Teaching Tools Library Feature: Working with EEBO and ECCO

As part of the TPS Collective Teaching Tools Library, we’ll be offering periodic feature reviews of specific items in the library that may be of use to those who teach with primary sources.

Originally presented as part of a series of digital humanities workshops at Beyond the Black Box, Sarah Werner’s “Working with EEBO and ECCO” is now available in PDF form as a brief lesson plan. In it, Werner discusses digital facsimile resources using the subscription-based examples Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) as the guiding examples. The lessons walk the reader through accessing the sites, using their (not always intuitive) search functions, and sidestepping common pitfalls of use. They also spend some necessary time discussing topics like individual copies versus editions, navigating the metadata attached to entries, and going over what sorts of details get lost in digitized microfilm.

The lesson plan does a nice job of reviewing the pros and cons of working with digital facsimiles, though its focus is on how to access what is actually available. More impressive (and perhaps more useful) is how easily this document could be translated back into a workshop. By taking a “try this” approach where possible, Werner’s guide would provide the outline for an engaging class session on the same topic for students and researchers. It also provides a good review for those of us who haven’t used EEBO or ECCO recently. 

This feature review was written by Scout Noffke, Reference Specialist at Dartmouth College’s Rauner Library.

Have a tool that you think would be good for the Teaching Tools Library? Feel free to add it yourself via the Zotero plugin or send your contribution here and we’ll take care of the rest!