Sunday, June 12, 2005

A couple of my favourite online sources...
for info on the 18th century contain a wealth of information.

First is Eighteenth Century England, based at the University of Michigan. Students from the English Department there pick a topic for study and post the essay to the website. The variety of information is astounding, ranging from English Fairs, to Banking, Coffee Houses, Crime, Food, Leisure etc. At present there are 54 projects on the site.

I've visited many of them and while the quality does vary, for the most part the work is solid. Illustrations abound and each project is well referenced, with footnotes and a bibliography. Also included is a set of research tips, an added bonus for those of us inclined to follow up and explore further.


Next up is Eighteenth Century Resources, a site maintained by Jack Lynch at Rutgers University. He focusses on what is know as the long eighteenth century, spanning the mid-17th Century all the way to 1800 and even a little beyond. The resources are divided into categories such as Art, Architecture, Landscape Gardening, &c., History, Music, Science and Mathematics etc. There's even a link to a page listing other academics working on the same period.

Each category page has links to other websites. What's important here is each link is annotated, with a brief description and assessment of the site. Very important for a researcher.

And no description of this site would be complete without mention of the Chronology. Though still a work in progress, it's a treasure trove of detail for writers working on building a believable, historical world. Some years have more info than others, yet this in no way detracts from the overall value. Especially as it's indexed and, best of all FREE!

The academic world is extremely generous to researchers, making available a wealth of knowledge when it could just as easily be kept hidden on an intranet. For that, I'm extremely grateful.

So, there we are - hope you enjoy these sites and stay tuned for more!



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