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How do I subscribe to Early English Books Online?

Early English Books Online ("EEBO") welcomes subscriptions from universities, schools, and academic and public libraries. If you belong to such an institution and would like to set up a free trial subscription, you should ask your librarian to contact us by filling in the free trial subscription request form. If you do not attend such an institution, and depending on the area you live in, your public library may subscribe. If they do not, we would be happy to set the library up with a free trial at their request. The librarian or information officer may contact us by filling in the free trial subscription form.
Individual subscriptions
Please note that it is very rare for us to set up an individual for a free trial. EEBO is aimed at the institutional market and is priced accordingly. Individual pricing is not available. As such, individuals requesting a free trial will be judged on a case-by-case basis. We reserve the right to refuse a trial subscription.


How do I download and print multiple pages in EEBO, or an entire document?

You may download an entire book from EEBO, or a custom range of pages. On your list of results, or if you are viewing the Full Record or Document Images for an item, you will see a checkbox to "Add to your Marked List." Check that box, and then select the "Marked List" option from the black menu along the top of each page. On the Marked List page you will see a short citation for the item, and a PDF icon and link to "Download document images in PDF." If you click that link you will see two options to either download a page range or the entire document in PDF format. Wait a few moments while the pages are converted to PDF. When that is completed, please "confirm" that you want to download the file and then you will see an option to open it or save it.


How do I cite a title from EEBO?

When citing material from EEBO, it is helpful to give the publication details of the original print source as well as those of the electronic version. You can view the original publication details of works in EEBO by clicking on the Full Record icon (Record) that appears on the Search Results, Document Image and Full Text page views, as well as on the list of Author's Works.

Joseph Gibaldi's MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. (New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2009), deals with citations of online sources in section 5.6, pp.181-93. For works on the web with print publication data, the MLA Handbook suggests that details of the print publication should be followed by (i) the title of the database or web site, (ii) the medium of publication consulted (i.e. 'Web'), and (iii) the date of access (see 5.6.2.c, pp. 187-8).

A URL can be included as supplementary information following the date of access, a period, and a space; URLs should be enclosed in angle brackets (see p.182). When including URLs in EEBO citations, use the blue Durable URL button that appears on each Document Image and Full Record display to generate a persistent URL for the particular page or record that you are referencing. It is not advisable to copy and paste URLs from the address bar of your browser as these will not be persistent.

Note that when citing works published before 1900 it is customary to omit the name of the publisher and to use a comma (instead of a colon) after the place of publication (see 5.5.23, p.178). The works that have been scanned for inclusion in EEBO fall into this category.

Here is an example based on these guidelines:

Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Qveene: Disposed into Twelue Books, Fashioning XII Morall Vertues. London, 1590. Early English Books Online. Web. 13 May 2003. <>.

If you are citing one of the keyed texts produced by the Text Creation Partnership (TCP), the following format is recommended:

Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Qveene: Disposed into Twelue Books, Fashioning XII Morall Vertues. London, 1590. Text Creation Partnership digital edition. Early English Books Online. Web. 13 October 2010. <>.

These citations would appear differently in footnote or endnote references - with commas instead of stops and brackets around the publication details of the source volume. You should consult Appendix B of the MLA Handbook for details.


What is the Text Creation Partnership? How do I subscribe to it?

The Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership (TCP) began in 1999 as an innovative collaboration between ProQuest LLC, the University of Michigan and the University of Oxford to convert 25,000 works from EEBO into fully-searchable, TEI-compliant SGML/XML texts. The first phase of the EEBO-TCP partnership was completed in 2009, and a second phase of EEBO-TCP production was initiated in 2008.

EEBO-TCP Phase I provides searchable keyed editions of foundational works in a wide variety of disciplines, taking the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL) as its principal guide to text selection. The aim of EEBO-TCP Phase II is to produce searchable keyed editions of the remaining works, some 44,000 printed sources. Together, the Phase I and Phase II collections will eventually form a searchable archive that includes one edition (in most cases the first) of every substantive English-language work in EEBO.

The TCP Phase I and Phase II collections are fully accessible via EEBO in participating institutions, as well as via interfaces provided by the University of Michigan and the University of Oxford.

View a list of institutions that have joined the TCP Phase I and Phase II partnerships.

Access to EEBO-TCP Phase I

Enquiries concerning access to the EEBO-TCP Phase I collection should be directed to ProQuest (rather than to the Text Creation Partnership).

If you belong to an institution that provides access to EEBO and wish to obtain trial access to the EEBO-TCP Phase I collection, please ask your librarian to contact your local ProQuest representative.

