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Early Printed Books (Europe 1450 to 1800)

This guide offers bibliographic tools for understanding the national output of printed works in early modern Europe .

Archival Research in Early European Studies

National bibliography and retrospective national bibliography seek to be comprehensive and representative, but researchers must investigate the scope of every collection carefully. When was the deposit law put in place, and was the motivation preservation or censorship? What formats are included? Does the collection include learned and popular sources? How does the collection represent changes in the borders? Is the definition of cultural heritage inclusive of all communities and dialects?

The value of national and retrospective bibliographies in building digital collections for text mining project is that they provide benchmarks for evaluating the scope of a particular digital collection in comparison to the national output of the time. By contrast, archival research on particular subjects should follow the path outlined in the guide to  Archival Research in Europe.

European Collections in North America

The guide Archival Research in Europe outlines steps for finding archival collections for a particular research project. The Subject Librarians at Duke University Libraries, and the Rubentein Library curators are happy to work with researchers on discovery aspects of their projects.

There are several US libraries with early modern collections that provide resources for browsing and exploring. Some libraries with key collections include:

Libraries on Microfilm

Before databases, libraries microfilmed entire collections. The Library of Congress has one of the most comprehensive collections in microfilm, and the Guide to Microform Collections gives a good overview of what is available in that format. Duke University Libraries hold several large collections in microfilm.

Choose the Advanced Books and Media Search, enter your search terms, and limit the Physical Media to Micro*