Enfilade

Assessing the Digital Burney Newspaper Collection

Posted in journal articles, resources by Editor on May 19, 2010

Last October, Gale made its Burney Collection of newspapers available for a free trial through Early Modern Online Bibliography. In a recent posting at EMOB, Eleanor Shevlin summarizes an article from The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America on this digital resource:

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Ashley Marshall and Rob Hume, “The Joys, Possibilities, and Perils of the British Library’s Digital Burney Newspapers Collection,” PBSA 104:1 (2010): 5-52.

At forty-seven pages Ashley Marshall and Rob Hume’s article offers a substantive assessment of this relatively recent electronic resource for early modern studies. Early on the authors argue that “[d]igital Burney is amazing, but exploiting it fully is going to demand some serious rethinking and reorientation in both our research and our teaching (6-7). Their claim that this tool “will change the way we conduct our business” (7) possesses much merit; fulfilling digital Burney’s promise, however, will depend on far broader scholarly access than currently exists. Equally important, scholars need to acquire a firm understanding of its possible uses, search capabilities, and limitations. While Marshall and Hume’s piece cannot assist in matters of accessibility (though it could serve as support for the tool’s purchase), their essay does advance our knowledge of how this tool might be employed and how its features and limitations can best be navigated.

The article is usefully divided into five sections. . . .

The full review of the article is available here»