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Eighteenth-Century Studies: Online Resources: Scholarly Websites Q-Z

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 Q-Z

Reading: Harvard Views of Readers, Readership, and Reading History

"An online exploration of the intellectual, cultural, and political history of reading."  A thematically based open-access collection of texts and other digitized materials produced under auspices of Harvard University Library and selected from its collections.  Focus is Western Europe and U.S. from the 16th-early 20th centuries.  Historical textbooks, library records from early Harvard U., records of missions to native North Americans, lists of recommended books, memoirs of collectors, commonplace books, diaries and scrapbooks, and books annotated by some famous authors, altogether some 800 published books and 400 manuscript collections.  Search by catalog record or OCR generated text (for printed books) or browse by topic or genre, by one of 14 languages, or by century.

Reading Experience Database

A ‘reading experience’ means a recorded engagement with a written or printed text - beyond the mere fact of possession. A database containing as much information as possible about what British people read, where and when they read it and what they thought of it will form an invaluable resource for researchers of book history, cultural studies, sociology and family history, to name but a few. The mission is to accumulate as much data as possible about the reading experiences of British subjects from 1450 to 1945. 

 Repton Flip Book

Humphry Repton was a famous English landscape designer of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  We have his works in Murray and Hong Special Collections.  His famous "red books" showed customers how to improve the looks of their estates with building and planting alterations.  This web site shows "before and after" views, digitizing some of the images from his famous Red Books. A project done at University of New South Wales in Australia. 

Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States

The six-volume set entitled The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, from House Miscellaneous Document No. 603 of the U.S. Serial Set, was compiled by Dr. Francis Wharton and promulgated on August 13, 1888, by both houses of Congress. The preface to volume 1 explains the usefulness of these documents for comprehending: (1) our revolutionary history and (2) the treaties executed during and at the close of the Revolution, which form in a large measure the basis of our international law (p. iii). Other editions of the correspondence include those edited by Jared Sparks and Francis Preston Blair.

Royal College of Physicians Museum and Archive Collections

Search RCP collections to uncover a wealth of information on the history of medicine and the RCP.   Near complete records of the RCP's activities for 500 years. Manuscripts and personal papers of eminent physicians. 300 oil and sculptural portraits of physicians and over 5,000 prints and drawing. Silver and decorative art collection. Rare medical instruments and artefacts.

Royal Society Library and Archives

"We welcome researchers in the scholarly use of the Royal Society's collections, which are of international importance in the history of science. Our resources include manuscripts, printed books and paintings amassed to provide a record of scientific achievements over almost 350 years." 

Royal Society Publishing

The Royal Historical Society's Journal Archive, including the world's first peer reviewed scientific journal, contains ca. 60,000 historical scientific papers. The Society's journal Philosophical Transactionsbegan publication in 1665. Use this material to locate primary sources in the history of science.

Runaway Slaves in Britain: Bondage, Freedom, and Race in the Eighteenth Century

Little is known about slavery in 18th-Century Britain. This project at University of Glasgow will create a database of searchable information about those who sought to escape bondage. Not all of the the people who ran away from their masters in Georgian Britain were of African descent, and a small number were Native Americans or were from the Indian sub-continent. While some were not slaves, many were described by their masters in terms of slavery. 

Russia Engages the World, 1453-1825

Website based on an exhibition at the New York Public Library tracing Russia’s movement from relative isolation to global empire through its contacts with Europe, Asia, and the Americas.  Brief summaries.  Selected images.  Essays on historical background, excerpts from documents, brief biographies, explications of salient themes, a bibliography, related links, chronology of events, glossary.

Scottish Court of Sessions Digital Archive Project

Project of the University of Virginia Law Library, from their, and the Library of Congress' collections.  These printed materials were submitted to Scotland's supreme civil court as part of the litigation process. As a court of appeal and of first instance, the Court of Session in this period held jurisdiction over contract and commercial cases, matters of succession and land ownership, divorce proceedings, intellectual property and copyright disputes, and contested political elections. Scottish women, Virginia merchants, aristocratic Highland proprietors, famous authors, enslaved laborers, soldiers, American Loyalists, and many more individuals sought justice before the Court of Session in this era.The documents offered in this archive date from the late 1750s to the late 1830s, a period encompassing the Seven Years' War in North America and the Great Reform Act in Scotland. The combined digital collection will eventually include approximately 10,000 printed petitions, answers, replies, and case summaries, many of which have contemporary annotations. Supplemental case materials appended to these documents include maps, building plans, and printed copies of correspondence, wills, financial accounts, and census reports.

