Accessing those expensive primary source databases
I just added another blog to the blogroll – Early Modern Online Bibliography. It’s more focused on bibliography and literature and isn’t incredibly active, but they occasionally finagle free trial subscriptions to new databases for their readers, so it’s worth keeping an eye on. I got a free, limited-time access to the Burney collection this way. Spent a month downloading 8,000 newspaper issues for the period 1701-1712: one page at a time! ugh. But worth it in the long run (I’m hoping).
On a related note, you may be able to request individual free trials to some of the other databases, such as State Papers Online, EEBO, ECCO. I think you may have to be affiliated with a higher ed institution that could potentially buy it however. My interlibrary loan office was able to get me one as well when I requested a work from it. So if you’re not at a wealthy institution that can afford all these subscriptions, keep looking!