31 March 2017

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As a librarian, I had the blissful privilege of access to the University's online treasure-house:  the OED, the Oxford DNB, the full Early English Books Online (what's open to the public is a pitiful shadow), the Ben Jonson archive, &c., &c.   For years now—ever since my late august employer cut me off—I've been getting up from my comfy chair, getting gloved and booted, and trudging off to the library at all hours to Look Things Up.  Great exercise, but the ruination of shoes.

The OED, thank heavens, is accessible to holders of a British library card number, which I've borrowed from kind friends.  But the lack of EEBO when I want it has been a perennial frustration.

Fortunately, I've just learned that a subscription to the excellent Renaissance Society of America (thoughtfully scaled to income) buys access to some fabulous online resources, EEBO and all.  Many of these are freely available to all (it's well worth clicking, just in case); but others are not.  And who could resist  such temptations as The First Book of Fashion? the Proceedings of Old Bailey, 1674-1913? the English Broadside Ballad Archive? the Database of Early English Playbooks?   I've been running around gleefully jingling my keys.

It's raining little shards of ice out there.  And I can sit at my own desk with a nice cup of tea, and read this stuff.  Bliss.



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