This page contains resources which primarily cover the history of Western Europe within the early-modern period (broadly spanning the years 1500-1750 AD). Resources relating to the history of Eastern Europe can be found on our new, dedicated page.
Art UK - A database of artworks held in UK public art collections, in collaboration with over 3,200 British Institutions.
Artstor - A digital library of over 1.6 million high resolution images of artwork from all over the world. It provides straightforward access to curated images from reliable sources that have been rights-cleared for use in education and research.
British Printed Images to 1700 - A digital library of prints and book illustrations from early modern Britain.
CODART: Dutch and Flemist Art in museums worldwide - This is an international guide to Dutch and Flemist Art in museums worldwide.
Compositor – A research project at the University of Birmingham providing a database of eighteenth-century printers’ ornaments.
Oxford Art Online - Coverage of over 1,700 artists and their work, plus coverage of art movements, theory, and criticism, regional and cultural surveys, and museums and galleries by city.
17th & 18th Century Burney Collection - Newspapers and news pamphlets published mostly in London, plus some English provincial, Irish and Scottish papers, and examples from the American colonies, Europe and India.
British Library Newspapers 1600-1950 - 3 million pages of historic newspapers, newsbooks and ephemera; includes national and regional papers from the British Isles.
British Periodicals - This database provides access to the searchable full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, comprising millions of high-resolution facsimile page images. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the social sciences, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture.
Broadside Ballads Online - A digital collection of English printed ballad-sheets from between the 16th and 20th centuries, linked to other resources for the study of the English ballad tradition.
The Casebooks Project - Led by Professor Lauren Kassell (University of Cambridge), the Casebooks Project studies the medical records of the Elizabethan astrologers Simon Forman (1552-1611) and Richard Napier (1559-1634). The site offers a digital archive of these medical records, divided into cases, records of astrologers, and patients' details, with close to 80,000 records in total. The site also includes advice for teaching and research using the casebooks, presenting select records in greater detail, together with a searchable calendar and glossary.
The Chymistry of Isaac Newton - A project run by humanities scholars and scientists at the University of Indiana on the chemical and alchemical papers of Isaac Newton. The site enables one to view and search digitised manuscripts, and access online tools and educational resources.
Early English Books Online (EEBO) - A database of almost all works in English printed from 1473-1700 (Kent login required).
Early European Books: printed sources to 1700 - Traces the history of printing in Europe from its origins through to the close of the 17th century, offering full-colour facsimile images of rare and hard-to-access printed sources.
Early Modern Letters Online - A combined finding aid and editorial interface for basic descriptions of early modern correspondence: a collaboratively populated union catalogue of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century letters.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) - Database of nearly 150,000 titles and editions published in English, 1701-1800.
Grub Street Project - Founded by Allison Muri in 2005, this project aims “to visualize the literary and cultural history of London”, cumulatively mapping the city’s print trade, its representations in literature, and the lives of those who lived there.
The site offers interactive maps and views of London through the long eighteenth century, combined with digitised literary resources in which the city of London features prominently, including Pope’s Dunciad Variorum (1729), and texts by writers associated with the Grub Street circle, such as Ned Ward’s A Trip to Jamaica With a True Character of the People and Island (1698).
London Lives 1690–1800: Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis - A project led by Professor Tim Hitchcock (University of Hertfordshire) and Professor Robert Shoemaker (University of Sheffield), which offers digitised access to 240,000 pages of manuscript materials reflecting on criminal justice and poor relief in eighteenth-century London.
Newton Project - A non-profit organisation dedicated to publishing in full an online edition of all of Sir Isaac Newton’s (1642–1727) writings — whether they were printed or not. The edition presents a full (diplomatic) rendition featuring all the amendments Newton made to his own texts or a more readable (normalised) version. Includes translations of his most important Latin religious texts.
Old Bailey Online - The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913. A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 1600s-1800s - Philosophical Transactions is the world’s first and longest-running scientific journal. It was launched in March 1665 by Henry Oldenburg (c.1619-1677), the Society’s first Secretary, who acted as publisher and editor. All historic editions are available digitally on their site.
Sloane Letters Project - A project to digitise the correspondence of Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) which consists of thirty-eight volumes held at the British Library, London: MSS 4036-4069, 4075-4078. The letters are a rich source of information about topics such as scientific discourse, collections of antiquities, curiosities and books, patients’ illnesses, medical treatments and family history.
State Papers Online (SPO) 1509-1714 - A database of historical materials covering a wide range of historical concern. Predominately papers of the Secretaries of State from the reign of Henry VIII to the end of the reign of Queen Anne (Kent login required).
VD 16 - A database of early modern printed German works.
VD 17 - A database of early modern printed German works.
Crace Collection of Maps of London - Hosted by the British Library, this digital image collection collects a range of printed and hand drawn maps of London from 1570-1860.
George III Topographical Collection - Here you will find 40,000 early maps that the British Library have made freely available online. This collection contains four centuries worth of images of places in the world, ranging from atlases to architectural drawings.
Layers of London - A map-based history website developed by the Institute of Historical Research. The website allows you to interact with and contribute to many different 'layers' of London's history from the Romans to the present day.
