Tools for Researching the 19th Century

Gateways to Research Libraries


A worldwide union catalog created and maintained collectively by more than 9,000 member institutions. With millions of online records built from the bibliographic and ownership information of contributing libraries, it is the largest and most comprehensive database of its kind.

RLG Union Catalog

RLG is a not-for-profit organization of over 150 research libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural memory institutions.  This database is a source of bibliographic descriptions for use in research and research collections management. With records for over 45 million titles, it provides coverage across subjects and material types in almost 400 languages. The truly global reach of the RLG Union Catalog reflects a unique, long-standing, and evolving collaboration of research collections to pool and share their holdings.

Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue

NSTC defines the printed record of the English-speaking world from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the end of the First World War. The project aims to index all printed works published in Britain, its colonies and the United States of America, all printed works in English wherever published, and all translations from English. In addition to providing an exhaustive survey of the complete spectrum of monograph publications in the period, the catalogue indexes thousands of periodicals, directories and other ephemeral publications.

19th Century Bibliography: Periodical Indexes

19th Century Masterfile

The 19th Century Masterfile is an accumulation of various indexes to printed materials from the nineteenth century.
Coverage ranges from about 1774 to 1920, depending on the index selected.

Current Contents:

Series I:  Multi-Title Periodical Indexes
Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, Index to Legal Periodical Literature (Jones and Chipman), Catalogue of Scientific Papers, the Religion Index and more.

Series II:  Indexes to Books
ALA Index to General Literature, 19th-century bibliographic database and more.

Series III:  Indexes to Newspapers
New York Times Index, New York Daily Tribune Index, Palmer's Index and more.

Series IV:  Indexes to Individual Periodicals
Harpers Weekly, Atlantic Monthly, North American Reviews (with free links to full text.)

Series V:  US and UK Government Documents Indexes and US Patent Index
Congressional Record, Papers of the President, Hansard's Parliamentary Indexes and more.

Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals (1824-1900)

Periodicals Archive Online ( formerly Periodical Contents Index)

It reveals the contents of thousands of scholarly journals, published from the latter part of the eighteenth century to the latter part of the twentieth century. (1770 – 1995.) Access to full text pdf images for many of the journals.

Reader’s Guide Retrospective: 1890 – 1982

Index to 19th-Century American Art Periodicals.

(RLG - Eureka on the Web)

RIPM: Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals.
(National Information Services Corporation (NISC))

RIPM was established to provide access to eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century periodical literature dealing with music.

Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical.

A searchable electronic index to the science content of sixteen nineteenth-century general periodicals.
The SciPer Index provides a scholarly synopsis of the material relating to science, technology, and medicine appearing in eight (soon to be increased to sixteen) general periodicals published in Britain between 1800 and 1900

Indexes to Primary Source Collections

For access to Microform Primary Source Collections consult the UTL Catalogue.
i.e. Subject Search:
“Great Britain History 19th Century Sources”
"Guide to Libraries’ Major Microform Collections"

Look at the Main Index
Browse especially the entries under Great Britain. If you are searching by subject, enter very broad headings i.e. “Great Britain” or Women.

Colonial Discourses: Series One: Women, Travel and Empire, 1660-1914.

Part 1: Early travel accounts by women and women's experiences in India, Africa, Australasia, and Canada.



Women and Victorian Values, 1837-1910: Advice Books, Manuals and Journals for Women.
Marlborough, Wiltshire: Adam Matthew Publications

[1996]-. 20 reels



Early Canadiana Online (ECO)

Early Canadiana Online is a digital library containing 1,834,223 pages in 11,527 volumes. It contains a series of collections: Canadian Women's History; Colonial Government Journals; The Early Governors General of Canada; Early Official Publications; English Canadian Literature; History of French Canada; Jesuit Relations; Native Studies. Collections are in English and French.

The Nineteenth Century

Index to microfiche collection held at Robarts. A very valuable source for UK documents.

Victorian Database Online

100,000+ records: books, articles, and dissertation abstracts published 1945 to 1999 on all fields of nineteenth-century British studies.

19th Century Government Documents

BOPCRIS, the British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information Service.

You can use this web site to search and browse information from British Official Publications over the period 1688-1995.
(Hint: Especially useful for 19th century Parliamentary papers)

Use this Index in conjunction with UTL’s microfiche collection of British Sessional papers.
Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. British Sessional Papers, 1801-. Cambridge, England; Alexandria, VA: Chadwyck-Healey, 1988. Microfiche.

See other entries under Great Britain in the listing of microform collections mentioned above. (Guide to Libraries’ Major Microform Collections


As a national catalogue, AMICUS not only shows the published materials held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) but also those located in over 1300 libraries across Canada.

See also Early Canadiana Online. (above).

19th Century Masterfile

Series V:  US and UK Government Documents Indexes and US Patent Index
See the Congressional Record Index

19th Century E-Journals
See the Individual full-text Journals in 19th Century Masterfile
(Series IV: Indexes to Individual Periodicals)

19th Century U.K. Periodicals
See Early Canadiana Online (above)

The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals.

a collection of twenty-three popular periodicals digitized by Cornell University Library and the Preservation Reformatting Division of the Library of Congress. They include literary and political magazines, as well as Scientific American, Manufacturer and Builder, and Garden and Forest: A Journal of Horticulture, Landscape Art, and Forestry. The longest run is for The North American Review, 1815-1900.


(Hint: Browse the Journals list to see which individual titles began their publication in the 19th century.)

19th Century British Pamphlets

Pamphlets were an important means of public debate, covering the key political, social, technological, and environmental issues of their day. More than 20,000 pamphlets from seven UK institutions comprise this corpus of primary sources with which to study the socio-political and economic landscape of 19th century Britain.

Early British Periodicals

Microfilm set in the Microtext Department, Robarts Library.
AP4 .F8 MICR mfm

Search Early British Periodicals  as a “Series” in the UTL Catalogue to see the individual journal records or consult the catalogue to the Early British Periodicals in the Microtext Library.

Gateways to Archival Collections

CAIN (Canadian Archival Information Network)

Archives Canada’s gateway to Canadian archival repositories.

Archeion : Ontario's Archival Information Network

Information on what archives exist and where they are located in Ontario.

NUCMC (National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections)

Provides access to archival holdings in the United States.

RLG Archival Resources

RLG Archival Resources provides access on the Web to detailed finding aids for archival collections—the actual collection guides or inventories that reveal where a collection came from, how it is organized, and what it contains.

Archon (UK)

The National Archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom has one of the largest archival collections in the world, spanning 1000 years of British history, from Domesday Book of 1086 to government papers recently released to the public. Through Archon, the National Register of Archives can be searched to locate British papers and historical archives globally

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

An illustrated collection of more than 50,000 specially written biographies of the men and women who shaped all aspects of Britain's past, from the fourth century BC to the year 2001. Entries often contain hypertext links through other online resources, to archival holdings which will further assist with the researching of an individual.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online

The focus is on primary source collections of the long nineteenth century.  Content types include monographs, newspapers,   pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, statistics, and more, in one central, cross-searchable location. Archives now available: British Politics and Society

European Literature, 1790-1840: The Corvey Collection

Asia and the West: Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange

British Theatre, Music, and Literature: High and Popular Culture


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