These are answers to the most frequently asked questions about JISC Historic Books.
Subscription and Access
- • How do I request a free trial of JISC Historic Books?
- • How do I subscribe to JISC Historic Books?
- • How can I access JISC Historic Books?
- • Do you provide WAYFless URLs?
- • Do you provide proxy server access to JISC Historic Books?
- • Our institution is unable to download texts from JISC Historic Books via our proxy server. What should we do?
- • How do i add JISC Historic Books to my institutions Athens resource list?
- • How can i access my institutions usage statistics?
- • Where can i find help on searching?
- • Can I download a whole book?
- • Can I do a keyword search within a specific book?
- • Can i search on an exact phrase?
- • When i select a page number in the viewer why doesn't it correspond with the physical page number?
- • Do you provide stable URLs (OpenURL links)?
- • Why are pages and books displayed in the default 'by book' view?
- • Why do the total number of search results go down as i move through the results pages?
- • Why aren’t my search terms highlighted in the 'image' view for EEBO documents?
- • What format are the books in?
- • Why are the search results in the JISC Historic Books not the same as the results from searching in EEBO or ECCO?
- • What is the concept cloud?
- • Why should I use JISC Historic Books instead of Google Books?
Subscription and Access
JISC Historic Books is included in the new JISC eCollections service, along with JISC Journal Archives and JISC MediaHub. To request a free 30 day trial ask your institutions librarian to login to the JISC Collections website, click on 'Catalogue', find 'JISC eCollections' in the list of resources and select it then click on the green button which says 'Apply for a free trial'.
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.
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.
We provide UK Access Management Federation authentication (Shibboleth and OpenAthens) as well as ip authentication.
Our system will do an ip check first, so if your institution has ip authentication enabled, and your machine is included within the authorised range, then you will gain access automatically. If you are outside the authorised ip range, e.g. if you are off campus, or if your institution does not have ip authentication enabled, then you will be prompted to login via the UK Federation (e.g. Shibboleth or OpenAthens).
Please note, if your institution chooses to enable ip authentication then the personalisation features (saved searches, display settings) will only be saved for the current session. In order to keep saved searches and set display preferences permanently you will need to login via Shibboleth or OpenAthens.
JISC Historic Books is also available in the British Library's London Reading Rooms via ip authentication: http://www.bl.uk/eresources/new.html. Further details on the Reading Rooms can be found on the British Library website: http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/inrrooms/readingrooms.html.
Yes, WAYFless URLs are available for JISC Historic Books.
The format is: http://jcolls.mimas.ac.uk/wayf?sso=SSO_LOCATION&destination=books
SSO_LOCATION is the URL of the single sign on service of the Identity Provider to use for authentication (which can be found in the IdP configuration files or federation metadata).
So, for example, to use The University of Manchester IdP you would use:
In this example, 'https://shib.manchester.ac.uk/shibboleth-idp/profile/Shibboleth/SSO' is the SSO_LOCATION belonging to The University of Manchester.
Mimas makes every effort to enable proxy server access to JISC Historic Books.
The login link for JISC Historic Books goes through some re-directs and these will need to be included in your local proxy server configuration. We have tested and confirmed access with Innovative Interfaces and they have advised that institutions using Innovative's Web Access Management (WAM) proxy server will need to add the following entries to their forward table:
Mimas will also need to know the ip address of your proxy server so we can add this to our records. Please contact the JISC Historic Books helpdesk at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this does not resolve any issues Innovative Interfaces have requested that institutions please contact their helpdesk directly at: email@example.com so they can assist you with your configuration. Mimas has already provided them with the access details for JISC Historic Books.
If your institution is using a different proxy server, and adding the urls above to your local configuration does not work, please contact the JISC Historic Books helpdesk at: firstname.lastname@example.org where we will be happy to assist you.
Our institution is unable to download texts from JISC Historic Books via our proxy server. What should we do?
