a new scholarly edition of the works and correspondence of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), the influential jurist, philosopher, and social scientist, whom A.J.P. Taylor described as `the most formidable reasoner who ever applied his gifts to the practical questions of administration and politics'.

Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads

The Bodleian Library has unparalleled holdings of over 30,000 ballads in several major collections. Broadside ballads are important source material for: * popular literary history * music history * social history * art history * printing history The Broadside Ballads project, undertaken with funding from the NFF Specialised Research Collections initiative, aims to make the ballads and ballad sheets available to the research community. Broadside ballads were popular songs, sold for a penny or half-penny in the streets of towns and villages around Britain between the sixteenth and early twentieth centuries. These songs were performed in taverns, homes, or fairs -- wherever a group of people gathered to discuss the day's events or to tell tales of heroes and villains. As one of the cheapest forms of print available, the broadside ballads are also an important source material for the history of printing and literacy. Lavishly illustrated with woodcuts, they provide a visual treat for the reader and offer a source for the study of popular art in Britain.

Book History Research Network

BHRN aims to bring together postgraduates, academics, librarians, and independent researchers working in any area or period of 'the history of the book'.  Register of researchers.  Study days.

Book Owners Online

Book Owners Online (BOO) is the work of the distinguished book historian David Pearson and a technical team that have helped translate his long-respected bibliography “English Book Owners in the Seventeenth Century” into a digital platform. The growing database contains entries for just over 1,800 17th and 18th century British book owners.  Click on directory of historical book owners in the first paragraph or use a keyword search in the box near top right to search the site.


Repository of historic botanical literature.  Website created by Missouri Botanical Garden Library.

British and U.K. Studies

This guide is a list of scholarly resources in British and UK Studies. Intended primarily for librarians; it may be useful to scholars in this field.  It is curated and managed by members of the European Studies Section (ESS) of the Association of College & Research Libraries. For additional resources on Northern Ireland, see the Irish Studies guide. Users are free to copy and edit content from this guide for their own purposes.

British Empire

Online exhibition with questions and worksheets on the history of the British Empire.  From the U.K. National Archives.

British History Online

British History Online is the digital library of British historical sources for historians of Britain located worldwide seeking access to texts and information about people, places, and businesses from the medieval through modern periods. Registration is free. Some content is free.  It is being created jointly by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust. Texts from the Centre for Metropolitan History, the Victoria County History Project, Survey of London, and early journals of the Houses of Commons and Lords are also present.  M.S.U. Libraries subscribes to this resource.

British History Sources 1500-1900

Also known as Connected Histories.  This site brings together a range of digital resources related to early modern and nineteenth century Britain with a single federated search that allows sophisticated searching of names, places and dates, as well as the ability to save, connect and share resources within a personal workspace. There are a number of research guides in this website on such topics as: crime and justice, family history, history of London, Imperial and Colonial History, local history, Parliamentary history, poverty and poor relief, religious history, searching for images. Some free info; some requires libraries/individuals to subscribe.

British Association for Local History

Has a section "Useful Links" at top, to find many more sites re local history, for whatever reason they're needed.

British Library: Georgians Revealed

Britain's Georgian Era (marked by the reigns of King George's I-IV) ran from the early eighteenth century into the early nineteenth century. This period was marked by numerous artistic developments: Romantic poetry, unique architecture and design, and flamboyant fashion among others. With this collection from the British Library, visitors can explore a number of items that illustrate the aesthetics of the Georgian Era. Perhaps the highlight of this collection are the paintings.Other items of note include historic maps, sketches of dresses, and sheet music.

British Museum: London 1753

Online tour of the city as it appeared around 1753.  Historic prints and drawings.

British Museum Collection Database

When complete, it will contain a record of every object in the Museum collection. Currently it includes records for the Museum’s collections of objects from Africa; the Americas; central, east, south and southeast Asia; ancient Egypt and Sudan; Europe, ancient Greece and Rome; Oceania; prehistory, and prints, drawings and other works of flat art from all over the world. The information in the records on the database is made available here in its entirety, along with its associated files of controlled terms (the thesauri and authority files such as for materials, techniques and place-names). Only fields giving prices paid and personal addresses have been withheld.

