About JISC Historic Books
JISC Hstoric Books is a JISC funded full text archive containing over over 300,000 books published in England before 1800, and 65,000 19th century books from the British Library collection never seen before.
JISC Historic Books contains the digital fascimiles (page images) for every work included in the three collections as well as searchable full text for every title in the ECCO and BL 19th century collections and currently around 25% of the EEBO collection.
Although we do not have a list of all the texts available in JISC Historic Books, records in EEBO and ECCO are listed in the English Short-Title Catalogue (ESTC), an online citation catalogue of printed material freely available to the public via the British Library. You can search the ESTC from the British Library's website at: http://estc.bl.uk.
JISC Historic Books is part of the JISC eCollections service which includes JISC Journal Archives and JISC MediaHub. Details on how to subscribe to JISC Historic Books or request a free 30 day trial can be found below.
Early English Books Online (EEBO)
The scanned images and (increasingly) full-text digital versions of over 125,000 books published in English up to 1700, from the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War.
Comprised of titles listed in the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) I and II, which is based on Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700), and their revised editions, Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) collection and the Early English Books Tract Supplement it covers a wealth of early modern materials.
The ESTC is a union catalogue and is available to search by the general public from the British Library website, which also includes information on the history of the ESTC from its origins and original aims.
All works included in the JISC Historic Books EEBO collection have digital fascimiles (page images). These pages have been digitised by opening (two physical pages per image) from microfilms by ProQuest. Currently, for around 25% of this collection, there are also searchable full text transcriptions. These are manually transcribed text versions of the page images, produced by the Text Creation Partnership (TCP). The text transcriptions for individual works can be accessed in JISC Historic Books by selecting the ‘text’ link within the page viewer.Text Creation Partnership (TCP) and EEBO
EEBO-TCP is a partnership between ProQuest and over 150 libraries to create searchable, TEI-compliant SGML/XML texts for the titles in the EEBO collection. The texts are created by manual transcriptions, rather than OCR which has been used for the ECCO and BL collections, as the pre-1700 works in EEBO would not be intelligible by the OCR process. Further details on why manual transcriptions are necessary for EEBO can be found on the EEBO-TCP website.
Titles are selected according to specfic criteria, based on whether their author is included in the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). For anonymous authors they may be selected if their title appears instead. Usually only first editions are selected and titles requested by users at partner institutions are prioritised. Availability of a title in another resource already does not affect the selection process though.
The EEBO-TCP Phase I began in 1999 as a collaboration between ProQuest, the University of Michigan and Oxford University and created searchable texts for 25,000 titles. This phase is now complete and the works are available within JISC Historic Books.
EEBO-TCP Phase II aims to create searchable text for the remaining 44,000 titles in the EEBO collection. JISC Historic Books will be adding these text updates as and when they are made available.
Further details on EEBO-TCP can be found on their website.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO and ECCO II)
A digital collection of all the books published in Great Britain and its colonies during the eighteenth century, comprising some 33 million pages from more than 180,000 titles. The collection includes works in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Latin, Spanish and Welsh.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online contains a variety of printed materials including books, Bibles, sheet music, sermons and advertisements published from 1700-1799 and the content is comprised from seven subject areas:
- • History and Geography
- • Social Science
- • Fine Arts, Music, Art & Architecture
- • Medicine, Science and Technology
- • Literature and Language
- • Religion and Philosophy
- • Law
- • General Reference
Part II includes almost 50,000 titles and 7 million pages of new material uncovered by the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) since 2003, from the library holdings of institutions including the British Library, Bodleian, Cambridge University, the National Library of Scotland, Library of Congress, National Library of Ireland, and the University of Texas.
Part II covers the same subject areas as the original collection, with an emphasis on Literature, Social Science and Religion titles, and incorporates more than 900 works and editions by women authors. While the majority of titles are in English, works can also be found in French, German, Latin, Ancient Greek, Italian, and Welsh. Influential works can be found from authors such as Voltaire, John Milton, Sir William Blackstone and Captain James Cook and there are also 96 new editions of Shakespeare.
There are fascimiles and full text available for every text in this collection, enabling full text searching across all of the works included. The full text is produced by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. JISC Historic Books exposes the OCR for you to see for the first time, enabling you to compare the accuracy with the digital page images.
Nineteenth Century books from the British Library collection
Digitised versions of more than 65,000 first editions from the 19th century, covering philosophy, history, poetry and literature. The collection extends to over 25 million pages of previously rare and inaccessible content, and includes the original typeface and illustrations for each book.
There are fascimiles and full text available for all texts in this collection. The full text is produced by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.
JISC Historic Books is available via subscription to UK HE and FE institutions and Research Councils.
Previously there was a single subscription to the JISC eCollections service available which provided access to all three platforms in the service (JISC Journal Archives, JISC Historic Books and JISC MediaHub). For subscriptions from 1 August 2013 there are now more flexible options available which vary for HE and FE institutions.
For any enquiries about subscription options please contact the JISC Collections helpdesk at: firstname.lastname@example.org
UK Further Education (FE) subscriptions
There is no longer a JISC eCollections subscription option for FE institutions from 1 August 2013 as JISC MediaHub will be free from that date. To subscribe to JISC Historic Books from 1 August 2013 the following package is available:
This provides access to both JISC Historic Books and JISC Journal Archives. It is not possible to subscribe to JISC Historic Books on its own.
UK Higher Education (HE) and Research Council subscriptions
There are two new options available for HE institutions and Research Councils for subscriptions from 1 August 2013, alongside the existing JISC eCollections subscription option:
JISC eCollections for HE (includes access to JISC Historic Books, JISC Journal Archives and JISC MediaHub)
These options provide access to JISC Historic Books along with either JISC Journal Archives or JISC MediaHub or both. It is not possible to subscribe to JISC Historic Books on its own.
UK HE and FE institutions and Research Councils who do not currently subscribe to JISC Historic Books can request a free 30 day trial. A librarian at the institution can do this by contacting the JISC Collections helpdesk at: email@example.com or logging in to their account on the JISC Collections website.