How do I find Early English Books on Microfilm?

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Early English Books comprises two collections on microfilm, the first from 1475 to 1640 and the second from 1641 to 1700, and the associated indexes.

In-Library resources

English books, 1475-1640 [microform].

Based primarily on A. W. Pollard's and G. R. Redgrave's Short Title Catalogue (STC) of books printed in England and English books printed elsewhere from the advent of printing in England in 1475 through 1640. Almost all the titles in the STC and many more not listed there will eventually be included in the completed collection. Because of the intended scope of this collection, most books are in English, but there are a number in other languages. The books cover a very wide range of subjects and include numerous ancient and medieval authors. Each reel contains several titles arranged in STC number order, but the filming has not been systematic from beginning to end. Instead, books have been filmed as they have been located in various libraries. Published guides for each unit filmed are periodically cumulated as well as the Cross-lndex from STC number to reel number. This collection is continued by Early English Books, 1641-1700.

English books, 1641-1700 [microform].

Based on Donald G. Wing's A Short Title Catalogue from which selected titles are filmed. A number of new titles reported since the bibliography was published are also to be included. Titles are not filmed in Wing number order, but are filmed as they are located in various libraries. This collection covers a wide range of subjects, primarily in English, but also includes some books in other languages. Published guides and cross-indexes from Wing number to reel number for each unit filmed are periodically cumulated. The collection is a continuation of Early English Books, 1475-1640.


The Harris Learning Library holds some of the print indexes that have been published to support this collection. These include a title index covering the period from 1475 – 1640, and the three volume short title catalogue by Donald Wing for 1641-1700. We do not hold the original short title catalogue by Pollard and Redgrave for 1475-1640, and we do not hold the cross-indexes used for locating the microfilm reel numbers.

Online Guides

The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) database is freely available through the British Library. It is the most comprehensive index to this collection and includes the microfilm reel numbers for those works that have been filmed as part of the microfilm collection. Although this online catalogue contains citations for many early publications from various sources, the following procedure should limit the search to our the collection of Early English Books on microfilm at the Harris Learning Library.

  1. Once at the English Short Title Catalogue, select Search the ESTC.

    English short title catalogue screenshot
  2. Select Advanced Search
    English short title catalogue : advanced Search
  3. Type in your search terms as well as "Early English Books" as an exact phrase.

    English short title catalogue : advanced search boxes
  4. You will see a summary screen that shows the number of results labelled "Total". Click on the number to see a list of titles.

    English short title catalogue : summary of results
  5. Click on the individual titles to see more detail.

    English short title catalogue : results list
  6. The collection and reel number appear next to the "Surrogates" label.

    English short title catalogue : record detail

For the example (Early English Books, 1641-1700; 48:5, 1643:11), the work is available on reel 1643 of the 1641-1700 collection, and is the eleventh publication on the reel.