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Early Modern Books

Content Collection Details

EEBO's content draws on authoritative short-title catalogues of the period and features many text transcriptions specially created for the product. Content from Europe covers the curated Early European Books Collections from 4 national libraries and London's Wellcome Library.

For details and updates about the EEB and EEBO collections, please see the standalone libguides

Use Cases

by Dr Elise Watson.

Many databases of early modern books have recently begun to integrate gender as an explicit dimension of their work. However, this is sometimes done without placing gender as a concept into an inclusive and intersectional framework. This webinar uses the tools of feminist bibliography to argue for a collaborative approach to gender when considering bibliographic metadata, one that more comprehensively accounts for those marginalized due to their gender or lack of gender conformity.

Dr Elise Watson is a postdoctoral researcher for the Universal Short Title Catalogue, where she works on early modern France and the Low Countries. Her own research focuses on the clandestine Catholic book trade in the Dutch Republic, examining how the availability of print shaped minority religious experience. You can find her on twitter at @elisewatson_.

Further Reading

  • Kate Ozment, ‘Rationale for Feminist Bibliography’, Textual Cultures 13.1 (2020), pp. 149-178.
  • Helen Smith, Grossly Material Things: Women and Book Production in Early Modern Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).
  • Michelle Levy, ‘Do Women Have a Book History?’, Studies in Romanticism, 53.3 (2014), pp. 296-317.
  • Reese Irwin, Michelle Levy, Kate Moffat, and Kandice Sharren, ‘Project Methodology’, part of The Women’s Print History Project.
  • K.R. Roberto, ‘Inflexible Bodies: Metadata for Transgender Identities’, Journal of Information Ethics 20.2 (2011), pp. 56-64.

By: Jacob Baxter.

This webinar takes a lot at the literary career of the English diplomat and writer Sir William Temple (1628-99), by focusing on his two most famous books, the Observations Upon the United Provinces (1673) and the Memoirs of What Past in Christendom (1691), both of which can be viewed on EEBO and EEB.

Jacob Baxter is a PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews. His thesis, which he began in September 2020, focuses on the literary career of Sir William Temple. Jacob’s association with the USTC started in the summer of 2019, when he attended the project’s annual summer programme. In December 2020, Jacob graduated with a MLitt in Book History, and he was also awarded the Postgraduate Gray Prize for the best overall performance at a Master’s level in Arts and Divinity at St Andrews. You can follow him on Twitter @JE_Baxter.

Further Reading

  • Haley, K.H.D. An English Diplomat in the Low Countries: Sir William Temple and John De Witt, 1665-72 (Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1986).
  • Pettegree, Andrew and Weduwen, Arthur der, The Bookshop of the World, Making and Trading Books in the Dutch Golden Age (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2019).
  • Steensma, Robert C. Sir William Temple (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1970).
  • Suarez, Michael F. 'Making History: William Temple and the Politics of Publishing', The Yale University Library Gazette 68 (1993), pp. 43-59.
  • Troost, Wouter, Sir William Temple, William III and the Balance of Power in Europe (Dordrecht: Republic of Letters, 2011).

By Dr Graeme Kemp.

This webinar investigates how the Proquest platform can be used to assist the analysis of one of the most important sources for early modern book sales in England - the Day-book of John Dorne (1520)

Dr Graeme Kemp is co-deputy director of the Universal Short Title Catalogue. He was awarded his PhD in 2013 for a study of Religious Controversy in the Sixteenth Century. Most recently he has explored the buying and selling of early modern editions at auction. His research looks at the application of distant reading methodologies and visualisation techniques to historical datasets. He is currently leading a project entitled Visualising History: Exploring Historical Data Through Visualisation, sponsored by Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. You can follow him on Twitter @gj_kemp

Further Reading

  • Madan Falconer (ed.), ‘Day-Book of John Dorne’, in Collectanea I, ed. Fletcher, C. R. L., Oxford Historical Society, 5 (1885), pp. 71-177
  • Madan, Falconer (ed.), The Early Oxford Press: A Bibliography of Printing and Publishing at Oxford, 1468’–1640 (Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1885)
  • Roberts, Julian, “Importing books for Oxford, 1500-1640.” In Books and collectors, 1200-1700 : essays presented to Andrew Watson, edited by Carley, James Patrick and Tite, Colin Gerald Calder (London: British Library, 1996), pp. 317-34. 
  • Leedham-Green, Elisabeth Somerville. “University libraries and book-sellers.” In The Cambridge history of the book in Britain, vol.3 : 1400-1557, ed. Hellinga, Lotte and Trapp, Joseph Burney (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 316-53]

EEB - Collection 1 - Gesta Danorum

Historia Danorum, by Saxo Grammaticus, d. ca. 1204. Edit 1514

Det Kongelige Bibliotek / The Royal Library (Copenhagen)

EEB - Collection 2. Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321

Edit: Venice, Aldine Press  1515. Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (BNCF)

Founded by Aldo Manuzio (AKA Aldus Manutius) in Venice in 1495, the Aldine Press was one of the most historically significant institutions in the early history of printed books. This is the first portable edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The Aldine text formed the standard edition of Dante until the late 19th century, and the second Aldine edition (1515) was the first to include the famous woodcut diagram illustrating the circles of Hell.

Edition of Ars Amandi by Ovidius owned by William Morris

EEB - Collection 4 - Ovidius Ars Amandi

Ovidius de arte amandi  Text embedded into the commentary by Bartholomeus Merula. Edition Milan, 1521

Formerly owned by William Morris. Welcome Library, London

Illuminated letter by Dialogus Creaturarum 1480

EEB - Collection 9 - Dialogus creaturarum 1480

Incipit with Illuminated letter of 1480 Gouda edition of the Dialogus creaturarum moralisatus (fables) by Nicholaus Pergaminus

Portrait of Joan d'Arc

EEB - Collection 12 - Portrait of Joan d'Arc

Frontispiece illustration depicting Joan of Arc. From L'histoire et discours au vray du siege qui fut mis devant la ville d'Orleans (Orleans, 1606).

Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto

EEB - Collection 13 - Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto ed 1580

a 1580 edition of Ariosto’s (1474-1533) Orlando Furioso - BNCF

EEBO - First printed book published in England.

Recueil des histoires de Troie. Lefèvre, Raoul. [704] p. Bruges: Printed by William Caxton and, probably, Colard Mansion, 1473.

EEBO - Profile taken from the fragments of the Dioclesian Bathes at Rome

Alternate title: Parallèle de l'architecture antique et de la moderne.; De statua.; Parallel of architecture both ancient and moderne.; Account of architects and architecture.
Bibliographic name/number: Wing / C1923.
Fréart, Roland, sieur de Chambray, 1606-1676. [24], 159, [1] p. :. London: Printed by Tho. Roycroft for John Place .., 1664.