The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0693 Wednesday, 13 April 2005
Date: Tuesday, 12 Apr 2005 11:01:56 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.0682 CFP: EEBO in Teaching & Research
Comment: Re: SHK 16.0682 CFP: EEBO in Teaching & Research
I won't be writing a paper, but for others who may I have some minor
complaints from a user standpoint that might be addressed.
EEBO is a fantastic resource, no doubt. However the searchability of
the texts by terms is not represented well, maybe even misrepresented,
the latter at least by secondary promotions.
EEBO texts are variously promoted as "searchable." Not directly on the
EEBO site, but in some secondary promotional materials, EEBO is promoted
to imply that all the texts are searchable. I properly assumed
searchable were the complete texts, and I think others would too.
If one digs into the EEBO site, one finds this is not so. Therein
mentioned is a "separate initiative" to digitize 25,000 of the EEBO
texts into ASCII - that is, fully searchable formats. Confusingly also
mentioned is that 3,000 of the texts are now so digitized. Which are
they? There is no guidance from the EEBO search page. Also, this
digitization of the full texts into ASCII appears to be not a project of
EEBO but a group effort of member institutions. The mechanics of this
effort is ill-explained.
Given that the texts are not fully searchable, what are the parameters
of the searches available? Author and title are obvious search terms,
but EEBO also supplies a "Keyword" function. Who picks the "keywords"
and what are the protocols for determining them?
As I said EEBO is a fantastic resource, but I think the searchability
limitations need to be explained and apparent to the user.
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