Expanded Column: The Digital Evans

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Beginning in July 2002, the Readex Corporation, in cooperation with the American Antiquarian Society, began releasing the first installments of “Evans Digital,” a full-text-searchable version of Charles Evans’s American Bibliography, first published on microfiche by Readex and the AAS in the 1950s. When complete, the Evans Digital will include more than thirty-six thousand items: virtually all books, pamphlets, and broadsides published in British North America from 1639-1800. The publication of the microfiche collection made astonishingly rare books available at small colleges and large universities across the country and even around the globe. The digital edition, with full-text searching, may well revolutionize the study of early American life. Common-place asked two prominent scholars of early America, whose work has relied extensively on printed materials, to review the Evans Digital.

Cathy N. Davidson From Movable Type to Searchable Text

Jay Fliegelman An MRI of Early America


This article originally appeared in issue 3.3 (April, 2003).