The electronic structure and optical properties of metallic nanoshells are calculated using a jellium model and the local density approximation. An efficient implementation of the local density method enables applications to nanoshells with a very large number of conduction electrons. The frequency dependent polarizabilities of nanoshells are calculated using the time-dependent local density formalism. The optical response of these systems is characterized by both single particle and collective plasmon excitations. The energies of the plasmon resonances are calculated for different sizes of the metallic nanoshells and for different dielectric embedding media and nanoshell cores. The results are compared with results obtained using classical Mie scattering and the results from a semiclassical model.