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The Age of Reason arrives at UC: ECCO

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) is the digitization of 150,000 works published in the United Kingdom between 1701 and 1800.  It 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 18th Century.  Included are works from women writers of the 18th Century, collections on the French Revolution, and numerous editions of the works of Shakespeare.

The 18th Century brought the written word to the masses.  With the expiration of strict printing controls and the Industrial Revolution, a large portion of the population ­ previously unexposed to writings ­ was exposed to a diverse collection of printed material.  With a newfound passion for literacy, and an eager audience, texts explored new themes and ideas ranging from social and economic analysis and criticisms, to theories on man and society.  Gale’s ECCO digitally captures this influential period and provides a rich scholarly resource to UC.

ECCO was generously licensed by five campuses (Berkeley, Irvine, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and San Diego) for perpetual rights on behalf of the entire UC system.  This was a great example of consortial spirit … all UC students and faculty will be able to read the complete original works of Ben Franklin and Adam Smith, not to mention look at 18th century maps and etchings, travel guides, poetry, songs and verses, medical texts, legal and ethical essays, architectural drawings and devotional works among other treasures of the Age of Reason.