Last semester, when we explored ECCO, one of the concerns addressed was getting students acclimated to the product. Even before students call up a digital facsimile of an eighteenth-century printed text and find themselves deciphering early modern fonts, they need to know how best to navigate an ECCO search. Now that we have a free trial of EEBO, it might be useful to begin by discussing how best to help students become familiar with efficient ways to search EEBO.
A useful first step is to share with students Alice Eardley’s “video guide to using EEBO” on the University of Warwick’s web site. The guide takes only seven minutes; at its conclusion, students will understand that EEBO holds both digital facsimiles and typed transcripts for some of those facsimiles, and they will have a working understanding of the icons associated with a given entry. It’s the best introduction I have seen, and it calls attention to the value of video guides for presenting usage guides to electronic products.
I would be interested in hearing other responses to students’ initial contact with EEBO and to strategies they find helpful in beginning to make use of EEBO.