Please note that it is very rare for ProQuest to set up an individual for a free trial. The EEBO TCP collection is aimed at the institutional market and is priced accordingly. Individual pricing is not available. As such, individuals requesting a free trial will be judged on a case-by-case basis. ProQuest reserves the right to refuse a free trial subscription.

Access to EEBO-TCP Phase II

Enquiries concerning access to the EEBO-TCP Phase II collection should be directed to the Text Creation Partnership (rather than to ProQuest).

If you belong to an institution that provides access to EEBO and the EEBO TCP Phase I collection and wish to obtain access to the EEBO-TCP Phase II collection, please ask your librarian to the Text Creation Partnership.

To find out more about the TCP, including how to join the Phase II partnership, please visit the Text Creation Partnership web site at


How do I access EEBO full text?

Where the full text of a title is available in EEBO, a full-text icon (vertical page) will appear within your Search Results. Click on the icon to access and read the full text (a re-keyed ASCII version of the original document's page images). You can also find a list of authors with works available in full text from the Browse page (select "Limit to authors available in full text"). TCP members can also search the full text from the University of Michigan's TCP site.

Where full text icons do not appear, either your institution does not belong to the Text Creation Partnership (find a list of members here) or the items have not yet been converted to full text. Information on the guidelines used for text selection, and a list of texts that have been selected for conversion by the TCP so far, are available here.


Can I download material from EEBO?

All the material published in EEBO is subject to copyright restrictions and includes a clear statement on each page informing users of who the copyright holder is. Much of this material is published electronically under license from the source library, and is intended solely for the use of members of institutions who subscribe to the service. The copyright restrictions are similar to those which apply to print publications: just as readers are permitted to photocopy short passages of books and journals, users of EEBO are permitted to download, print, save or email material for their individual use on the understanding that these copyright restrictions are adhered to. All further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without the written permission of ProQuest LLC, and, where applicable, the copyright holders of the source volume.


Must I obtain permission to reproduce images from EEBO? How?

ProQuest LLC has copyright and other intellectual property rights in EEBO. In addition, ProQuest LLC's agreements with the owners of the materials reproduced in EEBO give us limited rights which do not include the reproduction and/or publication of images outside of EEBO. Accordingly, if you wish to publish images from EEBO in print form (in an article or in a book) or electronically (for instance on the open web) you must obtain permission to do so from both ProQuest LLC and the owner of the material.

Note that you do not require permission to include images from EEBO in unpublished works such as dissertations and theses (provided that these are not available on the open web or distributed via an institutional repository or other database).

If you would like to include a work from Early English Books Online in a published work, please do the following:

  • All EEBO records identify the library or other entity from whom ProQuest LLC obtained the right to microfilm and digitize the work (see "Copy from" in the full record). Please begin by contacting the library that owns the work, and request their permission to reproduce it.
  • When the library has granted the rights to you, please contact ProQuest LLC to request permission to include the image(s) in your book or article. Please send a written copy of the source library's permission and a letter outlining what material you would like to reproduce and how you are intending to use the material to:
    EEBO Product Manager
    The Quorum
    Barnwell Road
    CB5 8SW

    Or contact the Webmaster.
How do old spellings affect my searches?

The searchable data in EEBO preserves faithfully the non-standard spellings that are characteristic of early modern texts. Thus the word virtue often appears as vertue in EEBO; a common variant of mutability is mutabilitie.

The quickest and easiest way to find variant spellings of your search term(s) is to search with the Variant spellings box checked. If you type a search term in the Keyword(s) box and the Variant spellings box is checked when you submit your search, you will automatically retrieve all instances of your search term and its early modern variant forms present in EEBO. For example, if the box for Variant spellings is checked and you type the word murder in the Keyword(s) field, when you submit your search you will retrieve all occurrences of the word murder and its early modern variants murther, murdre, murdir and mvrder. The Variant spellings box appears on the Basic Search, Advanced Search and Periodicals Search screens and is checked by default.

The Check for variants display, which is accessible via a link to the right of the Keyword(s) field, allows you to view all the related spellings of any term or terms you have entered. From this screen you can select specific variant forms to copy back into your search, allowing you to build a search query focussed on particular variant forms of your original term.

The Variant spellings functionality in EEBO has been made possible by the CIC CLI Virtual Modernisation Project.

Another way to search for variant spellings is to use single-character wildcards (?) and truncation operators (*) to broaden searches (type je?lo?s* to retrieve a number of variant forms of jealous and jealousy, for instance jealousie, jelowsye, jelousies and jealosies ). When typing a search expression that includes truncation and wildcard operators in this way, you should uncheck the Variant spellings and Variant forms boxes.

