Father’s Day

June 17, 2012 by

The TCP blog has moved!

May 21, 2012 by

The Text Creation Partnership has launched a new website and, as part of that process, our blog has moved. Please check out the new site: http://www.textcreationpartnership.org/ and update your subscription to our blog’s feed.

CFP: “Revolutionizing Early Modern Studies”? The Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership in 2012

April 13, 2012 by

We’re excited to announce that we are seeking proposals for a conference about EEBO-TCP to be held at the University of Oxford September 17-18, 2012. The call for proposals follows, and may also be downloaded as a PDF.


“Revolutionizing Early Modern Studies”? The Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership in 2012

University of Oxford

17-18 September 2012

To mark a decade of the Text Creation Partnership (TCP)’s work at the Bodleian Libraries, producing searchable, full-text transcriptions of works in Early English Books Online (EEBO), we invite proposals for research papers and posters reflecting the various ways in which TCP texts are being used.

Is EEBO-TCP revolutionizing research and teaching in early modern studies? What features would be desirable but are not yet available? What improvements could be made in the decade to come?

The TCP is a collaboration between the University of Oxford, the University of Michigan and ProQuest. It is funded internationally by a consortium of partner institutions, and in the UK through JISC Collections. TCP editions power full-text searching of ProQuest’s EEBO database, and contribute to many other projects’ work.

To date, the TCP has produced over 40,000 full-text XML editions of books printed between 1473 and 1700. Phase I produced over 25,000 texts, and Phase II, currently underway, will complete the corpus of about 70,000 unique titles in English.

The conference will feature two keynote speakers: Dr John Lavagnino, King’s College London; Dr Emma Smith, University of Oxford.

For people interested in using TCP texts for research, one-to-one text clinic sessions are available.

We welcome proposals for papers and posters on:

  • Research based on EEBO-TCP
  • Methodologies in teaching
  • Text editing
  • Emerging trends influenced by EEBO-TCP’s availability
  • Potential for future research

Proposals for 20-minute papers should be a maximum of 500 words, and for posters, 250 words.

Deadline for proposals is 7 May 2012.

Invitations to present will be sent by 1 June 2012.

If you would like your paper to appear as part of the conference proceedings (registration required) in the Oxford University Research Archive , the deadline for submission of final papers is 29 August 2012.

We welcome proposals from graduate and post-doctoral students as well as established scholars. If you would like to be considered for a financially assisted place at the conference, please indicate this when you submit your proposal.

For further details, see the conference website. For proposal submission, details of the conference venue, and registration, please visit the University Stores.

For any queries, and to book a text clinic session, please email Pip Willcox.

We hope to see you at Oxford in September!

“Shakespeare’s Sisters” at the Folger Library—and in EEBO-TCP

March 21, 2012 by

This post refers to many works from the EEBO-TCP Phase I and Phase II collections. While anyone will be able to see the metadata and table of contents for these works, only users at EEBO-TCP partner institutions will be able to continue through to the full text. 

Through May 20, 2012, the Folger Shakespeare Library is featuring a special exhibit called Shakespeare’s Sisters: Voices of English and European Women Writers, 1500-1700. According to its website, the exhibit:

takes its title from a famous passage in Virginia Woolf’s book A Room of One’s Own (1929), in which Woolf imagines a gifted sister of William Shakespeare, completely thwarted by the social restrictions of his day. Drawing on the breadth and depth of the Folger collection, with additional rare materials from other institutions, Shakespeare’s Sisters presents a far more complex—and fascinating—reality.

The exhibition has received stellar reviews from the New York Times and the Washington Post, and Folger’s Public Programs is offering a variety of related readings, lectures, and concerts.  The accompanying book presents a collection of new work by writers such as Eavan Boland, Rita Dove, Maxine Kumin, Linda Pastan, and Jane Smiley, among others, in response to some of the early women writers featured in the exhibition.  Written, designed, printed, and bound by women, the book is a limited-edition keepsake: Shakespeare’s Sisters: Women Writers Bridge Five Centuries.

