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Primary sources

Early books and texts

This section offers a range of resources offering digitised versions of books and other printed matter mainly published prior to 1800.

L’Année Philologique

An online bibliography which references modern editions of selected ancient texts and covers “early Christian texts and patristics—Greek and Roman history, art, archaeology, philosophy, religion, mythology, music, science, and scholarly subspecialties such as numismatics, papyrology, and epigraphy.” (From the introduction to the resource). A subscription resource from Brepols.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

ECCO offers 180,000 digitised titles, many from the 18th century, including books, pamphlets, essays, broadsides and more. Covers a wide range of arts and social science subjects. A subscription resource from GALE.

Early European Books (EEB)

Early European Books provides digital access to all works printed in Europe before 1701, drawing together a diverse array of printed sources, regardless of language, as well as works published further afield. Subject coverage includes history, religion, politics, philosophy and early medicine. EEB offers full-colour, high-resolution images. We have access to digital collections 1–4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14, and the Wellcome Trust’s digitised collection of Early European books. A subscription resource from ProQuest.

Early English Books Online (EEBO)

Early English Books Online features page images of almost every work printed in the British Isles and North America, as well as works in English printed elsewhere, from 1470–1700. A subscription resource from ProQuest.

John Johnson Collection

This collection provides access to thousands of items selected from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera, offering unique insights into the changing nature of everyday life in Britain in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Categories include Nineteenth-century entertainment, the Book trade, Popular prints, Crimes, murders and executions, and Advertising. A subscription resource from ProQuest.

Library of Latin Texts Online

A database of Christian Latin texts, including the Corpus Christianorum editions, supplemented by other texts. This database allows you to search for the full text of works by early Christian authors and to search within these texts. A subscription resource from Brepols.

Loeb Classical Library

From Harvard University Press, this subscription resource has more than 530 volumes of classical Greek and Latin texts with English translations. It has fully searchable epic and lyric poetry, tragedy and comedy, history, travel, philosophy, and oratory, the great medical writers and mathematicians, and those Church Fathers who made particular use of pagan culture.

Manchester Medieval Sources Online

This resource presents life in the medieval world through reproductions of documents and texts, which give first-hand accounts of the cultural, social and political conditions of medieval society. Each text is accompanied by commentaries and explanatory materia, with many translated into English for the first time. Each work in the series can also be found individually via Library Search. A subscription resource from Manchester University Press.

Patrologia Latina Database

For theologians and Church historians, this is a searchable database of the works of the Church Fathers from Tertullian in 200CE to the death of Pope Innocent III in 1216. Based on "Patrologia latina" edited by J.P. Migne (1844–1865). The database is not currently updated. A subscription resource from ProQuest.

UK Medical Heritage Library

A free and open collection of digitised medical and health-related texts dating from the late 18th to the early 20th century, assembled from the print collections of nine leading UK academic libraries, including the University of Leeds. Hosted by the Wellcome Library.