Past Masters is a database well worth knowing about. It includes the world's largest collection of full-text electronic editions in philosophy. In addition, the series encompasses significant collections in political thought, religious studies, sociology, history of science, economics, and classics. The database also includes collections of English Letters and Women Writers, featuring definitive editions throughout. While the library owns many of these works in print editions, the Past Masters Database provides the flexibility of accessing the sources online, as well as the ability to search in individual works or in all titles.
Past Masters opens on the page that lists all the available titles. However, I find it more useful to go to the Subjects page. There you will find the topics grouped by All Philosophy, including Classical, Medieval, Continental, British, and American; English Letters; Women Writers; Religious Studies; Social Science and History of Science; and Reference.
Under the heading of English Letters, two important collections are listed: The Emerging Tradition 1500-1700, contains various works of Elias Ashmole; Thomas Bodley; Anne Conway; Thomas Cromwell; John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough; Andrew Marvell; Dorothy Osborne; Samuel Pepys; Walter Raleigh; Thomas Wilson; and Henry Wotton. The Romantic Age includes eighteen volumes of correspondence from Oxford University Press of some of the most important figures of the period: Austen, Blake, Brawne, Burns, Edgeworth, Ricardo, Shelley, Smith, Southey, Trelawny, Turner, and Wesley.
If you don't know Past Masters, check it out, and if you do, check back to see what's new.
Sandra J. Still, PhD
English and Women's Studies Librarian
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