Sea and Ships:  Explore Online

Site of the English National Maritime Museum.  Material on explorers, naval warfare, seamen, life at sea, ships, time, stars, maritime history. 


From University of Iowa.  A social network analysis of publishers, writers, manuscripts, and booksellers in the late-fifteenth through eighteenth century England. Created by a team of English scholars and librarians, along with a computer scientist, this project allows English and history scholars to explore metadata compiled from the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) - a catalogue of [most] every book printed in England between 1473 and 1800. Visitors can explore this data in three ways. In Social Network Analytics, visitors can explore a network map between two specific dates (e.g. 1473-1500) and search for specific individuals within a graph. Alternatively, visitors may explore publications by decade or conduct a text search of the catalogue.

Sir John Soane's Museum

Famous architect who died in 1837 and had a museum in his house. Contains 30,000 architectural, topographical, and ornamental drawings. Especially relevant for London.  Site has a catalog of the drawings.

Site for Research on William Hogarth (1697-1764)

Biographies, online essays, image gallery, links to other Hogarth sites.  He's a famous 18th c. English artist.

Society for the History of Children and Youth

Supports research about the history of childhood, youth cultures, and the experience of young people across diverse times and places.  Offers links to resources and websites in this subject.

Spectator Project: a Hypermedia Research Archive of Eighteenth-Century Periodicals

The Spectator Project is an interactive hypermedia environment for the study of The Tatler (1709-1711), The Spectator (1711-14), and the eighteenth-century periodical in general.

Sunk in Lucre's Sordid Charms: South Sea Bubble Resources in the Kress Collection at Baker Library

The South Sea Bubble Collection is a group of specialized research resources within the Kress Collection at Baker Library, Harvard Business School. The collection focuses on the South Sea Bubble stock market crisis in the early part of the eighteenth century and the speculative mania surrounding it. The collection includes more than 300 books, broadsides, pamphlets, Parliamentary documents, manuscripts, prints, and ephemera.

Super-Enlightenment, a Digital Collection of the Stanford University Libraries

Contains thirty-six texts, written in French between 1716 and 1835 (for a full list, click on texts in any menu). Some of these were widely read in their time; others are more emblematic of the shadowy demi-monde of eighteenth-century intellectual intrigue. Taken as a corpus, they offer a fair representation of the disparate and unorthodox interests of the age.

Survey of Scottish Witcraft 1563-1736

Database contains all people known to have been accused of witchcraft in early modern Scotland, nearly 4,000, where, when accused, how tried, what their fate was, and info on a wide range of themese relating to social and cultural history.  Supporting material with introduction to the topic, further reading section, links to other sites.


The acronym stands for Text Analysis Portal for Research.  This site offers over 50 different gools for text mining, comparing texts electronically, finding word frequencies in texts, finding how many times particular topics are mentioned in a piece, etc.

*Timelines: Sources from History

Several hundred images from the British Library's collections arranged by decade in this interactive resource.  One to 10 images per decade from 1215-2008.  Thumbnails enlarge and have introductions that describe images briefly and place them in historical context.  Five thematic timelines, in addition: politics/power/rebellion; literature/music/entertainment; everyday life; sacred texts; medicine/science/technology.  Can select two time lines at once and compare them.  Create your own customized timelines. 

Trans  Atlantic Slave Trade Database

From Emory University, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, this offers both quantitative and qualitative information about the slave trade in Spain, Uruguay, Portugal, Brazil, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the United States, Denmark, and the Baltic, from the 16th through the 19th centuries.  Three sections:  searchable database of voyages, statistics/estimates of the slave trade by nation and ports of em and disembarkation, and African names database.  Bibliography of documentary sources and archival materials.  Overview essays on the Atlantic slave trade, racial/ethnic fallout, abolition movement.  Lesson plans and educational resources.  Images from 19th c. archival materials.  Maps.  Timeline/chronology.  Searchable in both English and Portuguese.

Three Years Travels through the Interior Parts of North America, by Jonathan Carver (1796)

Description of lakeside Michigan,  Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Detroit.

