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Early English Books Online (EEBO) on the ProQuest Platform

Early English Books Online is Moving!

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Early English Books Online (EEBO) is now located on both the ProQuest platform (shown on this guide) and the legacy platform (related LibGuide here). 

Dual access will last until mid-January 2020, at which time the legacy instance will be decommissioned and automatically redirect to the new Early English Books Online site on the main ProQuest platform.

Important information for existing EEBO Users

Important Differences between the Chadwyck-Healey version of EEBO and the ProQuest platform version, to be aware of:

  • In the ProQuest platform, the variants search is always on.
  • Users can stop the variant search by putting the search term in “quotes” OR using the star wildcard*: both will turn off the variant search.
  • Note that EEBO on ProQuest has more content than EEBO on CH: TCP 1 and TCP 2 are included, and the number of image sets/records has increased from 132K to 146K. As a result, there will be differences between results on both old and new EBBO. See more on this in the box here below.
  • To see all the variants actually searched in Advanced Search under ‘Result page options’. We plan to make this much more prominent in our October release. See more on this in the detailed page about Variants searching.










Read more about the benefits of the migration to the unified ProQuest platform for EEBO

and more details on the differences between the 2 platforms.

What is Early English Books Online (EEBO)?

From the first book published in English through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare, this incomparable collection now contains more than 146,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640) and Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700) and their revised editions, as well as the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) collection and the Early English Books Tract Supplement. Libraries possessing this collection find they are able to fulfill the most exhaustive research requirements of graduate scholars in many subject areas, including English literature, history, philosophy, linguistics, theology, music, fine arts, education, mathematics, and science.

Content Description

  • EEBO consists of facsimile images scanned from the popular Early English Books I (STC), Early English Books II (Wing), Thomason Tracts and Early English Books Tract Supplement microfilm collections (issued by UMI) together with rich descriptive bibliographic metadata containing Library of Congress Subject Headings and copious bibliographic references.
  • Over 60,000 EEBO texts, transcribed as part of the Text Creation Partnership project, have been included in the new instance of EEBO.
  • EEBO contains over 146,000 works comprising more than 17 million pages of rare books.
  • The collection includes works by major authors such as Shakespeare, Malory, Spenser, Bacon, More, Erasmus, Boyle, Newton and Galileo together with a host of less frequently studied writers.
  • The collection includes a wide array of different kinds of historical documents, from Bibles, prayer books, royal statutes, proclamations, and military, religious and other public documents, through to almanacs, musical exercises, calendars, broadsides, periodicals and newsbooks, pamphlets and proclamations.
  • The EEBO Introductions Series provides concise and informative commentaries on some of the less well known texts in EEBO. Each contribution to the series has been prepared by a specialist in the field of early modern studies and offers insights into a range of contextual, bibliographical, and reception-based issues associated with a given EEBO text.

EEBO and the Text Creation Partnership (TCP I and TCP II)

To accompany the citations and page images, a separate initiative, the Text Creation Partnership (TCP) created accurate full-text transcriptions for a large selection of EEBO works. The TCP partnership began in 1999 as an innovative collaboration between ProQuest LLC, the University of Michigan, and Oxford University. The aim was to convert half of EEBO into fully-searchable, TEI-compliant SGML/XML texts. This collaboration extended to a funding partnership with JISC and a collection of libraries so that now TCP texts are jointly owned by more than 150 libraries worldwide, creating a significant database of foundational scholarship.

All scholars of EEBO can seamlessly move between the text transcriptions and the corresponding original page images on the ProQuest interface. ProQuest’s expert digitization and indexing amplifies the benefit of the full text from TCP, enabling precision searching – made possible through tools that address variant spellings and word forms.

Selection of Titles for Transcription

  • Selection is based on the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). Works are eligible to be encoded if the name of their author appears in NCBEL. Anonymous works may also be selected if their titles appear in the bibliography. The NCBEL was chosen as a guideline because it includes foundational works as well as less canonical titles related to a wide variety of fields, not just literary studies.
  • In general, priority is given to first editions and works in English (although in the past Latin and Welsh texts have also been tackled).
  • Titles requested by users at partner institutions are placed at the head of the production line.

1st English printed book William Caxton

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.