The URL of EarlyPrint takes you to its home page. Clicking on Texts takes you inside, where you find your way around by using two search tools. One of them is a list of texts with a filter form for restricting which texts are listed, hereafter called the Text Filter, and the other is a Text Search form. For our purposes, filtering texts refers to choosing which texts are listed based on one or more items of bibliographical information or other attributes of entire texts, whereas searching refers to looking for words within the texts.

The Text Filter

By default, all available texts will be listed, ordered by title; to restrict that list, use the form near the top left of your screen that looks like this:

Select one or more criteria and click the filter button; the list will change to display only texts matching all the criteria you specified combined together. Click clear to remove the filter and return to the default list of all texts. The table below describes the filter criteria in detail.

Author Enter all or part of an author's name.
Title Enter all or part of a title.
Year Refers to the date of composition or first performance, not the publication date of the printed work. To filter by a single year (1595), simply enter it in the first of the two year fields. To filter by a range of years (1640 to 1660), enter the starting and ending years in the two year fields.
Identifier Each text on this site has a TCP identifier which consists of five digits preceded by 'A' or 'B' and corresponds very roughly to the order in which the texts were transcribed by the Text Creation Partnership. The familiar STC and ESTC identifiers are supported in addition to TCP; enter any one of these identifiers that you happen to have handy. For ESTC identifiers with prefixes such as "Wing" or "Thomason" do not include that part to find a single text; just the identifier will do. If, however, you want to find all texts having one of those designations, then do simply enter "Wing" or "Thomason" in the identifier field.
Keyword A keyword from a Library of Congress subject heading. For example, A21238 The Queen's Entertainment at Woodstock has the subject headings:
  • Elizabeth, --I, --Queen of England, --1533-1603 -- Early works to 1800
  • English drama -- 16th century -- Early works to 1800
Searching "Queen of England" will bring up this play. Because not more than 20% of texts have Library of Congress subject headings, this type of search is of limited utility.
Genre A category describing the kind of text. Currently includes:
  • Closet drama
  • Comedy
  • Dialogue
  • Entertainment
  • History play
  • Interlude
  • Masque
  • Preface to a collection of plays
  • Tragedy
  • Tragicomedy
Curator Enter the name of a curator to see texts curated by that person.
Proofreader Enter the name of a proofreader to see texts proofread by that person. Not all texts have yet been proofread.
Grade A grade from A through F representing the completeness of the transcription and its state of correction. Texts graded "A" have no known defects. Texts graded "F" have more than 100 defects per 10,000 words. For more detail, see Curation and Quality Assurance . After selecting a grade, use the adjacent drop-down to select "exactly" to choose only texts having the specified grade, "or better" to choose texts having a grade at least as good as the specified grade, or "or worse" to choose texts having a grade as bad as or worse than the specified grade.
Page images? Select "Yes or "No". "Yes" returns texts for which we provide fresh images for side-by-side display and "No" excludes those texts. Leave unselected to display all texts regardless of whether images are available. Images are from another copy of the same edition (but not necessarily the same copy) as the transcription's source.
Corpus A corpus in this context is simply a grouping of texts falling within a particular area of interest. A text may be a member of any number of corpora. Currently "Drama" and "English Civil War" are available; other areas of interest will certainly emerge as we add more texts.

Text Search allows searching for a word or phrase and provides several options governing how the search will be executed:

You enter your search term(s) on the line labeled Search for and then either hit the return key or click the search button at the right end of that line to initiate the search. Results will appear in a collapsible window immediatelay below the list of texts; you may switch back and forth between the text list and the search results by expanding and collapsing the relevant panels of the accordion.

In the search results panel, the first five hits for each document will be shown in context. If you click on the link in one of the matches, you will be taken to a separate browser tab where the match on which you clicked will be highlighted, and any other matches on the same page will also be highlighted. You may then navigate through all of the matches in that document using the match navigation buttons at the right end of the top menu bar.

By default, searches match based on “Standard Spelling,” the initial setting of the Search by selector. This means that “king of england” will match both “king of england” and “kyng of englonde.” If you want only the latter, specify “Original Spelling” for Search by.

The third option offered by Search by is “Lemma.” The lemma is the uninflected form of a word, most easily thought of as the dictionary head word. If you do a lemma search on “winter be come,” you will get “winter is coming,” “winter is come,” “winter being come,” and “winter was come,” among others.

The final option under Search by is “Direct CQL Query.” CQL stands for Corpus Query Language. Its details are outside the scope of this document, but suffice it to say that you many enter arbitrarily complex queries in a powerful search language; read more about it here.

The Filter by option restricts the search to a single text. Simply enter the TCP identifier of a single document before executing a search, and only results from that one text will be returned. More sophisticated filters are planned but not yet implemented.

The Sort by option dictates the order in which results are displayed: “Title,” “Author,” “Hits per document,” or “Year.” The default sort order it by title.

The Per page option allows you to specify the number of documents to display per page of results. It defaults to 10.

The Gap Search feature is a shortcut that sidesteps the need to enter the unusual characters used to record gaps of a letter, a word, or an unspecified span. Simply select the type of gap you wish to find and click the adjacent search button. The Gap Search honors the Filter by, Sort by, and Per page options from Text Search. Correcting gaps is described further in How to Correct Gaps.