UC Riverside Receives $405,000 Grant to Improve Colossal Archive

RIVERSIDE – A $405,000 grant will be used to create scholar- friendly software intended to facilitate editing and improving a UC Riverside database renowned for containing information on every known publication spanning more than three centuries, the university announced today.

The New York-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provided the grant to support development of a program that will make it simpler for scholars worldwide to modify and add to The English Short Title Catalog, managed by UCR’s Center for Bibliographical Studies & Research.

In 2011, the foundation awarded the university a $48,500 grant to optimize the catalog, and the most recent allocation is intended to continue that work, according to campus officials.

The catalog, a joint project of UCR, the British Library and the American Antiquarian Society, contains lists of some 500,000 works, including books, handbills, fliers, pamphlets and warrants dating from 1473 to 1800. It can be accessed by the public at http://estc.bl.uk .

According to UCR, the new software will enable contributors to share information about related works and input comparative data from other countries.

”This is one of the first projects in which people can edit and curate established data in a structured way,” said Brian Geiger, director of UCR Bibliographical Studies and Research.

”Part of the digital humanities trend is to allow researchers to interact with data in new ways.”

Geiger said one goal is to enhance understanding of the ”history of the printing of literature or understanding daily life in the English-speaking world before 1800.”

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