Some Promising Forays into Transcribing Blake’s Marginalia

By robmrich

Early last week Team Marginalia decided we were finally ready to develop a test tagset for transcribing Blake’s marginalia. We spent a lot of time trying out this new tagset using Blake’s annotated copy of J.C. Lavater’s Aphorisms on Man.

The above image is a pair of pages from Blake’s annotated copy of Aphorisms on Man. When we transcribe, we will be treating each page, not each pair of pages, as an object.

We will eventually be transcribing all of Lavater’s text (or all pages of it that have Blake’s writing on them, which constitutes the vast majority of them) and using to describe any writing or markings not by Lavater. All such markings happen to be by Blake with the exception of a very small number of pencil markings that may or may not have been by Blake as far as anyone knows. So within each element we will be using the attributes ‘hand’ and ‘type.’ The hand is virtually always Blake with the exception of those few uncertain marks, for which we will simply use hand=”anon.” In most cases, the ‘type’ will be either type=”underline” or type=”marginalia,” but we are also using “symbol” to describe …read more