This is a revised version of a paper given at the "Bringing Text Alive" conference held at the University of Michigan on Sept 15-16, 2006. It is currently under peer review for the Proceedings of the conference to be published in a special issue of Early Modern Literary Studies.


Burgeoning interest in the history of translation is evident in the recent publication of such works as the ongoing 5-volume Oxford History of Literary Translation into English (Oxford University Press, 2005- ) and the Encyclopedia of Literary Translation Into English (Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000). The fact that massive corpora of English texts are now available as EEBO and ECCO opens up possibilities to take this research to a new level and move it beyond the realm of literary translation where the majority of existing scholarship has focused so far. The essay examines EEBO and ECCO and the ESTC, which catalogs the former two, in the light of Anthony Pym’s Method in Translation History (St. Jerome, 1998) with the goal of discovering how best to extract the kind of information that might be of interest to translation historians. The most obvious place to begin is at the stage Pym terms “translation archaeology,” where the scholar selects and defines a smaller corpus from within a larger one to become the object of investigation. Once this smaller corpus is selected, in this case by using the appropriate keywords in EEBO and ECCO, various methods of translational analysis may be applied to it, depending on the nature of the question the scholar is trying to answer. The essay explains Pym’s method and then applies it to a sample Boolean search in ESTC, EEBO, and ECCO to find translations from Danish into English. Other tools, like the “Virtual Modernization Tool” may also prove useful here.


Method, Translation History, primary text databases

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Kristine J. Anderson. "Doing Translation History in EEBO and ECCO". Early Modern Literary Studies 14.2/Special Issue 17 (September, 2008) 6.1-28

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