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Eighteenth-Century Resources Online – Scholarly Opinions

JISC, along with publishers ProQuest, Cengage and Adam Matthews Digital, were involved in a couple of round table sessions at the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference at Oxford University.

The sessions were designed to get feedback from the scholarly community on resources such as ECCOand the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera

The presentation given by Alastair Dunning of JISC is included here. Below that are some of the key points made by the academics present, and there is a longer pdf document to download with extended notes, which also includes some of the key resources in the area.


Key Feedback from the Roundtable Sessions

  • Repeated call for standardised interfaces – “Every car I drive may be different, but I still know how to drive it without thinking. Why should it not be the same for website interfaces?”. There was also strong support for an eighteenth-century portal.
  • Digitisation taken for granted – The advantages of having digital editions online (“you can work without putting your socks on”) are so obvious that there is little need to argue for them
  • We need to know what’s there – “Does EEBO really contain every early English book? Or are there gaps that are not obvious to researchers and undergraduates?”
  • How do we stop the digital divide – “Scholars from less wealthy institutions should not be isolated because their library cannot afford the subscription cost”
  • Download the full feedback from the session – 18th-century-resources-feedback-jan-2009.pdf

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