Saturday, June 12, 2010

When EEBO and ECCO become Verbs

Another day, another blog:
should be added to our list Virtual Grub Street? The Bibliography of Online Document Archives at the end of the 2nd ed. of Sources and Debates lists EEBO and ECCO as important source collections, even though we know that many schools and universities cannot afford to subscribe to these massive databases.  In my own course, I have students work with EEBO for at least one assignment, Sources and Debates, Revolutionary England, Essay on 1640-60.  I am working on a podcast on how to search EEBO and use the materials, although through Early Modern Online Bibliography I learned of the University of Warwick's English and Comparative Literary Studies' Video guide to using EEBO.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When Worlds Collide: Early Modern Word Up

It is with some surprise that I discover in the latest email newsletter from UK music magazine Word a link to the new London Lives 1690-1820: Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis.

According to the Project Staff:
  • London Lives makes available, in a fully digitised and searchable form, a wide range of primary sources about eighteenth-century London, with a particular focus on plebeian Londoners. This resource includes over 240,000 manuscript and printed pages from eight London archives and is supplemented by fifteen datasets created by other projects. It provides access to historical records containing over 3.35 million name instances. Facilities are provided to allow users to link together records relating to the same individual, and to compile biographies of the best documented individuals. 
Eventually it will be integrated with an even larger set of databases, as described in Connected Histories: Sources for Building British History, 1500–1900.  London Lives should be added to the bibliography of online works in the 2nd ed. of Sources and Debates (and would be useful for students working on late Stuart social and cultural issues, ch. 9).

One caveat, the organizers promise a wiki to help markup and transcription.  A quick test of my father's name reveals the following:
  • From a Court holden at the said Hospital of Bridewell on Friday the 6th. of March 1746/7 
  • Edward Bellamy being Charged by the Oath of Harry Key at the Wheatsheaf in Cornhill Linnen Draper being a Disorderly Personand Pilferring and Old Hall of small Value his Property. 
That clearly should be "an old hatt" (Bellamy appears to have stolen Harry's hat).  Amazingly, London Lives provides a photo of the original MS. minute book on the same webpage (with a handy zoom) and, indeed, that is what is written.  Amazing source.

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