British Printed Images to 1700

Funded by UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, this is a searchable database of thousands of prints and book illustrations from early modern Britain.  Includes also materials on techniques, history of printmaking, descriptions of main printing genres, survey of the historiography of this field to 1700, a directory of publishers and printsellers, and links to other useful sites.

Broadsides Printed in Scotland 1650-1910

Broadsides were single sheet publications that were cheap to produce and easy to distribute. As such, they were quite common during the 1600s-1900s. The popularity of broadsides decreased in the mid-19th century with the increased availability newspapers "penny dreadfuls." Images of the broadsides can be browsed at the Library's Word on the Street website (linked near the bottom of the page). Alternatively, readers can download the datasets (in their entirety or just the text). The website also provides copyright information for the broadsides, noting that items published up to 1854 are known to be free of copyright restrictions, while items printed after 1855 might be restricted.

C18-L: Resources for Eighteenth-Century Studies Across the Disciplines

Selected Readings is an interdisciplinary bibliography of eighteenth-century studies in the West, covering the period 1660-1830, from 1992 onward.

C18th Connect: Eighteenth-Century Scholarship Online

A sister-organization for NINES, 18thConnect gathers together a community of scholars that shapes the world of digital resources. Their 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.

Captive Passage: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the Americas

"Between 1441 and 1888, Europeans and their descendants in the Americas enslaved many millions of Africans. Torn from their homeland, men, women, and children were shipped to the Americas and forced into slavery. The transatlantic slave trade was a highly profitable maritime business. Without African slaves, the potential economic value of the Americas could never have been realized. Slaves made possible the taming of the wilderness, construction of cities, excavation of mines, and the establishment of powerful plantation economies. This exhibition examines the transatlantic slave trade and seeks to increase understanding of this maritime epic and its legacies in the modern world." -- The Mariner's Museum, Online Exhibition.  Museum located in Newport News, Virginia.

Charles Peirce Collection of Social and Political Caricatures and Ballads

The Charles Peirce Collection of Social and Political Caricatures and Ballads brings together a range of fabulous prints published in London during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This collection eventually found its way to the American Antiquarian Society.

Chymistry of Isaac Newton

Devoted to study of his interest in alchemy.  From Indiana University-Bloomington.  Both primary and secondary sources.  His work underpins the modern science of chemistry.  Digitized collection of his alchemical manuscripts, with a diplomatic transcriptions showing as closely as possible the original and a normalized transcription, edited to be made more readable.  Browsable and full-text searchable. Glossary of alchemical terms. 

Clements Library

The William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan collects primary source materials in all formats relating to the history of America prior to the mid-twentieth century. The holdings are particularly strong in the intellectual, cultural, and military history of the late colonial period, the Early Republic, and the 19th century, but are very broad and richly interconnected.

Clergy of the Church of England Database

Coram Foundling Hospital Archive

The Foundling Hospital archive contains some half a million documents dating from the 1730s. The archive reveals the details of the lives of the children in its care and the way in which the Hospital operated from its inception in the 18th Century. The records of Coram and the Foundling Hospital, held at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), include entrance registers, medical records, letters from mothers and other documents dating back to Thomas Coram’s campaign to establish the Foundling Hospital.  25% of its 275 years of history are to be digitized in the next 3 years. 

Crace Collection of Maps of London

This is the essential guide through the history of London: some 1200 printed and hand-drawn maps charting the development of the city and its immediate vicinity from around 1570 to 1860. The maps were collected, mainly during the first half of the nineteenth century, by the fashionable Victorian society designer, Frederick Crace. After entering the site look for the link to "See all the items in this exhibition." From the British Library Map Collections.

Current Value of Old Money

Links to tools and online resources to calculate the current value of "old" money.  British orientation.

Gathers together philosophical texts of 18th-c. Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume, which are searchable by keyword and phrases and proximity.  Contains Critical Survey of the Literature on Hume and the First Enquiry, a bibliography on Hume, by Millican Merivale.