We are currently using a non standard port to serve the download functionality, port 8282. If you create a firewall rule to open up port 8282 to the web or at least to 126.96.36.199 then that should solve the problem.
JISC Historic Books is available via UK Access Management Federation authentication (Shibboleth and OpenAthens) and ip authentication. As it is not an Athens protected resource the Eduserv helpdesk have advised it will need to be added as additional resource by your institutions Athens Administrator.
If you would like instructions on how to do this please contact the OpenAthens service desk.
Librarians at subscribing institutions are able to view and download their full text access statistics for JISC Historic Books via a new web interface. Statistics are available from the launch of the platform on 1st August 2011 and reports can be viewed online in html format or downloaded in csv format.
Access details have been emailed to librarians at subscribing institutions. You can access the usage statistics interface using the same authentication method you use to access JISC Historic Books, either via UK Access Management Federation (Shibboleth and OpenAthens) or ip authentication, depending on which options have been set up for your institution.
If you haven't received an email, or if you experience any problems with accessing the usage statistics, please do contact our helpdesk at email@example.com.
There is a toolbar at the top of JISC Historic Books with links to additional support information. The 'help' link will open in a new window and provides detailed information on using the standard search, the advanced search, the options available in the page viewer, how to download pages, books and citation information as well as saving searches and setting preferences..
The 'support' link will open in a new window and take you to this support website where you can view the latest news items and select the 'Historic Books' tab to view the development roadmap, support page and FAQs. Please note, we are currently working on additional support materials and information and these pages are being continually udpated.
Yes you can download and print single pages, a range of pages or whole books as PDFs using a new download button in the viewer . This button is located in the top right hand side of the viewer toolbar and enables you to download page images, the page text only as well the option to include the bibliographic information at the front of the PDF file. This download menu also enables you to download citation information in RIS, RefWorks and BibTex format for importing into reference management software.
Yes you can. After you open the book in the page viewer you can enter new search terms in the search box in the middle of the left hand side of the viewer. Pages matching your search terms will be listed below the search box so you can jump straight to them and your search terms will be highlighted in the text.
Yes, on the advanced search page there is an option to find results 'with the exact phrase'. Stop words (words such as and, or, and the etc) are now included if you enter them. Due to the sheer number of records that will now be searched, this will have an impact on the time it takes for the search to be run, which can be around 30 seconds, so please bear this in mind when using this field.
When using the 'with the exact phrase' search, and including stop words, you will also need to select the 'Show results as pages' option, on the advanced search page, which will take you directly to the page the term matches on:
When you select a page number in the viewer the number refers to the digital page image rather than the printed page itself. This is because all the pages are digitised, including ones without page numbers at the front and back of the books, so the image page numbers will not necessarily match up to the printed page numbers.
The 'original page' term in the viewer refers to the page that you opened the viewer with, i.e. your original starting page, and the text is a link which will take you back to that page.
In ‘by book’ view the title and author fields are weighted so any matches on those fields will show at the top of the search results. After the title and author field has been checked, it will check for matches in the rest of the metadata and the full text (where available) for the documents, so you will see pages further down the list.
You will only see one entry per book though, so there will either be a book or a page entry but not both, and you won’t see more than one page per book displayed.
If you just want to see pages then select the 'by pages' option either on the JISC Historic Books homepage or in the 'Display Results' in the bottom left hand section of the results screen.
We provide stable URLs for books, including individual page images, as well as for author or title searches. This gives you a URL which you can copy and paste into web pages or documents, enabling you to link directly back to either a specific page image of a book in the viewer or to the results of a search on an author or title.
When you click on the stable URL from another website or document you will be prompted to login (unless you are already logged in). For a book or specific page image URL, you will be taken directly to the a page in the viewer. For author or title searches, you will be taken to the results page for the particular search. Our stable URLs are OpenURL compliant and the terminology 'OpenURL' is used for them in JISC Historic Books.
