Great News! Temporary EEBO Access to Begin Feb. 22


Around February 22, and for 2-3 weeks following, readers of this blog will have temporary access to EEBO, thanks to the generosity of Proquest.  For those of us who do not normally have access to EEBO, this provides an excellent opportunity to explore EEBO, both in our research and in our classrooms.

Last semester, when Gale/Cengage provided a free trial of ECCO, Dave Mazella graciously spearheaded our discussion of teaching with ECCO.  We can now add to that discussion by hearing from readers how EEBO functions in classes and in research.  Newly updated with a helpful “EEBO Introductions Series,”  EEBO is adapting  creatively to the scholarly and pedagogical possibilities offered by the web.  Work EEBO into your classes and report back about your experience.  Or use it in your research, and let us know of any bibliographical glitches or goldmines.  Details regarding access will be provided here soon.

ADDED 2/24/10:  To access EEBO, click here.


13 Responses to “Great News! Temporary EEBO Access to Begin Feb. 22”

  1. Eleanor Shevlin Says:

    We are very grateful to EEBO for providing this access. As we have mentioned in passing on emob, the ProQuest administers of EEBO have seemed attuned to promoting the use of this tool among students as well as scholars. Beginning in 2001, for instance, they sponsored a Undergraduate Studies Essay Contest. (I have not seen a recent call, however, and the prize may have ceased in 2006/2007).

    The EEBO-TCP pages pprovide links to sample assignments and syllabi.

    We are looking forward to hearing about more ideas from emob readers, especially once the trial period opens.


  2. Anna Battigelli Says:

    Houston Diehl’s assignment on using primary sources seems like a good ice-breaker for undergraduates unfamiliar with early modern print. I like the way it allows students to explore the text by asking a series of specific questions but then encourages them to have fun with the essay and to feel free to guess at answers to questions. As an initial approach to using EEBO, this might help students to both spend the time necessary to become familiar with an early modern printed text and to relax into thinking seriously about the text in question and its conventions.


  3. Eleanor Shevlin Says:

    Yes, among the advantages that Huston Diehl’s assignment has is its emphasis on the “alien.” I’ve conducted similar in-class exercises in terms of steps 1, 2, and, to a lesser degree, 3 as preliminary work for an exploratory essay based on the student’s selection of a text from a list I provide. In my experience students often attempt to make sense of these texts by seeking the familiar. This search for the familiar can often result in ahistorical work or a projection of our current moment on the past. Diehl’s use of Darnton as an epigraph for the assignment and her stress on identifying the strange and illogical would help assuage student frustration and direct their energy in fruitful directions.

    A follow-up assignment might draw upon using the ODNB, OED, the British Book Trade Index, and/or the ESTC. Dave Mazella, Sayre Greenfield, and others have suggested ways that EEBO (as well as ECCO) would work welll in tandem with one or more of these essays.

    It would be interesting to see if an undergraduate research blog or the like be established on EEBO (or elsewhere) for students to engage with others in similar courses addressing similar findings. When I have taught multiple sections of core theory courses, I often have cross-exchanges between sections (we have also effectively experimented with a few cross exchanges between graudate and undergraduate versions of long 18th-century courses in which the graduate students assume a mentoring role). Such exchanges help students engage directly with ongoing conversations about these texts beyond their immediate classroom experience. These exchanges have also produced more substantive critiques at times perhaps because students feel less constrained by challenging a fellow class member.


  4. Anna Battigelli Says:

    Yes, concentrating on the “alien” can help students enter imaginatively into the world of early modern print culture rather than merely imposing modern templates on that world.

    I like your idea of an undergraduate research blog. That might be a great idea for EEBO to adopt, if they are not already considering it.


  5. Eleanor Shevlin Says:

    Given EEBO’s attention to involving undergraduates, plans for such a blog may well be in the works.

    It might be an interesting experiment to set up a common undergraduate assignment for early modern courses taught by instructors who are interested in wider exchange. Exchange among undergraduates about the process and results could unfold on a dedicated thread on such a blog.


  6. Anna Battigelli Says:

    That would be an interesting project, not least because it would encourage undergraduates to make the subject their own. They would be part of a community of other interested undergraduates linked only by the interest in EEBO’s holdings.


  7. Free access to EEBO « Mercurius Politicus Says:

    […] in Digital history | Tags: books, early modern, eebo, emob, english From 22 February, readers of Early Modern Online Bibliography will have access to Early English Books Online. If you have never had a chance to use this resource […]


  8. Malcolm Says:

    I have just stumbled on your blog, which is interesting to me for several reasons, not least the possible access to the otherwise hidden world of EEBO, about which I have been lobbying for some time.
    You do not, howver, say HOW I can obtain access under your arrangement.
    Please advise urgently.
    Thank you,


    • Anna Battigelli Says:

      Look at the right-hand column of our homepage under the category “Pages,” and click on the page titled “Accessing EEBO.” Click on the “click here” link, and you’ll have access to EEBO.

      Please let me know if there is any problem with this.


  9. Eleanor Shevlin Says:


    We would be very much interested in hearing your thoughts about using EEBO as well as your attitudes about securing access to this resource at your institution.


  10. Paramita Dutta Says:

    I am very very grateful for this frial trial which I stumbled upon today, the 8 of March. I am researching on early modern English drama and until now had great difficulty in accessing various primary texts that I require especially as I am based in India. Thank you! I just need to know very urgently how long we will be able to access the archive for free.


    • Eleanor Shevlin Says:


      Because the free trial is aimed, in part, to facilitate familiarity with EEBO for a roundtable on electronic databases that will take place next week, I suspect that access will end this week or early next at the very latest.


    • Anna Battigelli Says:


      I’m glad this access is helpful. We have it until the 12 March.


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