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Course & Subject Guides

History of the English Language - Greensburg Campus

This guide will assist students in Dr. Greenfield's History of the English Language (ENGLIT 1552) course in researching the development of their chosen words.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

Eighteenth Century Collections Online

To access Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), click on the image above.

What is ECCO?

"Eighteenth Century Collections Online includes a variety of materials -- from books and directories, Bibles, sheet music and sermons to advertisements -- and works by many well-known and lesser-known authors, all providing a diverse collection of material for the researcher of the eighteenth century."

How is ECCO different from EEBO?

Great question!  EEBO contains books from 1475-1700, whereas ECCO contains book from 1700-1799.  They are a nice complement to each other, chronologically speaking. 

ECCO is also through a different provider, so the interface and available features are also a bit different.  ECCO uses something called optical character recognition (OCR), rather than human transcription.  This means that a computer transcribes the text, not a human.  Although this method is good, the error level is a lot higher.  This is important to keep in mind if you chose a word with an s, f, ct, etc.  Dr. Greenfield can certainly help with this.

Do you have any tips for searching this database?

Of course!  One important thing to keep in mind is that ECCO does not have a "variant forms" or "variant spellings" check box like EEBO does.  There are a couple of ways that you can get around this.  If the spelling variation occurs at the end of your word, you may use an *.  For example, a search for organi* would retrieve results that include organize, organized, organiz'd, organization, organise, organised, organis'd, organisation, etc.  Be careful not to use the * with a short or common word stem as you might get a lot of irrelevant results.  If you have a single-letter variation in the middle of a word, you may you an !.  For example, a search for humo!r would find humor or humour.  Note:  You cannot use the * or ! at the beginning of word. 

Be sure to click on the check box for "Include documents with no known publication date," in order to get a complete results list.

It's possible you will want to search for a phrase.  If you know the exact phrase you would like to search, it is best to place the phrase within quotations (e.g. search for "murder most foul").  If you don't know the exact phrase, you may conduct searches similar to the ones described on the EEBO page.  For example, murder near.2 foul in EEBO = murder n2 foul in ECCO, murder fby.2 foul in EEBO = murder w2 foul in ECCO.

I did a successful search, but everything looks a bit different in this database.  Do I have the same options available to me?

For the most part.  This database is just arranged a bit differently.  You are able have your results list sorted by date.  To do this, use the drop-down box next to "Sort by" and select "Publication Date Ascending."  In the results list, you will notice that there is a link to view your "Keyword in Context," which is similar to EEBO.  (Please note that you will have to allow pop-ups for this feature to work in ECCO.)

To view the full text of a text, simply click on its title.  It is important to note that you will not have access to transcriptions in ECCO, only the images of the original text.  You should use the blue arrow buttons to turn pages back and forth.

Can I print, save, or email citations or the full text in ECCO?

 Yes, these features are similar to what is available to you in EEBO, including the ability to create a "marked list" from your results list.

Are there any other cool features in ECCO?

Yes, I could write a book!  My recommendation is to play around in the database; I promise it won't explode.