Historical Texts

A snippet of a historical pamphlet for Warne's Christmas Annual costing one shilling

A single platform providing access to over 400,000 texts from four key collections, dating from the late 15th century to the First World War.

Our Historical Texts service will be retired and unavailable from 31 July 2024.

Retiring this service allows Jisc to prioritise resources to meet the needs of the sector.

If you have any questions regarding the closure of this service, please contact your relationship manager.

The texts are held in four collections all brought together on a single platform and searchable separately or collectively using an extremely powerful, academically focused search engine:

  • Early English Books Online (EEBO)
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)
  • British Library 19th Century Collection (BL)
  • UK Medical Heritage Library

Benefits for students and researchers

  • Offers three individually important collections spanning more than 400 years in one place, making research easier, quicker and more comprehensive
  • Enable users to search the full text of many historical works, including rare and obscure works they might otherwise not know about and that provide a rich source of original findings
  • Provides valuable insight into the form and appearance of original works, making research more rewarding, interesting and engaging
  • Removes the time-consuming, costly need to visit libraries where original works are physically held
  • Provides a rich source of original illustrations for use in scholarly works and presentations
  • Optimised for tablet and mobiles to support new ways of accessing content

“Access to such a wide range of material has made a fantastic difference to my research – I can discover work and follow texts very easily" 

Researcher/reader, Nottingham Trent University 

Benefits for academic staff

  • Brings lectures and other presentations to life through the inclusion of original source material and illustrations
  • Gives access to rare and obscure resources that can add originality and breadth to a topic
  • Provides a rich source of original illustrations for teaching materials
  • Engages visual learners

Benefits for institutions and librarians

  • Offers cost savings compared to separate EEBO and ECCO subscriptions via commercial providers.
  • Offers the administrative and user-training benefits of a single subscription, login and interface covering all three collections

Member story: opening up 19th-century medicine

We worked with the Wellcome Library to make 68,000 19th-century texts relating to the history of medicine freely available to all via Historical Texts.

Read the full story with Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence.

Who can use Historical Texts?

Learners and staff at all UK FE colleges and HE institutions that are subscribed to the service.

Browse Historical Texts