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Weekly News Digest

April 28, 2011 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Text Creation Partnership Makes 18th-Century Texts Freely Available to the Public

The University of Michigan Library announced the opening to the public of 2,231 searchable keyed-text editions of books from Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), published by Gale, part of Cengage Learning. ECCO is an important research database that includes every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the U.K. during the 18th century, along with thousands of important works from the Americas. ECCO contains more than 32 million pages of text and over 205,000 individual volumes, all fully searchable.

The Text Creation Partnership (TCP) produced the 2,231 keyed texts in collaboration with Gale, which provided page images for keying and is permitting the release of the keyed texts in support of the library’s commitment to the creation of open access cultural heritage archives. Any interested person can request copies of this digital corpus in two formats: plaintext files, and TEI-encoded sgml/xml files. TCP is currently working on making these texts publicly accessible through the interfaces hosted by the TCP.

The TCP is a partnership between the University of Michigan and Oxford University, which since 1999 has collaborated with scholars, commercial publishers, and university libraries to produce scholar-ready (that is, TEI-compliant, SGML/XML enhanced) text editions of works from digital image collections, including ECCO, Early English Books Online (EEBO) from ProQuest, and Evans Early American Imprint from Readex. More than 125 libraries participate in the TCP, as does the Joint Information Systems (JISC), which represents many British libraries and educational institutions. 

The TCP has also just published 4,180 texts from the second phase of its EEBO project, having already converted 25,355 books in its first phase, leaving 39,000 yet to be keyed and encoded. For a limited period, the EEBO-TCP digital editions are available only to subscribers—10 years from their initial release—as per TCP’s agreement with the publisher. Eventually all TCP-created titles will be freely available to scholars, researchers, and readers everywhere under the Creative Commons Public Domain Mark (PDM).

Source: University of Michigan Library



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