Puritan Thumb-Drive

So this would really scratch my OCD itch… For quite some time I have had the idea of taking all the best PDFs I can find of the authors represented on these pages and putting them into an organized format, interlinked from a bookmarked PDF file which serves as a directory.  This would allow us to have at our fingertips the works of the Puritans on a tablet or phone, with no internet connection or downloading.  A real bonus would be to include the Scripture and topical indices as well.  Running background OCR will allow searching for text phrases, to some degree.  Certain tablets will allow highlighting, underlining, and other note-taking as well.

I am thinking that this could be updated each year as the library of files was improved and expanded.  I know several others have done similar things like this in the past.  The difference is, this is going to be FREE (less the cost of the memory card).  If you’d like to get involved in this project, drop me a line and I’ll keep you in mind when I start on this in earnest.  I doubt this will come to fruition soon, unless there are a lot of helpers.  But someday!

I know someone will ask this, so I’ll give you the current stats:

  • 5,601 files (however this also includes text files, epubs, mobi files, and PDFs I am not allowed to share)
  • 34.5 gigabytes

Interactive Map of London, c.1561


The Agas Map of London, c.1561

This morning as I was preparing a biographical preface for Obadiah Sedgwick, I was reading about one of the churches he served in, and in doing some research on the internet, found this wonderful interactive map of the city of London, circa 1561.  Called the Agas Map, it is an exquisitely detailed drawing which has been overlaid with information that helps the user quickly pinpoint major landmarks (including churches) in the city.  Very helpful and worth bookmarking.  You can find it here or by clicking the picture above.

How We Plan to Integrate EEBO Texts

EEBOFor those of you who were unaware, earlier this year Early English Books Online (EEBO) released thousands of documents in its Text Creation Partnership, Phase I (TCP-1). This makes hundreds of new Puritan documents available online, for free.  A tremendous treasure chest of Puritan teaching indeed (Matthew 13:52)!

The problem is, the original scans have not been made available, and as you know, the texts are in rough shape.  Our solution has been to link to the original texts, but we do not feel that making ePub and MOBI files of such hard-to-read texts is worthwhile. Thus, we are in the process of training a computer program to search for and replace common words with their modern equivalents. For example, the following text (from William Fenner’s “Riches of Grace”):

Fourthly, hunger is humble, it is not choyce in its meate, if it cannot have pleasants and dainties, it will be con∣tent with Farmers food, yea any thing, Pigeons dung will be good food; so hee that truely desires grace, is of an humble heart, he can be content to welcome childrens crummes, and account it prefermentPage  11to sit with Christ his dogges: though with Pauls Widdow they wash the Saints feete; though with David they be doore-keepers in Gods house, yet so they may have grace, they care not though the whole world tram∣ple upon them, though they bee accounted the off-scowring of all things.

after applying the software, becomes:

Fourthly, hunger is humble, it is not choice in its meat, if it cannot have pleasants and dainties, it will be content with Farmers food, yea anything, Pigeons dung will be good food; so he that truly desires grace, is of an humble heart, he can be content to welcome childrens crumbs, and account it preferment to sit with Christ his dogs: though with Paul’s Widow they wash the Saints feet; though with David they be door-keepers in God’s house, yet so they may have grace, they care not though the whole world trample upon them, though they be accounted the off-scouring of all things.

The result is obviously not perfect, but I believe it is much more readable. The process of converting these texts is time-consuming, yet worthwhile. Look for texts to be added continually and gradually to the Digital Puritan library in the coming months (and years).

Read Digital Puritan Resouces Anywhere You Go

Ekvall_Knut_The_Reading_LessonDid you know that if you use Google’s Chrome web browser, you can install an extension that will allow you to collect and read e-Pub files (like those found on our website) anywhere you go? The extension, called Readium, can be found here. It is super-simple to install, and there is no setup or account creation. If you are signed in to Chrome, it translates across any devices you have that use Chrome (laptop, desktop, tablet, phone, work computer) automagically. Happy reading!