Digital Locke Project

"A pilot project that makes a start with a scholarly text edition of the manuscripts of the British philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) in the form of an XML-encoded database that is used simultaneously for an online version and the printed version of the manuscripts. Locke’s most influential work is An Essay concerning Human Understanding. He produced several drafts of this work in the nearly two decades prior to its publication and he continued producing additions, corrections and other related material after the first edition had appeared in 1689. During its first phase the ‘Digital Locke Project’ concentrates on the manuscripts produced after the first publication of the Essay until Locke’s death in 1704. The database includes a transcription of the manuscripts with text-critical apparatus, historical and philosophical notes, a precise description of all relevant manuscripts, and a reconstruction of the genesis of the texts."


Offers digitized historical maps of Europe.  Browse by date and place. 

Dissenting Academies Project

In 1662, the Parliament of England passed the Act of Uniformity - which required adherence to many rites and ceremonies prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. One of the rites required was episcopal ordination for all ministers. In response, other Protestant religious communities established a number of dissenting academies, which were "intended to provide Protestant students dissenting from the Church of England with a higher education similar to that at Oxford and Cambridge, from which they were largely excluded." This digital humanities project, created by the Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English, allows visitors to learn more about these academies through an extensive database and encyclopedia of 220 academies that existed between 1660 and 1860. The database also includes thousands of individuals who were involved in the academy as tutors or students.

Early History of Michigan: From the First Settlement to 1815 (1856)

Early Modern Female Book Ownership

This website provides blog posts on individual books owned by women to document early modern female book ownership between 1500 and 1750. From the page linked above, visitors can use the "Finding Aid," which is essentially an index (available online or as a downloadable spreadsheet) that allows researchers to quickly locate posts about particular books by title, date, owner, or the library collection in which it is located. Clicking on any title in the index will take readers to a blog post.

Early Modern Women Database

This database provides links to World Wide Web resources useful for the study of women in early modern Europe and the Americas. It focuses on the period ca. 1500 to ca. 1800. Resources have been selected for their scholarly value by librarians on the arts and humanities team of the University of Maryland Libraries. Materials range from bibliographic databases to full-text resources, images, and sound recordings. Most of the resources linked here are free. Some require a license for access.

ECHO: Exploring & Collecting History Online - Science, Technology and Industry

Echo's research center catalogs, annotates, and reviews web sites on the history of science, technology, and industry. The database includes over 5,000 web sites, and can be browsed by topic, time period, publisher or content.  Lower left of home page allows browsing by historical period.

Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive

From University of Oxford's Alexander Huber.  A peer-reviewed, award-winning digital archive and research project on the poetry of the long 18th-c.  Two parts, digital poetry catalog and research/analysis of the texts.  Texts expand on those of ECCO database.  Features over 3,000 poems by 320 authors.  Continually updated.  See "Take the tour" button in top right to learn the features.

Eighteenth-Century Studies

This collection archives works of the eighteenth century from the perspectives of literary and cultural studies. Novels, plays, memoirs, treatises and poems of the period are kept here (in some cases, influential texts from before 1700 or after 1800 as well), along with modern criticism.

[Eighteenth Century Studies Guide]

A guide to doing research in 18th-century studies produced by University of Michigan, similar to this one.

English Broadside Ballad Archive

About 8,000 English broadside ballads of the entire seventeenth century survive. To capture the genre’s arch of development, EBBA seeks to archive all these printed ballads—with priority given to the black-letter ornamental broadside of the genre’s heyday—as well as all surviving sixteenth-century broadside ballads (about 250) and a representative sampling of broadside ballads of the early eighteenth century.

English Weights and Measures

The system of weights and measures in use in England has been developed over a period of more than a thousand years, and is a defining part of British culture, uniting the English-speaking nations. Detailed information on the following: weights, lengths & areas, volumes, conversion factors to the dreaded metric system, wire gauges, pictures, money, history, links to other relevant sites, temperature scales and collecting weights. 

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.

