March Featured Collection: The Chymistry of Isaac Newton

18thConnect is pleased to introduce March’s featured collection: The Chymistry of Isaac Newton, provided by Indiana University at Bloomington.

The site boasts an impressive variety of information and resources, including scans and transcriptions of Newton’s original manuscripts, a glossary of alchemical terms, and a multimedia lab.

The site provides over fifty entries for Newton’s hand-written alchemical notes, scanned and transcribed from Keynes MS. 57, held at Kings College Library, Cambridge University. Each entry provides a detailed physical description and custodial history that is based on a physical inspection of the manuscript. The site’s Alchemical Glossary is a fascinating resource that provides over a hundred definitions for alchemical terms such as “ambergris,” “terra figulina,” and “vitriol of venus.” Their multimedia lab is particularly useful for a visualization of the types of experiments that Newton and others in his field conducted. The video for Newton’s “Tree of Diana” reaction, for instance, captures the stunning silver structure formed in a solution of silver and mercury dissolved in nitric acid.

Texts and images from The Chymistry of Isaac Newton are provided for non-commercial, personal, or research use only.

March Roundup: The Works of Isaac Newton

The images in this gallery celebrate the work of Isaac Newton, English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, and author.

Newton’s most notable contributions to his fields include his theorization of the laws of motion and gravity, his observation that white light is made up of the colors of the visible spectrum, and his development of calculus. Less known, however, is Newton’s work in the field of “chymistry,” which modern scholars would be more likely to call alchemy.

Much of the information presented here is courtesy of The Chymistry of Isaac Newton, which is also our Featured Collection for March. This site features a variety of resources that help students and scholars visualize the work of the author and the field of chemistry in its early stages.

Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive: Now on 18th Connect

Please join us in welcoming the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive (ECPA) to the 18th Connect collection! ECPA provides an open-access digital archive of high-quality primary and secondary sources. Their full-text collection is edited and annotated as a collaborative effort, with a large network of editors, scholars, and students dedicated to collaborating and sharing texts.

ECPA also supplements their texts whenever possible with digital images. In many cases, researchers and collaborators can see the appearance of the source document, check the transcription, and engage with their XML-editor for corrections and improvements. ECPA is also a research project, the aims of which are to provide and contribute to a growing body of annotated texts, analyses, tools, and secondary sources. ECPA works with and builds upon texts created by the Text Creation Partnership from Gale’s, and uses the Oxford Text Archive’s (OTA) TEI/XML p5 versions of texts.

ECPA is updated on a biannual basis, and their future projects include increasing the number of authors available (particularly women authors) and providing better interconnection between analytical layers to make points of connectedness more visible, especially in terms of how these points are maintained, dissolved, and taken up again over time.

Currently, ECPA is searchable as one of 18th Connect’s “Other Digital Collections.” However, we anticipate peer-reviewing their content and reindexing them in the coming months as “Peer-Reviewed Projects.”

Have a question about ECPA? You can e-mail them at or visit their website at

January Roundup: Happy Birthday Mozart!

The images in this gallery celebrate the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose 264th birthday occurs on January 27th.

Mozart began composing from the age of 5 and composed over 600 works throughout the course of his short life. His work is considered archetypical of the Classical style, spanning many genres including symphony, opera, solo concerto, chamber music, and piano sonata. After his death, Mozart’s reputation for skill and versatility persisted, influencing later composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

The images and information presented here are courtesy of Europeana. Europeana Collections is an initiative of the European Union (EU), working with thousands of European archives, libraries and museums to share Europe’s cultural heritage for enjoyment, education, and research. The entire collection of books, music, artworks, and more contains over 50 million digitized items. Their music collection features over 300,000 recordings, sheet music, instruments, and much more, all freely accessible to 18thConnect users.

18th Connect Was at Behn/ Burney 2019!

Logo for the conference

In November of 2019, the Auburn University College of Liberal Arts hosted the biennial joint meeting of the Aphra Behn and Frances Burney Societies. The theme of the conference was “Public Good(s),” and scholars presented a wide range of conferences and workshops that engaged with the questions surrounding public engagement and advocacy, both historically and practically.

18th Connect was represented at this conference by both Dr. Emily Friedman (our Director) and Ms. Elizabeth Brissey (our Project Manager). Ms. Brissey hosted a collaborative workshop entitled “An Introduction to 18thConnect.Org,” which provided a framework for beginning a Digital Humanities project with integration into 18th Connect in mind.

Click on the following link to view and download Ms. Brissey’s presentation slides.

July 2019: 18th Connect at ISECS!

Logo for the International Society of Eighteenth Century Studies 2019 ConferenceIn July of 2019, The British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies hosted the ISECS International Congress on the Enlightenment at the University of Edinburgh. The theme of the congress was “Enlightenment Identities,” and ISECS welcomed a wide range of submissions on the topic.

We are pleased to announce that 18th Connect was represented at this conference! Our director, Emily Friedman of Auburn University, hosted a collaborative workshop entitled “Getting Started with Digital Humanities,” which provided beginners with a framework for embarking upon Digital Humanities projects with an emphasis on skills and strategies for sharing work in peer-reviewed formats. Click on each following link to view and download Dr. Friedman’s presentation slides and her helpful handouts!

