ProQuest Teams with St. Andrews University to Advance Early Modern Area Research
Influential database pinpoints the location of collections to digitize
ProQuest is collaborating with the Universal Short Title Catalogue (USTC) at St. Andrews University in Scotland to leverage the USTC to improve access and discoverability of materials essential to researchers of the early modern era.
USTC is a fast-growing, online analytical database of books published from the first age of print through 1601. The database of 364,000 bibliographical items identifies the physical location of surviving copies throughout the world. In June 2016 USTC coverage will be extended to 1650, doubling the size of the resource. ProQuest will use the database to identify the location of collections that can be digitised and made available to researchers through the continuously growing number of volumes in its Early European Books (EEB) collections.
Susan Bokern, Vice President, Product Management, ProQuest Information Solutions said, “Working with the University of St Andrews and their invaluable USTC database will enable us to enhance not only the resources already found in our EEB collections but will increase our development of valuable materials by helping us to source content at a much more strategic level.”
Andrew Pettegree, Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews, and Director of the USTC said, “The consultancy agreement with ProQuest is intended to facilitate the application of the analytical power of the USTC. We’re excited about the opportunity for the USTC to assist in improving the present quality of EEB records, and advising strategic planning for development of the programme.”
Created in conjunction with academics specialising in early modern literature, the USTC database is funded by grants, including a recent award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, enabling the project to continue through 2018. The database catalogues all books relevant to the era and notes where those copies can be found throughout the world, an invaluable tool for ProQuest to locate those partners to work with in preserving these rare materials by digitising them.
EEB collections 1 to 8 offer approximately 14 million pages and over 45,000 curated items from four National Libraries across Europe including the Wellcome Trust in London. This valuable corpus of material covers over 35 subject areas, reflecting the breadth and importance of the Early Modern Period as the intellectual foundation of contemporary thought. The EEB collections provide an impactful multi-disciplinary and unique resource to libraries for research and teaching Courses in Philosophy, Religion, Politics, Social Science, Medicine and more.