ProQuest Delivers Key Research Information through the Digitisation of Rare Historical Content
The launch of Collection 7 of Early European Books brings additional key early modern literature to scholars across the world
ProQuest has further enhanced access to research this summer with the launch of the next database of Early European Books (EEB) with Collection 7, making another 7,450 titles available. This will bring the EEB program to more than 40,000 titles and 14 million pages of valuable images from the early modern period. The total number of page images in EEB now surpasses the number of page images in ProQuest’s acclaimed Early English Books Online, EEBO database. The continual development of EEB reflects ProQuest’s commitment to digitising unique content from the early modern period, enabling researchers to go deeper in their area of expertise and generate superior outcomes.
Learn more about Early European Books here
The digitisation of EEB Collection 7 has only been possible through the partnerships with the holding libraries which include the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, in Copenhagen and The Wellcome Library in London, bringing over 1.9 million pages to this new collection. ProQuest has scanned the valuable works on site at the libraries using state-of-the-art technology to create high-definition color images of every page, including marginalia inside the pages as well as often-lavish bindings and covers.
Deputy Director General Pernille Drost, Head of the National Library Det Kongelige Bibliotek said “Early European Books has been part of a revolution in research on early modern books but it has also given Danish citizens an extraordinary access to their multilingual printed cultural heritage. For me, digitisation is democratisation of knowledge. Books that used to be only accessible in the reading room for scholars with very specific research needs are now available from any Danish IP-address! My personal favourite from collection 7 is the first Danish printed cookbook, published in 1616.”
Dr. Marieke van Delft, Curator of Early Printed Editions, Koninklijke Bibliotheek said of the partnership, “The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (The Hague) is enthusiastic about the collaboration with ProQuest. They have scanned many of our precious books with care. Now this unique material is available for researchers all over the world”.
The libraries have provided a breadth of material for Volume 7 of EEB contributing specifically to the following topics:
- History of Medicine and Science - Det Kongelige Bibliotek provides numerous works by Danish physician Thomas Bartholin regarding, for instance his discovery of the thoracic duct and the lymphatic vessels, as well as his 1658 translation of the Venetian nobleman Luigi Cornaro’s book on healthy aging. The Wellcome Library offers William Harvey’s Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus (Frankfurt, 1628), the first edition of his account of his discovery of blood circulation.
- Philosophy, Humanism and The Reformation - Koninklijke Bibliotheek provides the 1674 Amsterdam edition of Spinoza’s Tractatus theologico-politicus, as well as works by Descartes and the influential German mystic Jacob Böhme, by Dutch humanists like Janus Dousa and Erasmus, and by key figures of the Reformation such as Jean Calvin, Theodore Beza and Martin Luther. Det Kongelige Bibliotek offers the first printed edition of the humanist Leon Battista Alberti’s book on architecture (1485).
- Contributions from the Wellcome Library include first editions (in both German and Latin) of Jacob Rueff’s manual of midwifery, 1554, containing the first true anatomical pictures in an obstetrics book
Susan Bokern, vice president, product management at ProQuest said, “Our continuation to add more collections to Early European Books enables us to provide valuable and important historical content which has never been digitised before. We are able to provide access of this material to a wider research audience, in one simple and easily accessible online database designed to improve research outcomes. The partnerships we have created with libraries across Europe are vital and key to making this material more available to researchers across the world”.
About Early European Books:
Through the Early European Books program, ProQuest provides an essential foundation of European writing in the early modern period by digitising and bringing together rare treasures from major libraries in Europe. The program supports the needs of scholars increasing access to valuable content easily without the need to be on site to view the documents in person. Content is now available online at their fingertips.
Early European Books collections are available for purchase by libraries worldwide and are delivered via a multilingual interface, supported by rich metadata that allows pinpoint searching across collections from many countries. Editorial staff in ProQuest Content Operations process image sets and bibliographical metadata from each library into a customised format and provide essential information such as author, title and imprint details, as well as listing individual page details like hand-written marginalia, illustrations, rubricated text and the like. Content Operations staff also provide title lists to each collection as well as free mini-MARC records.
Research is improved by the ability to quickly review books for relevance and then store or share them using efficient workflow tools. Early European Books are cross-searchable with ProQuest’s landmark Early English Books Online (EEBO) database, which encompasses facsimiles of 132,000 books printed in English or in the British Isles between 1473 and 1700.