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Church History

Guide to Church History resources provided by the Rolfing Library

A Guide to Using Early English Books

Using the Early English Books Microfilm Collection

Early English Books 1475-1640 (STC I)

First consult Pollard and Redgrave's A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, & Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad 1475-1640. This two volume set is shelved just beside the microfilm collection.  For instance, if we wanted to find Thomas Adams'The Happiness of the Church, we would look in Pollard and Redgrave under Adams, Thomas and find his works listed on page 6. We see that a variant title of The Happiness of the Church is assigned a STC (Short-Title Catalogue) number of 121. 

Second, we consult the Early English Books Cross Index to Reels 1-1885, also shelved with the microfilm collection. Looking on page 1 we see that STC no. 121 is on the Early English Books reel 1783. We would then pull that reel from the drawers. 

Third, to find the position of The Happiness of the Church on reel 1783 we would consult the Early English Books A Guide to Units 53-61 of the Microfilm Collection, Reels 1783-1979, also shelved with the microfilm collection. Looking on page 1 we find that The Happiness of the Church is the third publication on Reel 1783.


Early English Books 1641-1700 (STC II)

To search the Early English Books 1641-1700, simply consult either the subject, author, or title indexes shelved with the microfilm collection. For instance, in the author index we look up Ager, Thomas and see his A Paraphrase on the canticles, or Song of Solomon is on reel 372 and is the ninth publication on that reel.