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Announcing a New Partnership Between Gale and the British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies

New Partnership Gives Non-Affiliated BSECS Members Access to the World’s Largest Collection on the Eighteenth-Century

United Kingdom  ()

Gale, part of Cengage Group, is delighted to announce a partnership with BSECS, the British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies. This partnership provides free access to Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) for all non-affiliated members of the society who are UK residents. From 1 February 2022, any member of BSECS resident in the UK without an existing affiliation to a UK or Ireland higher education institution will be able to apply for access to this seminal resource at no cost.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online is a crucial collection for the study of this significant period. Based on the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC), this collection was originally conceived as a microfilm collection titled The Eighteenth Century. When created in 2003, ECCO was the most ambitious archive digitisation project ever attempted, featuring over 180,000 titles comprising around 33 million pages.

In the years since, ECCO has been one of the most studied and cited digital archives and has had a profound impact on how researchers conduct scholarship of the period.1 Thousands of institutions around the world now own ECCO, ensuring that millions of students and researchers can access these materials who might not otherwise have been able to do so.

Since 1971, BSECS has been promoting the study of the eighteenth century, both in Britain and around the world. As well as organising a major international conference and supporting many smaller specialist or regional conferences, the society publishes the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies four times a year.

As the society for all researchers of this period, most of the members of BSECS come from academic or higher education establishments. However, there is a proportion, comprising mainly retired scholars or early-career researchers yet to enter the profession, who are not affiliated to an institution. Given that ECCO is only available for institutional and not personal sale, these researchers have, up to now, been excluded from using this valuable resource.

We are pleased that we can make ECCO available to these researchers now - our hope is that this acts as a thank you to those retired scholars who have used ECCO in their careers, and as a welcome boost to scholars at the very start of their academic journey.

To get access to ECCO as part of your BSECS membership, contact the society at

Access is free, but you need to contact BSECS to confirm that you are a fully paid-up member normally resident in the UK and that you are not currently enrolled as a student or employed by a UK HEI. You will be issued with a login and password valid for one year, which may be renewed at the end of the year if your circumstances remain the same.

Learn more about ECCO and Gale's partnership with BSECS, checkout this video from Chris Houghton, Head of Digital Scholarship at Gale:

About Cengage Group and Gale

Cengage Group, an education technology company serving millions of learners in 165 countries, advances the way students learn through quality, digital experiences. The company currently serves the K-12, higher education, professional, library, English language teaching and workforce training markets worldwide. Gale, part of Cengage Group, provides libraries with original and curated content, as well as the modern research tools and technology that are crucial in connecting libraries to learning, and learners to libraries. For more than 65 years, Gale has partnered with libraries around the world to empower the discovery of knowledge and insights – where, when and how people need it. Gale has 500 employees globally with its main operations in Farmington Hills, Michigan. For more information, please visit

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Editorial Contact:
Kayla Siefker