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Primary Sources

Microfilm Collections

The library has important microform collections of American and English publications from the 15th-19th centuries.

  • Early English Books 1475-1640 (microfilm AC4 F60) and English Books 1641-1700 (microfilm AC4 F61) contain the text of books published in England, Scotland, and Ireland and books in English published abroad during the time periods indicated. These sets are also available online as
  • The Eighteenth Century (microfilm AC4 F62) is a collection of approximately 200,000 items printed in Great Britain and its colonies or printed in English elsewhere in the world from 1701-1800. It is based on the British Library’s Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue. An index, The Eighteenth Century: Guide to the Microfilm Collection, can be found in the Current Periodicals Room (Micro Ref X AC4 F62 Index). This set is available online as Eighteenth Century Collections Online
  • Early American Imprints, 1639-1800, a microfiche collection located in the Current Periodicals Room, contains the full- text of all known existing books, pamphlets, and broadsides printed in the United States or British American colonies from 1639-1800. American Bibliography. A Chronological Dictionary by Charles Evans indexes this collection. (X Z1215 F03R).
  • Early American Imprints, 1801-1819.  American Bibliography, a Preliminary Checklist for 1801-1819 by Ralph Shaw and Richard Shoemaker indexes this collection. We have vol. 23,  Printers, Publishers and Booksellers Index and Geographical Index (XZ1215 F58, v.23).
  • American Periodical Series: Eighteenth Century (microfilm Z6951 F42) and American Periodical Series: 1800-1850(microfilm Z6951 F46) include virtually all significant periodicals published in colonial America and in the United States through 1850. American Periodical Series: 1850-1900 (microfilm Z6951 F641) contains only a selection of materials published during this time period. All three collections are indexed in American periodicals, 1741-1900 by Hoornstra and Heath (X Z6951 H65).

An extensive collection of early American newspapers and newspapers from the Civil War and Reconstruction eras can be found on microfilm in the library. They can be found by searching the individual title of the newspaper in the library catalog.


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Donald Altschiller
Mugar Memorial Library
Subjects: History, Religion