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Title:Search, Reading and the Rise of Database
Author(s):Alan Bilansky
Subject(s):Library, literature
database
primary texts
reading
search
EEBO
ECCO
EVANS
Text Creation Partnership
literary critcisim
scholarlay behavior
priary texts
Abstract:Over the past decade large, searchable collections of primary texts have been embraced by virtually all literary scholars and this has led to changes in how scholarship is conducted. This article offers a partial history of the introduction of search to large collections of primary texts, and explores its effects. It did not come automatically or easily, but when it did search broke down barriers to access (no longer requiring background knowledge in history and bibliography), offering a new means of discovering and selecting texts to read. This change was more than a convenience. It was transformative. Database represents a new form of textuality, and scholars have come to rely on database’s affordances to develop new ways of reading. In addition to content analysis of claims made about data- base in various fora, modest bibliometric analysis of two journals (American Literature and English Literary History) suggests trends: more and more diverse primary texts are being read and cited. Interviews with authors of journal articles and journal editors are used to characterize how the databases are used and the effect on scholarship.
Issue Date:2016
Citation Info:Alan Bilansky. “Search, Reading and the Rise of Database.” Forthcoming, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. 2016. Preprint.
Genre:Article
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/90033
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-05-02


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