Evans-TCP, a partnership among the TCP, the Readex division of NewsBank, and the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), created 5,000 accurately keyed and fully searchable SGML/XML text editions from among the 40,000 titles available in the online Evans Early American Imprints collection (series I).
Evans Early American Imprints Online
Readex and AAS undertook a project to digitize the entire Evans collection, which now includes every item previously issued in microform, plus a series of supplements drawn from both the AAS collection and that of the Library Company of Philadelphia — some 1,200 additional works located, catalogued, and digitized since completion of the earlier effort (a total of more than 36,000 works and 2,400,000 images). The comprehensive online version of “Evans” uses OCR technology to support searching the full text of the corpus. As with the ECCO materials, therefore (much of it contemporary with the Evans materials), the task of Evans-TCP was not to produce the first ever searchable text, but to produce more accurate, more reliably searchable text of a subset of the entire body of pre-1800 American imprints.
Creating full-text transcriptions
The TCP sought initially to convert 6,000 (and ended up converting 5,000) of the most frequently studied books from the Evans bibliography. Selection of items to transcribe was left entirely to the AAS, drawing on its already significant knowledge of these materials and its contacts with relevant specialists and scholars. It is our belief that by relying on the expertise (as well as on the catalogue records) of the AAS, Evans-TCP was able to provide a diverse text collection comprising the best possible core of significant titles. With the support of more than 90 institutions, Evans-TCP keyed and encoded 4,977 early American texts, which are available online to the public at large through either interactive search or bulk download.
About the American Antiquarian Society
The American Antiquarian Society (AAS), a learned society and research library founded in 1812, is the third oldest historical organization in the United States and the first to be national rather than regional in its purpose and the scope of its collections. It preserves the largest single collection of printed source material relating to the history, literature, and culture of the first 250 years of what is now the United States, and holds copies of nearly two-thirds of all books, pamphlets, and broadsides known to have been printed in this country between 1640 and 1821. In partnership with Readex (a division of NewsBank), AAS produced what has been called one of the most important microform collections ever, a reproduction of the contents of titles listed in Charles Evans’ bibliography of American imprints through 1800.