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Guide to Early Printed Books

A guide to help you locate and use books printed in the major languages of Western Europe between 1450 and 1700


View of digital edition of the Third Part of the Plays by Pedro Calderon de la Barca, 1664

Many major libraries worldwide are actively working to produce digital copies of their early printed books. This is beneficial not only because it improves access to the texts from any location, but also because it helps to preserve these cultural treasures for future generations. Furthermore, it reduces the need for researchers to handle these fragile old books. New materials are regularly added to most of the collections below, so keep checking back.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and the focus is on photographic reproductions of the books, rather than transcriptions. Many of the websites include lists of links to other digital collections. Please contact your area librarian if you find a digital collection you think should be added to the list.

Major Collections

Other General Collections

Literature and the Arts

Science and Medicine




Sarah G. Wenzel's picture
Sarah G. Wenzel

Literatures of Europe & the Americas

Regenstein Library
Room 363

Author of This Guide

Katrina Powers's picture
Katrina Powers

Katrina Powers is a doctoral candidate in Romance Languages and Literatures. She created this guide in summer 2016.