Focusing on Audience: How Notes can Help!

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By rlbetts92

Recently, Oishani posted about the different choices scholars have made in their transcriptions of the “quirky” punctuation in Blake’s receipts. Currently, the protocol has been to attach a note to the specific line of the transcription in which these punctuation discrepancies occur. However, as Oishani points out, though Bentley and Keynes do not treat punctuation systematically, we still have many nearly identical notes about minute differences in punctuation. What is the importance in noting these differences? Should we focus on punctuation in the receipts on a larger scale? Oishani ends her post asking us to consider if it would be more useful to have individual notes on each of the receipts, or to have a set of notes that covers the entire set of receipts and discusses recurring issues like punctuation in detail?

I began to think more seriously about this question not as I was finishing transcriptions and attaching notes to individual lines in the receipts, but as I was gathering provenance information for the receipts. How should I organize the notes in this section? What have we done for other, already published, works in the Archive? For example, we have been putting the embossed stamp information …read more