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JISC Collections has purchased a range of historic book archives for perpetual access by member institutions. Currently, these archives must be separately accessed, searched and browsed on a range of platforms, and are subject to an annual access fee.

One platform, over 350,000 historic books

JISC Historic Books contains the full text or page images of over 350,000 books published in Britain from 1475 to 1900. The service draws together content from two of the best-known and long established early book collections:

EEBO (Early English Books Online)

The scanned images and (increasingly) full-text digital versions of over 125,000 books published in English up to 1700, from the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War.

ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online)

A digital collection of all the books published in Great Britain and its colonies during the eighteenth century, comprising some 33 million pages from more than 180,000 titles. The collection includes books in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Latin, Spanish and Welsh.

Uniquely and never before available online, JISC Historic Books also includes:

Nineteenth Century books from the British Library collection

A digital collection of more than 65,000 first editions from the long 19th century, covering philosophy, history, poetry and literature. The collection of over 25 million pages of previously rare and inaccessible content is searchable for the first time, and includes the original typeface and illustrations for each book.

JISC Collections, with the JISC Historic Books advisory board, is exploring how the community can work together to improve the machine-created text that sits alongside the digitised images, and how we can best provide libraries with MARC records for all the titles on the platform – no small task!