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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 13, 2004

Alumna Wins National Contest For Essay Written At UI

An essay written as part of a University of Iowa English class recently won the $1,000 grand prize in the Early English Books Online (EEBO) essay contest.

Jacqueline Wernimont, a 2003 graduate of UI who is now pursuing an advanced degree at Brown University, wrote her senior essay about John Milton's "Paradise Lost."

Proquest, the publisher of EEBO, sponsors the annual essay contest and provides the grand prize award. EEBO provides students and faculty access to full text of works published in the British Isles between 1450 through 1700. Besides licensing EEBO from Proquest, the UI Libraries has joined more than 100 institutions in the U.S. and UK to form the Text Creation Partnership, which is creating searchable texts for several thousand EEBO titles. EEBO was the first of several important full-text collections accessible online to Iowa faculty and students, now also including Early American Imprints (books printed in the U.S. before 1800) and The Eighteenth Century Collections Online (or ECCO, 150,000 titles from the British Isles published between 1700 and 1800).

Wernimont initially wrote her essay, "Dangerous Dissenters," in Professor Huston Diehl's class as part of a series of assignments that required students to research primary early English texts using EEBO. Teaching early English literature to today's students, Diehl has "found that students become much more motivated to learn about a distant and alien culture when they are asked to engage primary sources, and EEBO provides them a wonderful tool to do so. It gives them access to texts in their original formats, the opportunity to read fascinating, challenging, surprising works of an earlier age that are not available to them in modern editions, and the chance to make discoveries of their own."

For more information about EEBO and Text Creation Partnership or other online resources of the UI Libraries, check out

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,