All posts by shgregg

About shgregg

Lecturer in English, Bath Spa University.

Voyant 2

Voyant has released version 2 of its textual analyzer and visualizer: (link is also in ‘Tools’). It has a cleaner interface and seems -at least during my first testing – emmaquicker. In the top left-hand tool interface where the word cloud appears, you can switch views: between word cloud (‘cirrus’), raw word counts (‘terms’), and word-frequency links (‘Links’).

For more features, check out this Profhacker blog post.

NB: see also their new ‘Guides’ section!




‘Lost’ Shelley text online.

This, from Faith Binckes:

This pamphlet– Shelley’s Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things (1811)– was essentially lost until 2006. As of last month, it is freely available on the Bodleian library website.  It’s a great opportunity to use your newly-acquired book-historical skills to explore this very rare material object (albeit in two-dimensional form). It’s an equally good example of how presenting and framing a text digitally can lead your reader/s into a whole set of related issues, and how decisions regarding which issues to choose shape interpretation in particular directions. You also get a nice introduction from Vanessa Redgrave.

Which books?

Last week, we bounced around a few ideas for books we might like to attempt to part-digitise and edit. Below is the list, plus a couple of others. As you’ll see, it might depend upon the ability to find the right kind of source book. Also, I mentioned, we won’t be digitizing or editing a large portion of these texts. In fact, it’ll be up to you to decide what combination of features (physical, literary, historical) you think is most interesting about your chosen book, and so what pages you will be digitizing and editing. I will insist, however, that you include the title page. More details to come.

Sheridan, School for Scandal

Defoe, Robinson Crusoe.

Austen, Persuasion

Voltaire, Candide

 NB: for these, you will need to find the oldest edition you can afford (e.g. Everyman editions from the early 20thC are around £4; 19thC editions tend to be more but you might find a bargain). I’d suggest a visit to Bayntun’s antiquarian bookshop near the station – it’s fun to browse downstairs where they keep the cheaper second-hand copies.

Nehemiah Grew, Musaeum Regalis Societatis. or a catalogue & description of the natural and artificial rarities belonging to the Royal Society (1681)

The Most Delectable History of Mr Reynard (1701)

Both of the above from BSU special collections.

Henry Fielding , Tom Jones (1749) [Everyman, c.1910].

Alexander Pope, The Works, vols I and II (1736).

Both of these are my personal copies which may be used.


Another response to ProQuest’s decision that gives a vital persective on our discussion in last week’s session about the commercial context of digital resources.

rachel ellen clark

Today the Renaissance Society of America announced that ProQuest has canceled the EEBO subscription for RSA members, effective October 31. Here is the full text of the email:

Dear RSA members,

The RSA Executive Committee regrets to announce that ProQuest has canceled our subscription to the Early English Books Online database (EEBO). The basis for the cancellation is that our members make such heavy use of the subscription, this is reducing ProQuest’s potential revenue from library-based subscriptions. We are the only scholarly society that has a subscription to EEBO, and ProQuest is not willing to add more society-based subscriptions or to continue the RSA subscription. We hoped that our special arrangement, which lasted two years, would open the door to making more such arrangements possible, to serve the needs of students and scholars. But ProQuest has decided for the moment not to include any learned societies as subscribers. Our subscription…

View original post 341 more words

ProQuest Cancels RSA’s EEBO Access

In last week’s session, while we were examining what happens ‘behind the interface’ of digital projects and databases, we also started considered the effects of commerce and funding. Just this week, the effect of commercial priorities has been strikingly demonstrated by ProQuest, the publisher behind Early English Books Online. If you’re on twitter, see #Proquestgate.

Early Modern Online Bibliography

Proquest has canceled EEBO access for members of the Renaissance Society of America starting 1 November 2015.  The announcement can be seen on the “Members Benefits” page of the RSA.

This is a deep disappointment for those of us whose libraries do not and cannot subscribe to EEBO.  If ProQuest never intended to offer continuing access, it would have been helpful if they had announced that from the beginning so that members could plan accordingly.  A longer grace period before the announced cancellation would be considerate, especially since the agreement was presented as lasting.

View original post