OpenURL link for books and individual page images
To get an OpenURL link for a book, or a particular page in a book, simply search for your desired book as usual using either the standard or Advanced Search then click on the hyperlink title to open it up in the viewer. For a link to the whole book you can use the first page image, for a link to a specific page just navigate to the page required, then click on the globe icon on the right hand side of the viewer toolbar.
This will give you the OpenURL link for that page. Simply copy and paste this link into your web page or document. The screenshot below shows the link for page image 55 of this particular book.
Please note, this feature uses the bibiographic reference number to link to the correct book. So, for books that share this number, e.g. ones that have multiple volumes, the OpenURL link for a specific page image will just link back to the results list showing all volumes.
OpenURL link for author and title searches
We also provide OpenURLs for the results of author and title searches for you to copy and paste into web pages or documents, enabling you to link directly back to the results page for the search.
Simply run your search using either the title or author fields on the Advanced Search page and select the 'Open URL' link at the top of the results page.
When you click on the 'Open URL' link this will display a URL for you to copy and paste into your web page or document.
Please note, OpenURLs for searches are only available when you run a title or author search from the Advanced Search page (or a bibliographic reference number (bib ref) search on EEBO or ECCO as this is part of the OpenURL for books and pages), so you won't see an 'Open URL' link at the top of the results screen if you use any other fields on the Advanced Search page, or if you use the standard search box on the homepage.
There is no OCR position information in the EEBO data so terms can not be highlighted for that collection. Your search terms are highlighted in the ECCO and British Library collections however.
In order to ensure a quick search response time, if the total number of results are over 50 the system is configured to return a predicted total using a prediction algorithm, as opposed to calculating a 100% accurate total figure. As you page through these results, the accuracy of the prediction improves, hence the total number reduces.
Although a 100% accurate total figure could technically be returned this would result in an unacceptable search response time, based on the sheer number of documents involved. The prediction threshold of 50 was chosen as this provides the best compromise between result accuracy and search response time.
The books are made up of separate page images, which are digital copies of the printed page. There are page images for every book and many also have text transcriptions of the pages as well.
Each collection has different options available:
- • British Library 19th century collection: There are fascimiles and OCR'd text for the whole collection.
- • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO): There are fascmiles and OCR'd text for the whole collection.
- • Early English Books Online (EEBO): There are fascimiles for the whole collection and text transcriptions for around 25% of the collection. The text transcriptions have been created manually by the Text Creation Partnership (TCP) and they are completing this work in stages. We will be adding further updates of TCP data as they become available to us.
For further information on the TCP please see their website.
Why are the search results in the JISC Historic Books not the same as the results from searching in EEBO or ECCO?
JISC Historic Books uses a different type of search software to that used by the publishers. This software provides for conceptual and contextual understanding which uncovers relationships between documents.
The concept cloud is a conceptual breakdown of the results, providing a list of conceptual suggestions to refine your query by. The concepts are extracted on-the-fly each time a search is run, typically by sampling the first 30-100 pages of the results set. It's not a 'tag' cloud.
These concepts are names and phrases which are considered to be particularly relevant to the documents in which they reside, with the more prominent concepts appearing in a larger, bolder type.
If you prefer to see a 'list' of related concepts instead of a 'cloud' you can change this by selecting the 'My Preferences' link at the top of the screen. On the 'User Interface Preferences' tab, under the 'Search Assistant Preferences' section change the 'Type' from 'Concept Cloud' to 'Expert Guidance' and click the save button. If you are logged in via Shibboleth or OpenAthens then this preference will be saved for future sessions.
JISC Historic Books provides a more complete collection of books in English published before 1800 than any other single resource, free or paid. For books published before 1700, JISC Historic Books includes not only scans of the printed page, but also, wherever available, the fully searchable text of the book.In addition, JISC Historic Books enables users to download pages, images and text (where available).