Library Resource Opens New Avenues for Early Modern Scholarship

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Library Resource Opens New Avenues for Early Modern Scholarship

Published on March 07 2013


The Library is pleased to announce an investment in the second phase of the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP).   The Partnership, a library-based initiative, has worked since 1999 to transcribe works in the Early English Books database and create fully-searchable encoded texts.  Libraries from around the world have invested in the project, which is working to transcribe and encode 70,000 texts, or one edition of each unique work in EEBO.  
 
Why are these transcriptions so essential for researchers?
The digitization of older texts has provided access to texts that, in physical form, are scattered across libraries and museums around the world.  EEBO, for example, offers immediate access to the very first book printed in English in 1473 through to 1700.  When these unique documents have encoded transcriptions, exciting possibilities for research emerge.   EEBO-TCP is a powerful tool that allows researchers to conduct sophisticated searches and analyze linguistic and thematic patterns.  
 
Leah Knight, Associate Professor in English Literature, has used EEBO-TCP extensively in research and teaching and compares the careful manual transcription of the texts to the medieval copying of manuscripts by scribes: “EEBO-TCP not only preserves texts but opens up limitless ways of reading and understanding their place in cultural history and the present.”
 
The transcriptions are embedded within the Early English Books Online database, and are also available to search on the University of Michigan’s standalone interface.  
 
For more information, please contact Justine Cotton, Liaison Librarian for English Literature.