In case you can’t make it to Washington, D.C. this spring—or if you can, but would like to see more of the books on display—there are a couple of options. The exhibition’s website contains images of almost all the items, a suggested reading list, and links to a dozen recordings (and transcriptions) made by women scholars, providing more background on some of the writers. We also invite you to further investigate these authors and their works in EEBO-TCP. You can take your time paging through facsimiles of books like those on display at this exhibit, and search their full text to quickly locate passages of interest.  We’re thrilled that Georgianna Ziegler, curator of the Shakespeare’s Sisters exhibit, was willing to collaborate with us to highlight some books from Shakespeare’s Sisters whose full text is available for further study in EEBO-TCP.:

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Of Saints and Serpents

March 15, 2012 by

It will come as no surprise that EEBO-TCP is packed with references to Ireland (“Ireland” is included in the titles of nearly 1,400 works, and the word occurs close to 70,000 times in the entire corpus). Some of these are simply references to monarchs who rule over Ireland as well as the rest of Britain.  Many explicitly document the centuries of religious and political conflict between the two countries. Other mentions focus on the landscape, geography, and resources of the island, though these, too, have political implications, as these surveys are typically reports to an English ruler on the details of his property to the west.

The title of one 1657 work hints at its grand aims: Irelands naturall history being a true and ample description of its situation, greatness, shape, and nature, of its hills, woods, heaths, bogs, of its fruitfull parts, and profitable grounds : with the severall ways of manuring and improving the same : with its heads or promontories, harbours, roads, and bays, of its springs and fountains, brooks, rivers, loghs, of its metalls, mineralls, free-stone, marble, sea-coal, turf, and other things that are taken out of the ground : and lastly of the nature and temperature of its air and season, and what diseases it is free from or subject unto : conducing to the advancement of navigation, husbandry, and other profitable arts and professions

The work is addressed to

His Excellency OLIVER CROMWEL, Captain Generall of the Common-wealths Army in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and Chancellor of the University of OXFORD.

and indeed covers such ground as the “Shape and bigness of Ireland,” “Of the Heaths and Moores, or Bogs in Ireland,” (with subsections on wet, grassy, waterie, miry, and hassockie bogs), and “The Irish-sea not so tempestuous as it is bruited to be.

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Will you TCP My Valentine?

February 14, 2012 by

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we bring you a smattering of poetry, puzzles, and song for sweethearts!

One of my favorites is a poem printed on a wreath of heart-shaped knots, from Recreation for ingenious head-peeces, or, A pleasant grove for their wits to walk in of epigrams 700, epitaphs 200, fancies a number, fantasticks abundance : with their addition, multiplication, and division

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Shadow and Light: Celebrating Groundhog Day, er, Candlemas

February 1, 2012 by

February 2 marks the liturgical celebration of the Presentation of Christ at the Temple. This event (which occurs in the Bible in Luke 2) is related by Jeremy Taylor in Antiquitates christianæ, or, The history of the life and death of the holy Jesus as also the lives acts and martyrdoms of his Apostles : in two parts. (1675):

"The Purification and Presentation," from Jeremy Taylor's 'Antiquitates christianæ,' 1675

But this holy Family, who had laid up their joys in the eyes and heart of God, longed till they might be permitted an address to the Temple, that there they might present the Holy Babe unto his Father; and indeed that he, who had no other, might be brought to his own house. …and therefore when the days of the Purification were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord…And they did with him according to the Law of Moses, offer∣ing a pair of Turtle-doves for his redemption.

