Electronic Enlightenment awarded digital prize

20 January 2009

EE-wheel-logoA Bodleian Library electronic resource has been awarded the Digital Prize for 2010 by the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS).

Electronic Enlightenment (www.e-enlightenment.com) offers the most wide-ranging online collection of edited correspondence of the early modern period. Linking people across Europe, the Americas and Asia from the early 17th to the early 19th century, EE reconstructs the web of correspondence that made the long 18th century the birthplace of the modern world. With over 55,000 letters between more than 6,500 correspondents (as of December 2009), EE offers unrivalled access to the conversation between the greatest thinkers and writers of the 18th century and their families and friends, bankers and booksellers, patrons and publishers.

The Digital Prize funded by Adam Matthew Digital, GALE Cengage Learning, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and ProQuest, is judged and awarded annually by BSECS. Despite very strong competition this year, the award was given to EE ‘in recognition of the resource's scholarly value’. The judging panel summarized their decision: ‘With its wide coverage, wonderfully full annotation and superb presentation, Electronic Enlightenment (EE) will be an immensely valuable resource for scholars working across eighteenth-century studies.’

Dr Robert McNamee, Director of the Electronic Enlightenment project, said: ‘The Bodleian Library is delighted that the scholarship provided by one of our most comprehensive digital resources has been recognized by one of the key learned societies in the field. The EE ‘s small but dedicated team works hard to provide students and researchers with an imaginative yet scholarly recreation of the ‘Republic of Letters’. We are sure that this seal of approval will further raise the project's profile and encourage participation by the scholarly community.’

This is the second digital prize awarded to the Electronic Enlightenment project. Last December, EE was the recipient of an international funding award under the Digging into Data Challenge for “Digging into the Enlightenment: Mapping the Republic of Letters”. More information can be found at: www.diggingintodata.org

Electronic Enlightenment is a scholarly research project of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. Based on the best critical editions and previously unpublished correspondence, the resulting database currently provides access to the digital texts of more than 55,000 letters and 87,000 document sources in eleven languages. Featuring more than 230,000 scholarly annotations, EE is updated monthly with new material.  The last update which took place at the beginning of last December coincided with the launch of a new interface design and added functionality. Electronic Enlightenment is available by annual subscription to institutions and individuals worldwide through Oxford University Press. For a free trial, see OUP free trials.

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