U.K. Centre for the History of Nursing and Midwifery

Based in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, at the University of Manchester. This school has a strong tradition of research and education and hosts an experienced team of researchers who are leading a number of projects in nursing and midwifery history. Links here to many websites to do with history of nursing and midwifery.

Visiting Bethlem in the Long Eighteenth Century
1247 Bethlem Royal Hospital was founded.  It is one of the oldest institutions designed for treating mental illness.  Their Museum of the Mind preserves information and material on how mental illness has been perceived and treated throughout  British history.  Interactive timeline covers 1676-1815 and can be explored by six categories: the hospital, attitudes to mental health, visitors, staff, patients, outside events.  Within each category find primary documents and short videos in which scholars answer frequently asked questions about the history of Bethlem.

Vive la Difference: the English and French Stereotype in Satirical Prints, 1720-1815

Online exhbition from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Voyages: the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Sponsored by Emory University, covers the slave trade on five continents.  Includes traditional bibliographies, maps, images, lesson plans, and a database of African names.  Search by material type or geographical region.

Wellcome Library

"Through its collections and services, the Wellcome Library [United Kingdom] provides insight and information to anyone seeking to understand medicine and its role in society, past and present. With over 600 000 books and journals, an extensive range of manuscripts, archives and films, and more than 100 000 pictures, we are one of the world's major resources for the study of medical history. This is one of the world's greatest collections of books, manuscripts, archives, films and paintings on the history of medicine from the earliest times to the present day."  See especially Welcome Images.

William Blake Archive

William Blake (1757–1827) was an English printmaker, painter, and poet whose work went largely unrecognized during his lifetime. Blake is now recognized as a seminal poet of the Romantic Age and his visual art is now as well-known as his poetry. The William Blake Archive, founded in 1996, furnishes unified access to Blake’s literary and visual art. The toolbar on the archive’s landing page describes the broad panoply of Blake’s works: “Illuminated Books,” “Commercial Book Illustrations,” “Separate Prints and Prints in Series,” “Drawings and Paintings,” and “Manuscripts and Typographic Works.” The tab “All Works” lists these works both in alphabetical order and in order of date of publication.

Witchcraft in Early Modern England

Is a project that "designs and deploys strategically intersecting, innovative, and experimental digital tools to allow for robust searching and pattern finding within the corpus of texts relating to early modern witchcraft."

Witchcraft Collection

"Cornell's [University] Witchcraft Collection contains over 3,000 titles documenting the history of the Inquisition and the persecution of witchcraft." The collection "...documents the earliest and the latest manifestations of the belief in witchcraft as well as its geographical boundaries, and elaborates this history with works on canon law, the Inquisition, torture, demonology, trial testimony, and narratives. Most importantly, the collection focuses on witchcraft not as folklore or anthropology, but as theology and as religious heresy."  15th-19th centuries.

Women's Print History Project

This is a comprehensive bibliographical database of women’s contributions to print for the long eighteenth century, one of the most convulsive periods in both women’s and print history. We collect detailed information about books that women were involved in producing, not just as authors, but also as printers, publishers, booksellers, editors, compilers, translators, engravers, illustrators, and composers. To start exploring the WPHP, click on Database in the header, where you can Search Titles, Search Persons, or Search Firms; see Research to explore the project’s outputs, such as Publications and our Podcast; and to learn more about the stories behind our Titles, Persons, and Firms, read our Spotlights.

Women's Travel Writing 1780-1840 a Bio-Bibliographical Database

Provides full records for all known books of travel published in Britain and Ireland by women between 1780 and 1840, supplemented by notes, short biographies of the travel writers and illustrators, and web links to online digital editions.  It is the work of Benjamin Colbert, Co-Director of the University of Wolverhampton’s Centre for Transnational and Transcultural Research.


Site by Peter Higginbotham. Over 200 web pages, 5000 photos and illustrations, and 1500 maps and plans for workhouses in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.  Aims to tell the story of the workhouse in social history, politics, economics and architecture.

Working Class Movement Library

The Working Class Movement Library records over 200 years of organising and campaigning by ordinary men and women. Our collection provides a rich insight into working people's daily lives as well as their thoughts, hopes, fears and the roles they played in the significant events of their time.  Earliest documents are from the 1760s.