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Early English Books Online (EEBO) Legacy version: Periodicals Search

Periodicals Search Tips

Your terms will be searched in all fields including historical and linguistic variants. Multiple terms within search boxes are treated as a phrase, unless separated with a Boolean AND, OR or proximity operator.  For more information about how to construct a search see the Search Tips page.

1. Variant Spellings and Variant Forms

EEBO will automatically retrieve all spelling variants for all the word(s) you have entered; if you do not wish to include variant spellings in your search results, simply untick the Search using variant spellings check box. If you wish to include only certain variants, entering a word in the relevant search field and clicking the Check for variants link will take you to a page where you can specify more precisely the particular variants you wish to retrieve.

You can also use the Search using variant forms checkbox in conjunction with variant spelling searching to search for variant forms of the words you enter; for example, a search for civil will find occurences of the word civil as well as the variations civilest , civilly and civils.

Note that if you want to search on a number of variant spellings, your search will be more successful if you use the Variant spellings check box rather than choosing your terms from the Check for variants page.

You can also combine search terms using Boolean and proximity searching, search for variations on search terms using truncation operators, and specify exact matching in phrase-indexed fields. Note that for best results it is advisable to untick the Variant spellings checkbox before executing a search using wildcards.

For more information on this feature see the Search Tips page.

2. Search Fields


Enter the word or words you wish to search for into the Keyword(s) box; your terms will be searched in all fields.
For more information on truncation, Boolean and proximity operators see the Search Tips page.


You can narrow your search by date in two ways. To search on a range of years, enter the relevant year, month and day values into the from and to boxes, or to search within a single year/month/day, enter the same values in the from and to boxes.

The official dates of coverage for the Thomason periodical content in EEBO are 22 November 1641 to 21 June 1665. The date fields default to the earliest and latest publication dates that occur within all available records.

Author/Editor Keywords

Searches for terms within author/editor fields in periodical content. If you're unsure of the spelling of a word, consider using the Author/Editor browse index on the Select from a list page.

Note that searching on a non-inverted name form in the Author/editor keyword(s) field will also retrieve the inverted form, e.g. you can type 'thomas archer' to retrieve records for items where 'archer, thomas' is the author or editor.

A list of abbreviations used in the Author/Editor name field is available.

Title Keywords

Search for keywords that appear in the title field. Use the Select from a list link to browse the title index and select appropriate terms.

Bibliographic Number

Search for the alphanumeric entry found in the Short-Title Catalogues: Pollard & Redgrave, Wing, or the Thomason Tracts. A list of abbreviations used is available through the Abbreviations reference link.


Search for publisher, city of publication and date of publication. If you're unsure of the imprint details for a work, consider using the Imprint browse index on the Select from a list page.

Reel Position

Search the reel number and position of the microfilm document. Early English Books Online is the online version of UMI's microfilm collections of the Short-Title Catalogues.

Illustration Type

Search documents containing one of 6 different illustration types using the multi-select list. For more help and a detailed description of each illustration type, please see the illustration box to the right.

3. Display Results As

You can choose the order your results will display: Date of first issue - earliest first, Alphabetically by periodical title, Separate issues with earliest issues first, Separate issues with latest issue first.

4. Durable URL

Click to create a durable URL that you can copy and use later to revisit this same page and user as a short-cut. Access to the durable URL is based on authentication into your organization's EEBO account.

Periodicals Search



In EEBO the illustration search will help you find documents that contain one or more of the 14 different illustration types listed below. You can then preview the illustrations and navigate easily between each illustration within a document. Illustrations are not individually indexed. A search for keyword: Queen Elizabeth and illustration type: portrait will retrieve documents containing portraits in which "Queen Elizabeth" appears in the record or full text; it will not retrieve portraits of Queen Elizabeth only.

Available types include:

Chart - An opaque sheet that displays information in a graphic or tabular form.

Coat of arms - A symbolic emblem of heraldic bearings; usually consists of a crest and motto.

Forms - Material that have blank spaces to be filled in by hand. Often pertaining to legal or church issues.

Genealogical tables - A graphic depiction of the line of descent of a family. (For example: A family tree.)

Illustrations - Any graphic representation not specifically listed in other descriptions.

Map - A representation, normally to scale and on a flat medium, of a selection of material or abstract features on, or in relation to, the earth's surface or the surface of any other celestial body.

Music - Musical notations (i.e. staff, clef sign, notes, etc.)

Plan - A drawing showing relative positions on a horizontal plane (e.g. relative positions of parts of a building; a landscape design; a graphic representation of a military manoeuvre; etc.)

Printer's mark - Colophon - decorative device or insignia identifying the printer found at the end of the work.

Printer's mark - Title page - decorative device or insignia identifying the printer found on the title page.

Portrait - A picture of a person or group of persons.

Title page border - decorative elements (frequently repeated) that enclose title page information.

Plates - Items inserted into the regular numbering and signatures of the book--they are either unnumbered entirely or have a separate numbering of their own. Plates are single-sided and sometimes fold-outs, and the other side of the page is often blank.

Symbols - i.e. scientific and mathematical formulae, astrological symbols.