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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Guide to Finding Digital Literary Texts: ECCO

Searching ECCO

What's ECCO?

Eighteenth Century Collections Online is a database containing facsimile and fulltext links to over 180,000 full-text digital items from the ESTC, published in the United Kingdom from approximately 1701 to 1800.

How Do I Search in ECCO?

You can search ECCO's holdings in three ways: Basic Search (located on the Home page), Advanced Search, or by browsing.  Basic search, with keywords and phrases, is the best option for most searches.

Basic Search

In Basic Search, you can only search in one field at a time:

The Keyword(s) search is best used for subject keyword searches.

The author and title searches allow you to search for titled works, authors, editors, and compilers. Be careful with your spelling of the terms: while the database will compensate for variants in spelling, the modern spelling will not match the original text.

Use Entire document search when you cannot be certain that your search term will match the author, title, or another defined field.  It will search the full text of every item in the database.

You can also limit by the year of publication, as well as no publication date, in the event that the date is unknown.

Finally, you can select which subject areas you would like to search by checking the boxes that correspond to those subjects you are interested in.

Advanced Search

The advanced search page allows you to search mulitple fields at the same time. There are also several fields not available in the basic search:

The drop down menu offers options to search by the parts of the book (Front Matter, Main Text, or Back of the Book), English Short-Title Catalogue Number ("ESTC Number"), Publisher,  Document Number, or Place of Publication.There are also options to limit your search by language or illustration type.

Interpreting Results

How Do I Interpret My List of Results?

Your results page has a header and a list of results


At the top of the header on your results page you'll find information about your search - the terms searched and the number of records returned.  From here you can search within your results, by entering in additional keywords, or narrow your results by subject area.

Your Results

Below the line you'll find a list of your results.  The checkbox next to each record allows you to keep a list of records you'd like to go back to.  The compiled list of checked records, or Marked List is accessible from the top of every ECCO page via the eponymous link.  If you take advantage of the marked list feature be sure to print, download or email the list before closing your ECCO session.

Your results will be displayed with the title, author, and details, including place and year of publication.  Once you've identified the item you want, click on it to bring up that item's record or check the box next to the record to add it to your marked list.

Anywhere within a record, at the top right of the screen, you should see a row of icons.  Two icons in particular will be important to you.

Clicking on the floppy disk icon will prompt you to save the item, whether one page or the entire thing.

Clicking the file icon will generate a citation, allowing you to specify a particular style (MLA, APA) and to export it, whether to RefWorks or, if nothing is selected, as an .htm file, which you can open in your web browser.