Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
ProQuest LibGuides Banner ProQuest LogoProQuest LibGuides homeProQuest LibGuides home

Early English Books Online (EEBO) on the ProQuest Platform


Content Description

EEBO consists of facsimile images scanned from 4 major microfilm collections (issued by UMI) :

  • Early English Books I (STC)
  • Early English Books II (Wing)
  • Thomason Tracts
  • Early English Books Tract Supplement

together with rich descriptive bibliographic metadata containing Library of Congress Subject Headings and copious bibliographic references.

The current size of the collection amounts to over 146,000 works comprising more than 17 million pages of rare books. Over 60,000 EEBO texts, transcribed as part of the Text Creation Partnership project, are now included.

The historical documents span a wide array or different kinds, from Bibles, prayer books, royal statutes, proclamations, and military, religious and other public documents, through to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. Works by major authors such as Shakespeare, Malory, Spenser, Bacon, More, Erasmus, Boyle, Newton and Galileo can be found next to a host of less frequently studied writers.

The EEBO Introductions Series provides concise and informative commentaries on some of the less well known texts in EEBO.

New titles are added to Early English Books Online every year. See what’s new in the document below for the latest release.

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.

What's Online – EEBO Reel Numbers

As of November 2020, EEBO provides comprehensive coverage of:

  • Early English Books I, 1475-1640 (Pollard & Redgrave, STC I), Units 1-94 (comprising reels 1-2460 of this microfilm collection)
  • Early English Books II, 1641-1700 (Wing, STC II), Units 1-144 (comprising reels 1-3119 of this microfilm collection)
  • The Thomason Tracts Collection
  • The Early English Books Tract Supplement Collection, Unit 1
  • Coverage of Unit 2 of the Early English Books Tract Supplement, the final part of this collection, is also now substantially complete in EEBO
  • STC unit 95 and Wing Units 143-150 have been released on microfilm and are waiting to be scanned. A total of 3,421 titles and 191,734 pages are in the pipeline to be available soon on EEBO.

Users wishing to consult the microfilm version of texts that currently lack Document Images in EEBO can find the UMI Microfilm collection and reel number on the Full Record display. The Full Record also identifies the library that holds the source copy filmed (in the Copy from field).

We estimate that EEBO is approximately 92% complete while the remaining titles will be added in future releases. These will include titles discovered from the ESTC that are not in Wing or STC but were printed in England during the early modern period.

EEBO Introductions Series

The EEBO Introductions Series provides scholars with a forum for the exchange of information and ideas relating to some of the less frequently discussed early modern printed texts available in Early English Books Online.

Each contribution to the series offers insights into a range of contextual, bibliographical, and reception-based issues associated with a work in EEBO that has received no recent scholarly edition, and which is unlikely to be edited for publication without the interest of the scheme. Links to EEBO Document Images of the work under discussion and to other related online resources are included.

The General Editor of the series is Dr Edward Wilson-Lee of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

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.