Skip to Main Content

FHS Course I - Paper 4: Literature in English 1660-1760: Primary Texts Online

Search SOLO

You can search for scholarly e-book editions (eg Oxford Scholarly Editions) via SOLO or by browsing the platform directly

Search for online resources via Databases A-Z:

For access to the majority of resources covered in this guide, go to the English section of the subject list on Databases A-ZYou will also find useful resources in the LinguisticsNewspapers, and History sections.

Online texts

Drama Online provides access to the searchable full-text of over 1000 plays drawn from the Methuen Drama, Arden Shakespeare and Faber lists, as well as 350 plays from Nick Hern Books, to form a collection of the most studied, performed and critically acclaimed plays from Aeschylus to the present day. Over 100 critical and contextual works are also included, as well as biographical and bibliographical information for each playwright. The collection will be regularly updated with the latest works from new and established writers. 

ProQuest One Literature provides access to the full text of more than 350,000 British and American original works, as well as links to useful background material.



NB all texts in these two resources can also be found via SOLO, but these platforms allow searching of the full text


Women Writers Online
The Brown University Women Writers Project is a long-term research project devoted to early modern women's writing and electronic text encoding. Their goal is to bring texts by pre-Victorian women writers out of the archive and make them accessible. They support research on women's writing, text encoding, and the role of electronic texts in teaching and scholarship

Early printed material: digital facsimile

Early English Books Online (EEBO) 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. Over 200 libraries worldwide have contributed to EEBO. From the first book printed in English through to the ages of Spenser, Shakespeare and of the English Civil War, EEBO's content draws on authoritative and respected short-title catalogues of the period.

Beginning with the very first book published in English, EEBO draws from four authoritative bibliographical resources – both Pollard & Redgrave’s Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640) and Wing’s Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700) in their revised versions, as well as the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) and the Early English Books Tract Supplement – to present more than 146,000 titles and over 17 million scanned pages of content.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) provides fully searchable full text access to over 180,000 English-language titles and editions published between 1701 and 1800. it is fully text-searchable on over 33 million pages. 

ECCO includes books, pamphlets, essays, broadsides and more. It is based on the English Short Title Catalogue and contains works published in the UK during the 18th century plus thousands from elsewhere. Although the texts are primarily in English it does also include other languages.

Manuscripts: digital facsimiles

British Literary Manuscripts Online: 1660-1900 presents facsimile images of literary manuscripts — including letters and diaries, drafts of poems, plays, novels, essay, journals, and more — from the Restoration through the Victorian era. It encompasses extensive materials related to major British literary figures from the Bronte sisters to Sir Walter Scott to Oscar Wilde.

Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers 1500-1700 provides access to the manuscripts of early modern women writers, from diaries to works of drama, and from widely scattered locations. Detailed catalogue descriptions are linked with complete digital facsimiles of the original MSS, providing a wide variety of search and browsing options. There is extensive biographical information, notes on provenance, bibliographies, the first and last lines of all poetry, and contextual essays and notes on 'Perdita in the Classroom'.

Digital Bodleian gathers together over 650,000 freely available digital objects under a single user interface which supports fast user-friendly viewing of high resolution images.

Eighteenth Century Drama features the John Larpent Collection from the Huntingdon Library – a unique archive of almost every play submitted for licence between 1737 and 1824. Larpent was the Lord Chamberlain’s ‘Inspector of Plays’ and responsible for executing the Lisensing Act of 1737, which required the Lord Chamberlain’s Office to approve any play before it was staged. Larpent preserved the original submissions, over 2,500 of which are presented in this resource.

Also included are the diaries of Larpent’s wife and professional collaborator Anna, recording her criticism of plays, as well as insights into theatrical culture and English society. Hundreds of further documents including playbills, theatre records and correspondence also feature, including papers and correspondence of David Garrick, Edmund Kean, Sarah Siddons, among others.

The primary source content is supported by two key reference works for theatre history: The London Stage 1660-1800 and A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers & Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800.