But there was no publick act about this Holy Child but it was attended by some∣thing miraculous and extraordinary…for old Simeon came by the Spirit into the Temple, and when the Parents brought in the Child Jesus, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and prophesied, and spake glorious things of that Child, and things sad and glorious concerning his Mother…

But old Anna the Prophetess came also in, full of years and joy, and found the re∣ward of her long prayers and fasting in the Temple; the long-looked-for redemption of Israel was now in the Temple, and she saw with her eyes the Light of the World, the Heir of Heaven, the long-looked-forMessias, whom the Nations had desired and expected till their hearts were faint, and their eyes dim with looking farther and ap∣prehending greater distances. She also prophesied and gave thanks unto the Lord. But Joseph and his Mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. Read the rest of this entry »

At Last: Our Publicly Accessible Portal to Search, Browse, and Read ECCO-TCP

January 23, 2012 by

In April 2011, we announced that restrictions had been lifted from around 2,200 TCP texts from Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO). Within hours, we heard from many folks who were frustrated that our announcement didn’t seem to have any teeth: Although we could (and did!) distribute the raw encoded text files to anyone who asked, there was no publicly available site for users to interact with the texts through a web browser.

I’m delighted to report that this is no longer the case: the University of Michigan-based implementation of the ECCO-TCP texts can now be fully explored by the general public: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/ecco/.

Read the rest of this entry »

Philologic @ NU Merges EEBO-TCP and ProQuest Databases into a Single Searchable Corpus

January 16, 2012 by

After the recent announcement about the most recent release of TCP texts, Jeff Garrett got in touch and asked us to remind TCP users–especially those at libraries in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation–about the specialized searching made possible by the PhiloLogic implementation at Northwestern University. Today, I’m glad to publish this guest post from him. 

Reaching the 40,000 text milestone offers a good opportunity to remind EEBO-TCP users of a powerful alternative way to search EEBO TCP texts—and many other texts besides: the PhiloLogic implementation at Northwestern, or PhiloLogic @ NU for short. This site was developed as a joint CIC project in 2005 and 2006 to create a large merged database of early modern English texts searchable through the University of Chicago’s PhiloLogic search engine, additionally enhanced by the Virtual Modernization (VM) tool developed at Northwestern University. During 2010 and 2011, in collaboration with staff at the University of Chicago’s Electronic Text Service, ProQuest, and the Text Creation Partnership, the launch version of PhiloLogic @ NU was significantly expanded to more than double its original size. It now includes exciting new material: several ProQuest databases absent in the launch version, e.g., The Bible in English and Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare; revised/expanded versions of seven ProQuest databases already represented in PhiloLogic @ NU; and finally about 15,000 new texts from both Phases I and II of EEBO TCP. Visit PhiloLogic.northwestern.edu to see what’s new! If you access PhiloLogic @ NU from a CIC member school or from one of several other participating institutions, you can also go right to work using the resource.

What the enhanced version of PhiloLogic @ NU can mean for students and researchers is best illustrated by an example. Let’s say you are studying the resonance of the Bible’s Second Commandment (“Love thy neighbour as thyself”) in English-language literature of the last 500 years. You might start by searching ProQuest’s “Bible in English” database through PhiloLogic @ NU. To find the relevant biblical passages in PhiloLogic—and there are at least a dozen in most Bible editions—it’s best to do a proximity search for “love” and “neighbour,” restricting proximity to within three words. Thanks to the VM tool, you will uncover occurrences, for example, in the King James Version of 1611, The New English Bible of 1970 (“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself'”), along with numerous others, 194 in all, most of which would not show up in a flat literal-string keyword or keyword phrase search in other online versions of the Bible. Wholly obsolete as well as typographically variant spellings will be retrieved, as in the Bishops’ Bible of 1568 (Matt. 22): ” And the seconde is lyke vnto this: Thou shalt loue thy neyghbour as thy selfe.” Virtual Modernization is so powerful because it invokes variant spellings and typographical variants of both search terms—of “love” (e.g. “loue”) and of “neighbour” (e.g., “neghbour,” “neigbour,” “neighbor,” “ neighbour,” “neighboure,” “neyboure,” ”neygbour,” “neyghbour,” “neyghboure”)—and then searches them against each other in same word order, but otherwise in all possible combinations. No keyword search could have done this before VM.

