Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

October 8, 2007

New online database provides access to 18th-century primary documents

One of the most comprehensive online databases for 18th-century primary documents, “Eighteenth-Century Collections Online” (ECCO), now is available at Colonial Williamsburg’s John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library. ECCO gives scholars, students and the general public access to a library of more than 150,000 printed volumes and 26 million pages to aid them in research.

This collection contains more than 15 times as many books as are in the Special Collections Room at the library. “Physically, it would be impossible to store the amount of books on ECCO in the Rockefeller Library,” technical services librarian Doug Mayo said.

Books, journals, almanacs, directories, advertisements, county histories and auction catalogues are among the varied 18th-century English and American sources that ECCO has to offer. Published by Thomson Gale and based on the English Short Title Catalogue bibliography, the collection includes sources scanned or previously stored on microfilm from private, public, university and research libraries across the globe.

Although ECCO is expansive, it is user-friendly. The database has a number of search options, including full text search, that make finding any word, phrase or topic quick and easy. In addition, ECCO conveniently limits topics to specific categories, such as history and geography, literature and language, and religion and philosophy. Each search result also gives users a full citation of the work they are looking for and the option of getting a full-page view.

ECCO can be accessed through computers at the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, 313 First St., Williamsburg, Va.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121