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EEBO-TCP Collections: Navigations

From "The Antiquity & excellency of globes...," Anonymous, 1653

EEBO-TCP Collections: Navigations is made possible by a two-year Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Division of Preservation and Access. The project will run from 2013-2015.

Project Description

The aim of the project is to identify and select texts related to the themes of travel and navigation in the early modern world that have not yet been keyed, and to complete as many of these as possible. These texts will be gathered with similar texts from EEBO-TCP Phase I, and released together as a freely accessible online resource hosted at the University of Michigan library in the spring of 2015. We anticipate that the final product will consist of 2,000-3,000 texts (some of them newly keyed, others selected from the Phase I corpus).

We plan to release the EEBO-TCP Navigations texts under a Creative Commons Public Domain mark (CC0) and made available for download via GitHub, as well as hosted and preserved in the University of Michigan’s platform, DLXS.

This project provides an opportunity for the TCP to continue its ongoing work of keying in a systematic way that will benefit a particular scholarly audience; to test our process of selecting texts for this purpose; and to experiment with new formats and channels for distribution of the texts. We hope to develop some frameworks that could be repeated for other projects, other subjects, and other funding opportunities. We expect to be able to transcribe and encode more than 1,000 new texts that we otherwise would not have been able to do.

Planning for this project involved the cooperation and expertise of several key stakeholders:

  • ProQuest has agreed that texts whose conversion is funded by NEH funding may be made freely available immediately upon the project launch, rather than being subject to a five year exclusively period.
  • Colm MacCrossan, a TCP editor based at the University of Oxford, and Paul Schaffner, head of text production at the University of Michigan, have together devised a method of identifying texts that meet our thematic criteria. Using a set of keywords likely to signal navigation or travel, they searched titles and subject terms for unkeyed works, and then refined the results by hand, discarding the false positives until a reasonable provisional set of texts was arrived at.
  • Over the next two years, staff at the University of Michigan are working through the set of titles and selecting for keying
  • As TCP editors continue in their usual work of reviewing general EEBO texts, occasionally a relevant title that our selection methods missed will appear. When this happens, the text is flagged to be added to the EEBO-TCP Navigations collection.


The planned timeline for the project is as follows:


Projected Timeline Actual Timeline
Refine and begin to implement selection process May-June 2013 Began in May 2013. Selection is ongoing.
Send selections to vendors for keying and encoding. June-December 2013 First selections delivered to the vendor in June 2013.
Proofread/review texts as they are delivered to UM. August 2013-October 2013
Perform final batch processing; deliver texts to DLPS staff at UM Library October-December 2014
Set up digital collection, index texts, build homepage, preview and test functionality January-February 2015
Convert files to TEI P5 for public distribution March 2015
Put site into production; Set up GitHub repository and deposit texts; Announce availability April 2015

The TCP is grateful for the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. We look forward to updating this space with progress reports on EEBO-TCP Collections: Navigations.