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LTEN 245: 18th and 19th Century Print Cultures: Finding Books

Library Catalogs

Search Tips

Start with a KEYWORD search based on your topic.

  • Try numerous synonyms
  • Start with phrases such as "print culture" or "book history"
  • Add other keywords such as place names or people
  • Remember that this is just a start!


When searching for books, pay close attention to the subject headings and use them to find more books on that topic. Subject headings are linked: clicking on one will take you to a list of similar subject headings, ones that are broader or narrower in scope.  

Try using using your keywords as subjects. 

Academic libraries use Library of Congress Subject Headings. The language used may be outdated and may not match current scholarship.  

Useful subject headings:

  • Printing -- history
  • Publishers and Publishing
  • Books 
  • Literacy
  • Ethnic press
  • American newspapers

Digital Texts

  • Caribbean literature is a searchable collection of poetry and fiction produced in the region during the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the titles selected are numerous rare and hard-to-find works written in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, and various Creole languages. Future releases will also feature journals, reference works, and interviews with key writers. New content is uploaded on a biweekly basis, giving users immediate access to a steadily growing treasury of classic, rare, and contemporary literature. The database currently has over 7,000 pages

Early English Books Online (EEBO) 

  • EEBO contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700 - from the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War. Now includes EEBO Introductions and other secondary materials.\
  • Digitization of The Eighteenth Century, a print library covering 150,000 titles and editions published in the United Kingdom 1701-1800. Search by keywords or browse individual books. 


  • Partnership of academic and research organizations offering a collection of millions of digitized materials from libraries around the world, include the UC San Diego Library. Full text is available for many but not all items - you can restrict your search to full text items.

Project Gutenberg

  • Provides thousands of public domain e-texts, ranging from classical literature to modern works from authors who support the project's goals. Most in ASCII format, but also other formats such as PDF or audio.

African American Women Writers of the 19th Century