News: Early English Books Online, Phase I Release

The announcement on this has been shared on several email lists. This is important news because of the open data release, and because the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP) is a long-standing project with many libraries with resources pooled together to create and share new materials. I’m less familiar with the EEBO financial model than some of the newer open access models that find sustainable funding for ongoing operations and growth for generating and sharing new content, including bigger and smaller examples like SCOAP3, arXiv, and the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC).
The EEBO-TCP blog post announcement on this release is partially copied below for more information. The full post and more information is available on the EEBO-TCP site.

EEBO-TCP Phase I Public Release: What to expect on January 1
December 24, 2014 – Posted in News
The Text Creation Partnership is quickly arriving at a major milestone: starting January 1, 2015, all restrictions will be lifted from EEBO-TCP Phase I, which consists of the first 25,000 texts transcribed and encoded by the TCP from 2000-2009.
These 25,000 (plus a few hundred) texts will be freely available to anyone wishing to use them, and there will no longer be any restrictions on sharing these files. They will be licensed under the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0 1.0 Universal), which will be indicated in the header of each text.
But what does this news mean for users of the EEBO-TCP Phase I texts?

  • On January 1:
    • If you already have a local version of the raw EEBO-TCP Phase I SGML or XML files, or derivative files that you have created from these, you may copy, post, publish, distribute, and otherwise share these files without restriction and without seeking special permission.
    • If you are already hosting the EEBO-TCP Phase I texts online in a platform that has previously restricted access to them (for example, PhiloLogic@NU), you may at any time remove the access restrictions and make this resource available to the public. However, you are not required to do this.
    • You may download the full corpus of EEBO-TCP Phase I files, as produced by the Text Creation Partnership, from Beginning January 1, anyone may “join” the folder on and download the files.
    • Thanks to the efforts of James Cummings, Sebastian Rahtz, Magdalena Turska, and Martin Wynne at the University of Oxford, each of the texts will be available as HTML, ePUB, and TEI P5 XML via the Oxford Text Archive.
  • The week of January 5:
    • When the University of Michigan re-opens from its holiday break, we will open up public access to the EEBO-TCP Phase I texts  on our platform, which makes it possible to do targeted full-text searching across the entire corpus.
    • Keep an eye out for announcements from Michigan Oxford, and ProQuest about this milestone.
  • All the time:
    • It is important to remember that this public release applies only to the electronic texts created by the TCP in its first phase of work. The facsimile page images that go along with each text will still be available only to users who have access to EEBO or the JISC Historical Texts platform.
    • If you are affiliated with an institution that has access to the EEBO database and was an EEBO-TCP Phase I partner, nothing about your EEBO access will change: you will still be able to access the TCP texts via EEBO and search the texts in the same way you have been doing for years.
    • For the time being, the EEBO-TCP Phase II texts are still available only to users at Phase II partner institutions.