But now for the next step: bringing in EEBO-TCP and other databases to find instances in English literature where this biblical commandment is mentioned, altered, and commented upon. PhiloLogic @ NU’s “combo2” file pools a host of very large ProQuest databases with 30,000 EEBO TCP files. No surprise that the results for our Second Commandment search now skyrocket to 3528, opening up access to occurrences of and variations upon this biblical phrase in works from Geoffrey Chaucer to H.G. Wells. On the early end of the spectrum would be this passage from a vita of Saint Catherine of Siena printed in 1500: “Knewest thou not well that in thise two thynges scondeth the perfection of myn commaundementys that is in loue off god and loue of thyn neyghbour.” But we also uncover interesting 19th and early 20th century material useful for our study by including some of the more modern ProQuest databases. A passage from George Eliot’s Adam Bede of 1859, for example, reads: “ . . . she went clean again’ the Scriptur, for that says, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself;’ but I said, ‘If you loved your neighbour no better nor you do yourself, Dinah, it’s little enough you’d do for him. You’d be thinking he might do well enough on a half-empty stomach.’” This comes up because ProQuest’s Nineteenth-Century Fiction database is included in the new combo2 file.

Our only regret at the present moment is that although all 25,353 Phase I EEBO TCP texts are represented in PhiloLogic @ NU, so far only 4,180 of the newer Phase II texts are. We look forward to adding the new Phase II material sometime in the future, once the new version of PhiloLogic is introduced—an exciting development described in an earlier post to this blog. But even with the smaller corpus base—and a few quirks—PhiloLogic @ NU is an enormously powerful tool, supporting creative searching across a database of close to 100,000 texts.

For now, PhiloLogic @ NU is available only to CIC member institutions and to several partners outside the CIC, with access to individual and cumulated files customized for each institution based on existing ProQuest licenses and membership in Phases I and II of the Text Creation Partnership. Drop us a line at speciallibraries@northwestern.edu if you’d like to know more.

Jeff Garrett, Northwestern University Library

On the 12th Day of Christmas

January 6, 2012 by

Epiphany, which falls on January 6, celebrates the revelation of Jesus to the Gentile community with the visitation and adoration of the Magi.

Illustration of the Adoration of the Magi from John Day's "Certaine godly rules coneerning Christian practice: fit to be observed daily in the lives of all those that would be saved. Gathered out of the holy scriptures, for the good of all those which have a purpose within themselves to lead a godly life.

The night before Epiphany, Twelfth Night, marks the end of the Christmas season’s revelry.  This poem, from Hesperides, or The works both humane & divine of Robert Herrick, Esq. describes how a King and Queen of Misrule were chosen arbitrarily (by finding a bean or pea in their serving of a special cake) to rule over the celebrations:

Twelfe night, or King and Queene.

NOw, now the mirth comes
With the cake full of plums,
Where Beane’s the King of the sport here;
Beside we must know,
The Pea also
Must revell, as Queene, in the Court here.
Begin then to chuse,
(This night as ye use)
Who shall for the present delight here,
Be a King by the lot,
And who shall not
Be Twelfe-day Queene for the night here.
Which knowne, let us make
Joy-sops with the cake;
And let not a man then be seen here,
Who unurg’d will not drinke
To the base from the brink
A health to the King and the Queene here.
Next crowne the bowle full
With gentle lambs-wooll;
Adde sugar, nutmeg and ginger,
With store of ale too;
And thus ye must doe
To make the wassaile a swinger.
Give then to the King
And Queene wassailing;
And though with ale ye be whet here;
Yet part ye from hence,
As free from offence,
As when ye innocent met here.

Twelfth Night (aso spelled “twelfe night”) isn’t referenced much in the EEBO-TCP corpus: less than thirty times in all, and of those, six come from one author: Ben Jonson’s masques for performance at court as part of the celebration. Three of these are from consecutive years:  Time vindicated to himselfe, and to his honors (1622), Neptunes triumph for the returne of Albion (1623), and The fortunate isles and their vnion (1624). Jonson wrote a number of masques for the court during the reign of King James I, beginning with pageants celebrating the royal entry to the city  in 1604. These three correspond to the later years of James’ reign when, according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Jonson had reached the height of his fame but felt increasingly marginalized at court.



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