EEBO - Early English Books Online - Logo Chadwyck Healey - logo
Home Search About EEBO Help Contents Back

Basic Search

The Basic Search screen allows you to search EEBO using a combination of the following search fields:

Click the links above to find out more about the search fields.

To conduct a search, either type the required search terms (individual words or phrases) into the relevant search boxes or select them from a browse index on the Select from a list page (where available).

Note that searching on a non-inverted name form in the Author keyword(s) field will also retrieve the inverted form, e.g. you can type 'william shakespeare' to retrieve records for items where 'shakespeare, william' is the author.

You can search for spelling variants of the words you enter; for example, a search for sing will find occurences of the word sing as well as the variations seynge, synge or syng. EEBO will automatically retrieve all spelling variants for all the word(s) you have entered; if you do not wish to include variant spellings in your search results, simply untick the Search using variant spellings check box. If you wish to include only certain variants, entering a word in the relevant search field and clicking the Check for variants link will take you to a page where you can specify more precisely the particular variants you wish to retrieve.

You can also use the Search using variant forms checkbox in conjunction with variant spelling searching to search for variant forms of the words you enter; for example, a search for civil will find occurences of the word civil as well as the variations civilest , civilly and civils.

Note that if you want to search on a number of variant spellings, your search will be more successful if you use the Variant spellings check box rather than choosing your terms from the Check for variants page.

You can also combine search terms using Boolean and proximity searching, search for variations on search terms using truncation operators, and specify exact matching in phrase-indexed fields. Note that for best results it is advisable to untick the Variant spellings checkbox before executing a search using wildcards.

If you are a TCP subscriber you can restrict your search to only return results with Keyed Full Text by selecting 'Items with keyed full text only' from the Limit to drop-down list. TCP subscribers and non-TCP subscribers can also use the Limit to drop-down list to restrict searches to items with document images.

If you are a joint EEBO-ECCO subscriber, you can also check the Include records from ECCO in your search checkbox to cross-search ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online) and EEBO and view records from ECCO alongside EEBO records in the Search Results.

You can choose how you want your results to be sorted by selecting an option from the Sort results drop-down list. You can choose to display results sorted alphabetically by title or author, or with the earliest or latest publications first.

You can also choose whether to display 10, 30 or 50 records per page on the Search Results page by selecting from the Display drop-down list.

When you have finished entering your search criteria, click Search. The Search Results page will displaying the results of your search.

Note: Between search boxes, all terms are treated by default as if they were combined using the Boolean operator AND.

By clicking on the Advanced Search link you have access to a more comprehensive set of search fields.

Limit by date

You can narrow your search by date in two ways. To search on a range of years, enter the relevant year values into the from and to boxes, or to search within a single year, enter the same year in the from and to boxes. The date fields default to the earliest and latest publication dates that occur within all available records.

The official dates of coverage for EEBO are 1473-1700, corresponding to the dates covered in the Pollard & Redgrave and Wing short title catalogues, and the Thomason Tract and Tract Supplement collections. However, there are a few hundred items in EEBO that were printed after 1700. Most of these are later reproductions or reprints of originals. Some are items that were erroneously dated and may have had their Wing numbers cancelled subsequent to being microfilmed. And some items overlap the centuries, such as A collection of several tracts and discourses written in the years 1677, to 1704 by Gilbert Burnet ... ; in three volumes, 1704. In addition, many of these items are one- or two-page broadsides and ballads that require more time to identify and scan for inclusion in EEBO, so because they fall outside of the project's parameters we will focus on finishing the materials up to 1700 first.