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The primary goal of the Text Creation Partnership is to create standardized, accurate XML/SGML encoded electronic text editions of early printed books. We transcribe and encode the page images of books from ProQuest’s Early English Books Online, Gale Cengage’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online, and Readex’s Evans Early American Imprints.

This work, and the resulting text files, are jointly funded and owned by more than 150 libraries worldwide. Ultimately, all of the TCP’s work will be placed into the public domain for anyone to use.

The texts can be searched through web interfaces provided by the libraries at the University of Michigan and University of Oxford. In addition, partner libraries and their users are welcome to locally store, host, manipulate, analyze and otherwise work with the encoded text files, just as if they had been created locally.


The TCP began in 1999 as an experimental partnership among the University libraries of Michigan and OxfordProQuest, and the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The goal of the project was to produce standardized, digitally-encoded electronic text editions of 25,000 titles from ProQuest’s Early English Books Online.

A working group developed a DTD derived from TEI P3, the text encoding standard at that time; keying vendors were asked to submit bids; and work began. EEBO-TCP met its goal of producing 25,000 books in 2009, and has since undertaken work on a second phase to convert the first edition of each remaining unique work in EEBO—another 40,000 or so books, for a total of around 70,000.

In 2005, the TCP executive board and staff sought to expand the TCP model to other databases of historical books, namely, Gale Cengage’s Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO) and Newsbank Readex’s Evans Early American Imprints (Evans-TCP).

As of 2012, the Evans- and ECCP-TCP projects have produced combined a total of around 8,000 texts. Work on EEBO-TCP is ongoing and has now completed more than 40,000 texts.