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Michigan State University

British Studies: the 18th Century, a Guide to Topics in the MSU Libraries' Collections: HISTORY OF PLACES

This is a guide to 18th-century British studies materials, particularly in our Special Collections and Rare Books unit.



The British 18th-Century Studies Collection is rich in books about Great Britain, England, United Kingdom, and the British Isles followed, in descending order, by books on other European countries, cities, and places, especially France, works about the various English provinces, cities, places and sites, and then works on what is today the United States. There is some material on each of the thirteen colonies, save Rhode Island, Delaware, Maine, and North Carolina, as well as on the prominent American cities of the time. The Collection has material on Scotland, Ireland, London, India, Africa, Canada, South America, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Most continental European countries of the 18th century and prior are represented: France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, the low countries, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Germany, Austria, and Poland. Outside of Britain, there is more material on France in the collection than on any other country, owing to the French Monarchy Collection, which is another special collection within Special Collections. There are works on many continental European cities, geographical features, and sites. In researching places, scholars can search Murray and Hong Special Collections' holdings in  the online catalog, if desired; keep in mind and watch for the various standard sub-headings associated with history and places: "antiquities", "description and travel", "history", "politics and government", "social life and customs", and "economic conditions".

Examples of the works on places in Murray and Hong Special Collections include these titles: William Stukeley's Itinerarium Curiosum, or, an Account of the Antiquities, and Remarkable Curiosities in Nature or Art, Observed in Travels thro' Great Britain, (1724); Josiah Woodward's Account of the Progress of the Reformation of Manners, in England, Scotland, and Ireland and other Parts of Europe and America... , (1706); Thomas Hutchinson's History of the Colony of Massachuset's Bay, from the First Settlement Thereof in 1628, until its Incorporation with the Colony of Plimouth... , [1765]; and John Gifford's Reign of Louis the Sixteenth, and Complete History of the French Revolution... , (1794).