You can also type the word you are looking for in the Keyword(s) or Title keyword(s) fields and then click the Select from a list link. You will then be able to scroll through and select from an alphabetical list of all the words, including all old spellings, represented in EEBO. Use the Boolean operator OR between multiple search terms to retrieve variants with a single search.


  • Title keyword(s): mutabilitie or mutability

Typographical Variants

Early modern typographical conventions mean that in pre-1700 texts certain characters are often used interchangeably. For instance, the characters j and i are often exchanged, with the word juniper occasionally appearing as iuniper, and Ireland as Jreland. Similarly, u often appears as a v, and vice versa, such that the word love often appears as loue, whilst usurper sometimes appears as vsurper. The letter w is occasionally represented by both vv and uu, with worthiness appearing as both vvorthines and uuorthines. In EEBO all of these variant forms are preserved exactly as they appear in the source text and are listed in the alphabetical word index on the Keyword(s) and Title keyword(s) lists (click Select from a list alongside the Keyword(s) and Title keyword(s) fields).

When you search with the Variant spellings box checked, you will automatically retrieve instances of your search term(s) in which any of the following substitutions have taken place:

v for u
u for v
j for i or y
i for j or y
y for i or j
w for vv or uu
s for f
y for 3 (yogh) or z

Thus a search for the term woman will retrieve forms of this word featuring variant typography such as vvoman and uuoman (along with other old spellings of woman such as womanne and vvoeman).


  • Try entering the phrase "true whiggish standard" in the Title keyword(s) field on either the Basic or Advanced Search screen - performing this search without using the Variant spellings option retrieves no results, whereas with the box checked EEBO retrieves The western rebel; or, The true UUhiggish standard... (1685)

Text Creation Partnership keyboarded full-text versions of EEBO texts (which are accessible via EEBO to TCP member institutions) include non-standard characters such as thorn (þ) and eth (ð). For the purposes of searching, EEBO treats these characters exactly like their more standard equivalents, so that a search for the Keyword(s): thrittig will retrieve instances of þrittig, while searching for Keyword(s): broðre will retrieve occurrences of both broðre and brothre. Similarly, a search for the Keyword(s): Danae will retrieve occurrences of Danae, Danaë and Danäe (as will searching for either Danaë and Danäe). In the alphabetically arranged browse list for the Keyword(s) field (accessible by clicking select from a list >> to the right of the search field), non-standard characters are represented by their standard equivalents, such that þrittig is listed as thrittig.

The character yogh (3) is captured in TCP transcriptions of EEBO texts, but is displayed in EEBO as y. Thus the word kny3t is rendered as knyyt on the EEBO Full Text display. For the purposes of searching, EEBO treats 3 as equivalent to y and z, so that a search for Keyword(s): knyyt is equivalent o a search for Keyword(s): kny&yogh;t or Keyword(s):knyzt.

For further information, click Help in the top toolbar in EEBO.

How much of EEBO is complete? What is the schedule for completion?

As of June 2011, EEBO provides comprehensive coverage of:

  • Early English Books I, 1475-1640 (Pollard & Redgrave, STC I), Units 1-80 (comprising reels 1-2288 of this microfilm collection)
  • Early English Books II, 1641-1700 (Wing, STC II), Units 1-132 (comprising reels 1-2960 of this microfilm collection)
  • The Thomason Tracts Collection
  • The Early English Books Tract Supplement Collection, Unit 1
Coverage of Unit 2 of the Early English Books Tract Supplement, the final part of this collection, is also now substantially complete in EEBO. The remaining titles from STC I (Units 81-87) and Wing (Units 133-135) are currently in the process of being catalogued and scanned. Facsimile Document Images showing these titles will be added to EEBO as part of future updates of the service, along with the few outstanding items from Unit 2 of the Early English Books Tract Supplement collection.
Why do some of the works in EEBO only have records available?

Records for works in EEBO are made available as part of the service in advance of the document images for the works in question in order to help researchers identify the existence of a certain work, and locate it via the source library or the UMI microfilm collection. The production process for EEBO records/MARC records is quite separate from the image-manufacturing process. MARC records (from which EEBO Bibliographic records derive) are produced for the microfilm collection Early English Books (EEB) after they are filmed, and are required before new content can be digitised for inclusion in EEBO. Information about the status of both Early English Books Online and Early English Books, its microfilm source, is available in About EEBO. Alternatively, please feel free to use the Webmaster form to enquire about the status of a particular work in EEBO.

Why are the default dates on the search page 1473 to 1900? I thought EEBO only contained works printed before 1700.

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.