First two centuries of English printed books now available online

In an article for the University of Michigan Record, Mary Morris of the University library reports that "more than 25,000 manually transcribed texts from 1473-1700" will now be available to read online. According to the article, "The texts represent a significant portion of the estimated total output of English-language work published during the first two centuries of printing in England."

From the article:

Highlights include several of William Caxton's editions of the works of Chaucer, the first translations of Homer by the Elizabethan dramatist and classical scholar George Chapman, and Sir Isaac Newton's "Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica."

Possibly of even greater value are the thousands of less famous texts that offer unexplored avenues for discovery. Gardening manuals, cookery books, ballads, auction catalogues, dance instructions, and religious tracts detail the commonplace of the early modern period, while books about witchcraft and sword fighting document its more exotic facets.