ECCO the World, and Why…

Published on December 18, 2015

Gale’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) recently celebrated its 14th anniversary on December 4th and it got me to thinking.  Most commonly, the conversations surrounding the 18th century point to the major stories or developments of the American Revolution, French Revolution, and Industrial Revolution. For example, the industrialization of the world and manufacturing of powered, special-purpose machinery, factories, and mass production.  Others might think about the American Revolution’s Boston Tea Party or the Battle of Bunker Hill, for instance.  But what about the moments that lead up to these events?

Now understand, these significant events rightfully so get attention and reference. These are the major events that helped shape the world as we know it.  I have just always been one to be curious about the stories that lead to these significant events, the elements around them, the people, and little known facts of that time that often may get overlooked.  The smaller pieces that laid the foundation for many of these historic events or were the crumbs that remained thereafter are often just as revealing.

For instance, the origin of the dollar symbol as we know it. Where did it come from and how?  There are many theories still to this day on how this symbol came to be. Its significance can’t be overlooked, as it is constantly all around us each and every day.  The symbol appeared in manuscript in the 1700s. Manuscript!

How about what a dictionary would’ve looked like back in the 18th century?  What did that consist of?  Samuel Johnson published a dictionary in 1755 and with ECCO, you can actually view and search it entirely online!

I find it very interesting—researching and following the story buried within these subtle historical events and ECCO has given myself and countless others the opportunity to uncover these stories.  Not only does ECCO offer more than 26 million pages of text from more than 136,000 titles and Part II offer an additional 33 million pages and 180,000 titles, but all this content is fully searchable.  This allows the user to easily connect the dots from the main story, the supporting acts, and other interesting facts one may casually encounter along the way!

Get much more information on ECCO and get started on your own discovery today.



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About the Author

Reggie is a former college football player who now is still into health and fitness. He enjoys various types of music and he’s an avid “The Walking Dead” fan. His motto is “continuous improvement” and likewise his perspective is ever evolving.


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