Fagel Collection

The Dutch Fagel family built up one of the most important private libraries in early modern Europe. In the winter of 1794–5 Hendrik Fagel the Younger, ‘Greffier’ or Chief Minister to the States General of the Netherlands, was stranded in England when French revolutionary forces invaded his country. He had his library brought to England.  To raise funds, he determined to sell it.  In February/March 1802 the governors of the Erasmus Smith Schools in Dublin put in a successful bid for the entire collection on behalf of Trinity College, Dublin, where it now resides.  It is a unique collection of thousands of early modern printed books, on biology and natural history, medicine and human anatomy, studies on theology and religion, collected works from authors of classical antiquity, treatises on military affairs and naval warfare, on history and chronology, mathematics and physics, commerce and trade, art and architecture, and on the education of children. There are encyclopaedias and dictionaries, novels and poetry in various languages, and books written by the main protagonists of the Reformation and the famous philosophers of the Enlightenment. Some of the books are beautifully illustrated and hand-coloured, printed in limited editions, and some of them are so scarce they can only be found in a few libraries in Europe. 

Fashion History Timeline

This is open-access source for fashion history knowledge, featuring objects and artworks from over a hundred museums and libraries.  It offers well-researched, accessibly written entries on specific artworks, garments and films for those interested in fashion and dress history. Decade and century overview pages offer visual examples of period styles, a visually rich fashion dictionary defines key terms, and hundreds of examples of dress analysis from antiquity to the present day model the complicated task of discerning whether something is fashionable  or merely everyday dress, as well as the historical implications of that distinction. It features a search-able Source Database of reliable academic publications on fashion and dress history and a much more extensive Zotero database that students and researchers can draw on and contribute to. It is a project of the History of Art dept. at New York University.

Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project

Michigan State University Library and the MSU Museum presents this online collection of the most important and influential 19th and early 20th century American cookbooks.  There are just a few published before 1815 here.

Food in the West: a Timeline, 1700-2001

Learn about major culinary trends, food drink, feasts, and agriculture, from the ancien regime to present.

Food Timeline

To research what people ate, when.  Recipes.  Links to individual ingredients, complete dishes, historically important cookbooks. 

Gardens and People

Has links to articles and other sites in garden history.

Gathering the Jewels: The Website for Welsh Cultural History

Features over 30,000 images of objects, books, letters, aerial photographs and other items from museums, archives and libraries throughout Wales. Approach is by browsing by broad topic.  There is a search box; entering 18th century works.

Gazetteer of British Place Names

From the Association of British Counties. Exhaustive Place Name Index to Great Britain, containing over 50,000 entries. It lists the historic county and the main administrative areas in which each place lies.

Gazettes Online

The gazettes, the official journals of U.K., Scotland, and Northern Ireland, containing both historical and current editions. These provide a mixture of state intelligence, government notices, and trade/business news. London Gazette has official war dispatches, including 1914-20 and 1939-48. It is the world's oldest, continuously published newspaper, published with the authority of the British government, and dating back to 1665.

GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons

SSHRC-funded (U.K. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) project to create an open-access, group-sourced, comprehensive, fully searchable, online bibliographic database of early modern (1530-1715) sermon manuscripts from the British Isles and North America. The database is a finding aid for all types of manuscripts related to sermons, including complete sermons, sermon notes and reports of sermons, held in numerous repositories in the UK, Ireland, the USA and Canada.


Developing access to women's history sources in the British Isles.  The website has a of database with descriptions of women's history collections from museums, libraries and archives in the United Kingdom and a guide to sources that provides access to a wide range of international web resources on women's history. It was developed with funding from the U.K. Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP) and is currently maintained by the staff of The Women's Library at London Metropolitan University.

Grub Street Project

The goal of the Grub Street Project is to visualize the literary and cultural history of London. This includes mapping the city's print trades, its (imagined) literary representations, and its (real) histories in order to understand their evolution and their influence upon other networks of trade, knowledge, and literature. Data to be integrated with the maps includes: *A Dictionary of London, by Henry Harben (1918) * a bibliography of books published in London from the years 1660 to 1830 * tradesmen and addresses, compiled from various sources including both the bibliographical details of publication information, and Kent's London business directories published annually from 1732 until 1828 * full text of online editions. As data is added to the database, we can begin to imagine early modern networks of communications and interactions, visualize how ideas were transferred, shared, and stolen, and see how the city was represented by its citizens and its visitors. We will be able to see how the dissemination of ideas created networks of trade and commerce; we will also be able to see how the urban landscape was imagined in the eighteenth century. (from the website).