Featured Collection: Digital Library of the Caribbean

Three images from the Smathers Library and Digital Library of the CaribbeanOur first featured collection comes to us from the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries, which has partnered with the Digital Library of the Caribbean to make available a large collection of maps and images accessible through 18thConnect.

According to the Digital Library of the Caribbean:

“The dLOC Caribbean Map Collection‘s maps represent only a small part of the wealth of historical and archival treasures held by the contributing archives, libraries, and museums. Maps collected here date from 1564 through the present. The majority of maps in this collection document a colonial past. While many of these maps were originally published as maps independent of any other publication, some were published with atlases, books, government documents, shipping and railroad schedules, land promotions, etc. Maps in this collection include island, municipal, county and parish maps as well as maps depicting the region more broadly.”

We encourage you to take a look around this stunning collection of images and maps!

August 2019, Elizabeth Brissey Appointed Project Manager for 18thConnect.Org

Image of Elizabeth Brissey, the new Project Manager of 18th ConnectPlease join us in welcoming Elizabeth Brissey to the 18thConnect team as project manager.

Elizabeth is a PhD candidate at Auburn University, where she studies Medieval and Early Modern epistemology, material culture, book history, and cognitive studies in literature.

As project manager, Elizabeth is assisting in checking submissions of XML for peer review, uploading materials to the site, updating the site’s visual look, and working with our social media outlets to share news, features, and interesting items in our collection.

If you need to reach Elizabeth (or the other members of our team), please send a message to Inquiries@18thConnect.Org!

18th Connect’s New Director: Dr. Emily Friedman

Image of Doctor Emily Friedman We’re excited to announce that Dr. Emily Friedman, Associate Professor of English at Auburn University, has been appointed director of 18th Connect!

Dr. Friedman received her master’s degree from the University of York, England and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri. In addition to her work with 18thConnect, Dr. Friedman is the creator of Manuscript Fiction in the Age of Print, 1750-1900, a digital project focused on collecting, describing, encoding, and researching fiction manuscripts unpublished in their author’s lifetime.

Emily’s research interests include the “very long” 18th century, the history of the book, print and manuscript culture, and much more. As director of 18thConnect, Dr. Friedman is looking forward to expanding our collection, improving the visual layout of the site, and updating its functionality.

EEBO now in TypeWright

EEBO in TypeWright

We are pleased to announce that the Mellon-funded Early Modern OCR Project – eMOP – has completed running Optical Character Recognition Software on the 138,538 documents in ProQuest’s Early English Books Online (EEBO), and we are now making almost all of them available in for correcting the OCR. Some document images were too poor to run through the software, but we have loaded the resulting “dirty OCR” for 113,909 documents into the TypeWright tool at for crowd-sourced correction ( We were able to get an excellent contract with both ProQuest and Gale for all the documents that are loaded into TypeWright, all of EEBO and Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO): any scholar or student who corrects a document gets to keep it to do whatever they wish with it, ideally create an online digital edition such one you can see here, created by an undergraduate student of Stephen Gregg’s.

Once corrected, 18thConnect will send you the document in both plain-text and TEI-encoded formats. Additionally, the full-text will then be full-text searchable in both ProQuest and Gale’s EEBO and ECCO, and in When you search the latter, 18thConnect gives search returns in the form of links to the texts in EEBO or ECCO, but, for those who use 18thConnect without subscriptions to those databases, we also provide information about holding libraries. Moreover, for those who DO subscribe to these catalogues, our research capacities will have been increased by working on the data we care about. Please note that these catalogs are being sold to libraries just as they are – in correcting the data, we are NOT increasing the profits of these companies, only our own research capacities (please see Mandell and Grumbach, “The Business of Digital Humanities: Capitalism and Enlightenment,” Scholarly and Research Communication 6.4 [2015]).

A word about search: although all of Gale’s ECCO is searchable by word, OCR errors diminish the number of results one gets. A forthcoming article by Mandell demonstrates that the error rate in searching for bigrams (two-word phrases) is 50 to 60%–that is, one is missing over half the results one might otherwise get. In the case of EEBO, only those texts that have been typed by the Text Creation Partnership are searched by word when you are searching EEBO, as you can see on the EEBO search page, in the drop-down box describing what is searchable:


We sincerely hope that professors and students can work together to make sure that these unstranscribed and poorly mechanically transcribed documents (the 85,200 documents so far not available to search as full text) do not become part of a “dark archive,” but can be fully searchable by future generations of scholars, both inside and outside the academy. [Note: This paragraph was slightly edited from it’s original version, on March 11th, 2016.]

You can access the EEBO documents at, using the TypeWright tab, “Advanced Search,” or the Search Tab and selecting “TypeWright Enabled Documents”; in both cases, also select “EEBO” under “Other Collections.”

In addition to the instructions for using TypeWright available on the site itself once you begin editing a document, we an introductory video available. We also have a few short videos available on a playlist on YouTube (and below) that introduces TypeWright features one by one, and includes a video about editing EEBO texts specifically, which pose their own kinds of problems.



Also, feel free to contact us with questions or concerns at