The early modern internet

If you’ve found your way here, you might be interested to have a poke around some great online resources for early modern and general history. These are just a few of the facilities that I use pretty much day in, day out. Some, like Early English Books Online, require a university or library login. If you can’t access from where you are, chances are there’s a library near you that has a subscription to some or all of these.

This is just a partial list of some of my favourites, but there are bound to be more that I’ve missed out. If you think there’s something that should be included here, let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

For a great selection of free-to-access resources online, check out Early Modern Resources. Everything there is accessible to all, and it’s curated by the excellent @sharon_howard, whose website and Twitter feed are full of interesting material.

The Early Modern Intelligencer is run by the Birkbeck Early Modern Society. It’s where I go for announcements about conferences, events, and news about all things historical.

If you want to know what it was like to walk through a city around the turn of the seventeenth century, you could hardly do better than the Map of Early Modern London. Compiled from contemporary sources, I’ve used it to locate inns, fencing-schools, and even individual houses. It’s a fantastic piece of work and one I’d suggest you get your hands dirty with.

And if you want a companion on your walk around London, try making the acquaintance of Samuel Pepys, whose monumental diary is online so you can find out just what he was up to on this day in 1668.

For books printed in English from the fifteenth century to the start of the eighteenth, Early English Books Online is a wonderland. It contains PDFs (and sometimes text files) of a huge proportion of the books published in that period, and even if it’s a bit fiddly to search (be patient), it’s made historians’ lives infinitely easier over the last few years. You might need a university or library subscription for this one.

As I’ve said above, these are just a few preliminary suggestions. Enjoy, and check back here for more to come.


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