Locating London - This website allows you to search a wide body of digital resources relating to early modern and eighteenth-century London, and to map the results on to a fully GIS compliant version of John Rocque's 1746 map.
Map of Early Modern London (MoEML) - Civitas Londinum is a bird’s-eye view of London first printed from woodblocks in about 1561. Widely known as the Agas map, from a spurious attribution to surveyor Ralph Agas (c.1540-1621), the map offers a richly detailed view both of the buildings and streets of the city and of its environment. The map allows users to visualise, overlay, combine, and query the information in the MoEML databases.
Bridging the Continental Divide - Database with a major new translation of Scottish Latin poetry from the early seventeenth century.
Campbell Papers 1559-1583 - These form part of the Breadalbane Collection (GD112) in the National Records of Scotland. They relate to Colin Campbell, 6th laird of Glenorchy.
Esther Inglis: Creative Woman: Compiled by Georgianna Ziegler (Folger Shakespeare Library), this website brings together details of all known holdings of the manuscripts of Esther Inglis (c.1570-1624), a celebrated Scottish Huguenot female scribe associated with the court of James VI/I.
National Library of Scotland - A wide range of materials including Scottish and wider interest. ‘Scottish History’ and then on ‘Publications by Scottish Clubs’ or ‘Scottish History Society Publications’ gives you access to scans of lots of decent nineteenth century editions of sources.
Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 - Complete transcription of the records of Scotland’s Parliament until Union with England in 1707.
Scotland in Renaissance Diplomacy, 1473-1603 - List of Scottish diplomats.
Survey of Scottish Witchcraft - Online database of all known Scottish Witchcraft trials.
Scottish Economic History Database - A regionally-specific economic dataset, which provides information about crop yields, demographic data, prices, wages, and weather statistics for 1550 – 1780.
Scottish Handwriting - This website offers online tuition in palaeography for scholars working on early modern Scottish records.
Witches - A project from the University of Edinburgh, led by Emma Carroll and Ewan McAndrew. Witches offers interactive maps which geolocate the places of residence, trial and death of the 3141 figures accused of witchcraft in Scotland between 1563-1736, using data from the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft.
Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH) -Provides bibliographic data on historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British Empire and Commonwealth, during all periods for which written documentation is available - from 55BC to the present (Kent login required).
British Book Trade Index (BBBI) - Aims to include brief biographical and trade details of all those who worked in the English and Welsh book trades up to 1851.
British History Online (BHO) - A not-for-profit digital library based at the Institute of Historical Research. It brings together material for British history from the collections of libraries, archives, museums and academics. These primary and secondary sources, which range from medieval to twentieth century, are easily searchable and browsable online.
Cambridge Core - An essential reference collection spanning 350 volumes in 10 subject areas with a concentration on political and cultural history, literature, philosophy, religious studies, music and the arts.
Grand Tour - A unique collection of primary and secondary sources, artworks, photographs and maps the study of travel c.1550-1850.
Oxford Bibliographies - Listings of accurate and reliable resources for a wide range of topics collated by academic experts, with articles about current scholarship.
Archives Portal Europe - contains the online catalogues of hundreds of archives in 30 countries across the UK and Europe, as well as the links to the digitised collections when available. Archives Portal Europe makes it possible to search in institutions all over Europe with a single term or topic search.
Black Central Europe (1000-1500) - “The mission of Black Central Europe is to further knowledge about the Black Diaspora in German-speaking Central Europe in order to challenge racialized presumptions about history, national belonging, and citizenship in the region”. BCE offers resources for teaching and research and facilitates conversation. This page is a collection of primary source material, both literary and historical, which focus on the figure of the “Moor”, on Africa as perceived by medieval Europe, and the intersection between Islam and Christianity.
CatCor - A pilot project run by researchers from Oxford and the Sorbonne for a digital database of the letters of Catherine the Great. CatCor contains about 1000 of Catherine's letters written between 1742 and 1796.
Clergy of the Church of England Database (CCEd) - This AHRC-funded database, launched in 1999, makes available and searchable the principal records of clerical careers from over fifty archives in England and Wales with the aim of providing coverage of as many clerical lives as possible from 1540-1835.
Fashioning the Early Modern - This was a HERA-funded project that investigated the creativity and innovation that lay behind the creation and spread of fashionable goods in early modern Europe.
Historic Calendar - The multi-country Historical Calendar enables a comparison of both the Julian and Gregorian calendars for thirteen Western countries between 1000 and 2100. Includes an explanation of the two calendars.
The History of Parliament - Provides detailed descriptions of Parliament's history from the thirteenth century to the present day. This database also offers studies on individuals who were elected to Parliament.
Intoxicants Project - This project investigates the importance of intoxicants and intoxication to the economic, social, political, material and cultural life of early modern England.
The Power of Petitioning in Seventeenth-Century England - This is an AHRC-funded project that examines petitioning at all levels of English government during the whole century. The project includes petitions that have been both transcribed and digitised, and gathered from national and local archives.
Resource page updated by Amilia Gillies - last updated 06/01/23