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ProQuest Delivers Key Research Information through the Digitisation of Rare Historical Content

ProQuest has further enhanced access to research this summer with the launch of the next database of Early European Books (EEB) with Collection 7, making another 7,450 titles available. This will bring the EEB program to more than 40,000 titles and 14 mi

Cambridge, UK  ()

Learn more about Early European Books here

The digitisation of EEB Collection 7 has only been possible through the partnerships with the holding libraries which include the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, in Copenhagen and  The Wellcome Library in London, bringing over 1.9 million pages to this new collection. ProQuest has scanned the valuable works on site at the libraries using state-of-the-art technology to create high-definition color images of every page, including marginalia inside the pages as well as often-lavish bindings and covers.

Deputy Director General Pernille Drost, Head of the National Library Det Kongelige Bibliotek said "Early European Bookshas been part of a revolution in research on early modern books but it has also given Danish citizens an extraordinary access to their multilingual printed cultural heritage. For me, digitisation is democratisation of knowledge. Books that used to be only accessible in the reading room for scholars with very specific research needs are now available from any Danish IP-address! My personal favourite from collection 7 is the first Danish printed cookbook, published in 1616."

Dr. Marieke van Delft, Curator of Early Printed Editions, Koninklijke Bibliotheek said of the partnership, "The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (The Hague) is enthusiastic about the collaboration with ProQuest. They have scanned many of our precious books with care. Now this unique material is available for researchers all over the world".

The libraries have provided a breadth of material for Volume 7 of EEB contributing specifically to the following topics:  


  • History of Medicine and Science- Det Kongelige Bibliotek provides numerous works by Danish physician Thomas Bartholin regarding, for instance his discovery of the thoracic duct and the lymphatic vessels, as well as his 1658 translation of the Venetian nobleman Luigi Cornaro's book on healthy aging. The Wellcome Library offers William Harvey's Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus (Frankfurt, 1628), the first edition of his account of his discovery of blood circulation.


  • Philosophy, Humanism and The Reformation - Koninklijke Bibliotheek provides the 1674 Amsterdam edition of Spinoza's Tractatus theologico-politicus, as well as works by Descartes and the influential German mystic Jacob Böhme, by Dutch humanists like Janus Dousa and Erasmus, and by key figures of the Reformation such as Jean Calvin, Theodore Beza and Martin Luther. Det Kongelige Bibliotek offers the first printed edition of the humanist Leon Battista Alberti's book on architecture (1485).


  • Contributions from the Wellcome Library include first editions (in both German and Latin) of Jacob Rueff's manual of midwifery, 1554, containing the first true anatomical pictures in an obstetrics book


Susan Bokern, vice president, product management at ProQuest said, "Our continuation to add more collections to Early European Books enables us to provide valuable and important historical content which has never been digitised before.  We are able to provide access of this material to a wider research audience, in one simple and easily accessible online database designed to improve research outcomes. The partnerships we have created with libraries across Europe are vital and key to making this material more available to researchers across the world".   

About Early European Books:

Through the Early European Books program, ProQuest provides an essential foundation of European writing in the early modern period by digitising and bringing together rare treasures from major libraries in Europe. The program supports the needs of scholars increasing access to valuable content easily without the need to be on site to view the documents in person.  Content is now available online at their fingertips.

Early European Books collections are available for purchase by libraries worldwide and are delivered via a multilingual interface, supported by rich metadata that allows pinpoint searching across collections from many countries.  Editorial staff in ProQuest Content Operations process image sets and bibliographical metadata from each library into a customised format and provide essential information such as author, title and imprint details, as well as listing individual page details like hand-written marginalia, illustrations, rubricated text and the like. Content Operations staff also provide title lists to each collection as well as free mini-MARC records.

Research is improved by the ability to quickly review books for relevance and then store or share them using efficient workflow tools. Early European Books are cross-searchable with ProQuest's landmark Early English Books Online (EEBO) database, which encompasses facsimiles of 132,000 books printed in English or in the British Isles between 1473 and 1700.

About ProQuest (

ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company's products are a gateway to the world's knowledge including dissertations, governmental and cultural archives, news, historical collections and ebooks. ProQuest's technologies serve users across the critical points in research, helping them discover, access, share, create and manage information.

The company's cloud-based technologies offer flexible solutions for librarians, students and researchers through the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, ebrary® and EBLTM businesses - and notable research tools such as the Summon® discovery service, the Flow® collaboration platform, the Pivot® research development tool and the IntotaTM library services platform. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.

Editorial Contact:
Nicola Bacon
+44 1223 271236