Boston College Libraries Faculty Newsletter


FALL 2004

New Database: Eighteenth Century Collections Online

Eighteenth Century Collections OnlineBoston College Libraries have purchased the database Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO). When complete, this database will deliver every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in Great Britain between 1701 and 1800, along with thousands of important works from the Americas. It will comprise nearly 150,000 titles and editions and will allow full-text searching of more than 33 million pages of material. Titles included in ECCO are based on the English Short Title Catalogue bibliography and are sourced from the holdings of the British Library, as well as other national, university, research, and public and private libraries. The database includes a variety of materials - from books and directories, Bibles, sheet music and sermons to advertisements - and works by many well-known and lesser-known authors, all providing a diverse collection of material for the researcher of the eighteenth century. A centerpiece of the collection is the complete works of such major eighteenth-century authors as: Edmund Burke, Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Benjamin Franklin, Edward Gibbon, David Hume, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Paine, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Adam Smith, John Wesley. Additionally, significant collections of women writers of the eighteenth-century, collections on the French Revolution, and the eighteenth-century editions of Shakespeare can be found within this database. Variant editions of each individual work are frequently offered to enable scholars to make textual comparisons of the works. The database is divided into seven subject areas: History and Geography; Fine Arts and Social Sciences; Medicine, Science and Technology; Literature and Language; Religion and Philosophy; Law; General Reference.


Users can search Eighteenth Century Collections Online by specific keywords or phrases, full text, author, title, date, general subject area and more. Advanced page navigation options allow users to search by entering a sequential page number, a printed page number or by using a list to navigate between pages that contain a match for the search term entered. From the results list and page view, the user then has the ability to link directly to different portions of the work, such as the title page, back-of-book index, list of illustrations, an e-Table of Contents and more.


Eighteenth Century Collections Online is reputedly the most ambitious single digitization project ever undertaken. It is also an excellent complement to two other BC Libraries' databases: Early English Books Online (EEBO), which provides full-text access to nearly every English language book published from the invention of printing to 1700, and Evans Digital Edition, the full-text digital collection of books, pamphlets, and broadsides printed in America from 1639-1800.


Brendan Rapple
Collection Development

Questions, comments? Contact the BC Libraries Newsletter Review Board.