The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1615  Wednesday, 30 August 2000.

From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Aug 2000 15:04:25 +0100
Subject: 11.1592 Electronic Sources
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1592 Electronic Sources

Micharl Harrawood writes

>My school, Florida Atlantic University, is about to acquire the EEBO
>database from Bell & Howell, I think on a trial basis.
>I am wondering whether anybody out there has used this or any of the
>other online databases (such as Chadwick Healy) in the classroom.  I
>would be interested in any advice, war stories, or anything helpful
>regarding the use of these sources in teaching.

Early English Books Online (EEBO) will be reviewed in the next, or next
but one, issue of Early Modern Literary Studies
(purl.oclc.org/emls/emlshome.html). For those who haven't heard of EEBO,
it's an Internet-delivered equivalent of the collection of microfilms
called Early English Books sold by University Microfilms International
which show every page of an example of each item listed in the Pollard +
Redgrave and Wing Short Title Catalogues.  Bell and Howell digitized the
films at 200dpi with 1 bit per pixel and deliver them via a browser
plug-in called DejaVu.

I would be surprised if anyone were using EEBO in teaching, it being
essentially a scholarly research tool.

I have used Chadwyck-Healey's Literature Online (LION) database in
advanced undergraduate courses on Renaissance Comedy and on Research
Methods. Chadwyck-Healey once provided free training for my
undergraduates, most of whom remained blissfully unaware that they were
being given a remarkable opportunity to slice effectively the entire
pre-C20 literary canon any way they liked.  One student became highly
motivated when her search for "Hamlet" brought her to the parody
("'Sfoot, Hamlet, are you mad?") in Chapman, Jonson and Marston's
"Eastward Ho!"

A LION homework exercise that worked well was to have the students find
all occurrences of the character name "Rafe" in plays between 1580 and
1600, to read a little around the hit and report back to the group on
what each Rafe does. Other groups did the same for the names Dick(e),
Robin, Venus, Neptune, and Cupid. (The set text was Lyly's "Gallathea".)
From this the students gained a sense of the expectations generated by
certain characters' names. Another successful task was reporting on
words which frequently appear in collocation with "jew" in literature of
the period, as background to Marlowe's "Jew of Malta".

Gabriel Egan

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