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TEI-L  April 2011

TEI-L April 2011

Subject:

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

From:

Martin Mueller <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Martin Mueller <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 08:02:39 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (166 lines)

To be fair to the University of Michigan Library and all the other folks
who are involved in and excited about the fact that a subset of TCP texts
will become publicly before the middle of the decade when all or most of
them will be: in the management of these texts so far their distribution
to end users has not been a concern. They have been mediated through
particular interfaces, such as the Philologic search engine or Michigan's
OpenText engine. The efforts of the staff have been properly focused on
quality control of texts as they come in. Resources are tight, people are
busy, and the schedules of a large digital production centre like
Michigan's follow rhythms that are measured in months.

Things will take a little while and, as they usually do, take a little
longer. In the interim, it is worth thinking a little about how users
could and perhaps should "give back" once the texts circulate freely. Many
of the TCP texts are in excellent condition. Others less so, reflecting
the original print quality, the quality of the intermediate microfilm
image, and the many of a mass-digitizion project in which very
heterogeneous texts are produced by double keyboarding and reviewed
through spot-checking rather than the multiple proof-=reading one expects
in a printed scholarly text.

Many of the errors can be fixed easily once seen. Other errors, involving
structural encoding, are more problematic. But there are very substantial
opportunities for users to make these texts much better over time.
User-driven, incremental, and collaborative data curation will be one of
the challenges of an environment in which TCP texts become part of the
public domain. "Many hands make light work" is an old proverb with
fascinating new applications in a digital world. For 18th century texts
Laura Mandell and the 18thConnect have taken important steps towards
collaborative curation or primary scholarly data. But as such texts pass
into the public domain, their ownership moves from "them" to "us" (or many
subsets of "us")--a change in pronouns that is worth pondering.


 

On 4/27/11 2:53 AM, "Jens Østergaard Petersen" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>On Apr 25, 2011, at 6:54 PM, Lou Burnard wrote:
>
>> This does sound very exciting, but when I went to the links you
>>specified I was a bit disappointed. The Gale site doesn't seem to offer
>>any way of accessing any texts at all, unless you sign up for a "free
>>trial", presumably via their search interface.
>
>The free trial appears only to be available to persons with addresses in
>the US and Canada. The omission of the UK here is rather strange. I
>hesitate to ask, but does this geographical restriction also apply to the
>part about "we'll send the texts to anyone who asks"?
>
>The interface at <http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebogroup/> requires a
>umich login, but you can set up a Friend Account for Guest Access.
>However, logging in to gain "full access" - for me at least - only lets
>me access the bibliographical description and TOC. And such an account
>does not appear to give access to <https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/ecco>.
>The Oxford interface at <http://ecco.odl.ox.ac.uk/e/ecco/> is a little
>more direct: it simply flashes a "Forbidden" to the curious user.
>
>Jens
>
>> The TCP site is a lot more informative, but unless I've missed
>>something doesn't allow me to download the texts in their full TEI Glory
>>at all.
>> 
>> What exactly does "freely available to the public" mean, here and now?
>>On the EEBO forms I read  "TCP does not generally allow individuals
>>unaffiliated with an institution to download texts for personal use." So
>>"public" means "affiliated with an institution", and "available" means
>>"readable but not downloadable"?
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On 25/04/11 16:23, Rebecca Welzenbach wrote:
>>> Greetings, all--
>>> More news from the TCP‹with apologies for cross posting.
>>> --
>>> Rebecca Welzenbach
>>> MPublishing / Text Creation Partnership
>>> University of Michigan Library
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> _
>>> Contact: Ari Friedlander ([log in to unmask])
>>> Kristina Massari ([log in to unmask])
>>> 
>>> *Text Creation Partnership makes 18th century texts freely available to
>>> the public
>>> *
>>> (Ann Arbor, MI‹April 25, 2011) ‹ 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).
>>> ECCO is an important research database that includes every significant
>>> English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United
>>> Kingdom 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. ECCO is
>>>published
>>> by Gale, part of Cengage Learning.
>>> 
>>> 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 Library¹s
>>> commitment to the creation of open access cultural heritage archives.
>>>  Gale has been a generous partner, according to Maria Bonn, Associate
>>> University Librarian for Publishing. ³Gale¹s support for the TCP¹s ECCO
>>> project will enhance the research experience for 18th century scholars
>>> and students around the world.²
>>> 
>>> Laura Mandell, Professor of English and Digital Humanities at Miami
>>> University of Ohio, says, ³The 2,231 ECCO texts that have been typed by
>>> the Text Creation Partnership, from Pope's /Essay on Man/ to a
>>> ŒDiscourse addressed to an Infidel Mathematician,¹ are gems.²  Mandell,
>>> a key collaborator on 18thConnect, an online resource initiative in
>>>18th
>>> century studies, says that the TCP is ³a groundbreaking partnership
>>>that
>>> is creating the highest quality 18th century scholarship in digital
>>>form.²
>>> 
>>> This announcement marks another milestone in the work of the TCP, 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.
>>> 
>>> 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. According to Ari
>>> Friedlander, TCP Outreach Coordinator, the EEBO-TCP project is much
>>> larger than ECCO-TCP because pre-1700 works are more difficult to
>>> capture with optical character recognition (OCR) than ECCO¹s
>>> 18th-century texts, and therefore depend entirely on the TCP¹s manual
>>> conversion for the creation of fully searchable editions.
>>> 
>>> Friedlander explains that, for a limited period, the EEBO-TCP digital
>>> editions are available only to subscribers‹ten years from their initial
>>> release‹as per TCP¹s 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).
>>> 
>>> Paul Courant, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, says that
>>> large projects such as those undertaken by the TCP are only possible
>>> when the full range of library, scholarly, and publishing resources are
>>> brought together. ³The TCP illustrates the dynamic role played by
>>> today¹s academic research library in encouraging library collaboration,
>>> forging public/private partnerships, and ensuring open access to our
>>> shared cultural and scholarly record.²
>>> 
>>> More than 125 libraries participate in the TCP, as does the Joint
>>> Information Systems (JISC), which represents many British libraries and
>>> educational institutions.
>>> 
>>> To learn more about the Text Creation Partnership, visit
>>> www.lib.umich.edu/tcp <http://www.lib.umich.edu/tcp>
>>> <_http://www.lib.umich.edu/tcp_> . To learn more about ECCO, visit
>>> _http://gdc.gale.com/products/eighteenth-century-collections-online/_
>>> 
>>><_http://gdc.gale.com/products/eighteenth-century-collections-online/_>
>>>.
>>> 

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