Preserving American Freedom

The Evolution of American Liberties in Fifty Documents

About the Transcriptions

The 50 documents in the Preserving American Freedom Digital History Project were transcribed manually in English and encoded in XML following the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) P5 guidelines. We set out to conform to the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries, Level 4, but ultimately chose to diverge from those recommendations in a handful of instances in order to better accommodate web implementation.

We relied on a custom HSP encoding schema, and our documents have been imported into a Drupal-based web site.

Encoding and Transcription Principles

For the most part, all documents in the Preserving American Freedom project have been transcribed and encoded in their entirety. Transcribed excerpts or discrete sections of longer works have been labeled as such.

The majority of the documents in this exhibit are singular items. For four documents in the exhibit (Selected George Cadwalader Correspondence, Selected Dora Kelly Lewis Correspondence, Selected Shigezo and Sonoko Iwata Correspondence, and Selected Morris Milgram Correspondence), transcriptions for two or more items from the same collection are presented together to illuminate a single story or theme.

We preserved original spellings, typographical errors, abbreviations*, and capitalization. Text consisting of small caps has been transcribed in all caps.

We encoded whether the original document was handwritten, typescript, or printed. We also encoded additions and edits as being handwritten, typescript, or printed.

We did not encode line breaks, end-of-line hyphenation, end-of-line dashes, catchwords, or text alignment/indentation.

We regularized spacing between words and sentences to be a single space. We have not encoded blank lines or blank sections of document pages.

* For the two documents in this exhibit for which transcriptions were provided by the John Dickinson Writings Project (John Dickinson's Manumission of his Slaves and John Dickinson's Draft of the Articles of Confederation), we deferred to their editorial practices by encoding expansions of abbreviated words.

Presentation of Transcriptions

Not all textual features encoded as part of this project are visible in published online form. To see original xml files containing our encoding, contact the Project Manager.

We have encoded text that has been added or deleted. Added text is rendered in green font.
Deleted text is rendered using strikethrough.
Ex: Word

Text encoded as italicized is rendered in italics. For documents in which italicized text is the default, text in roman is rendered in italics.

Text encoded as bold is rendered in bold font.

In documents where calligraphy is used for emphasis, the emphasized text is rendered in bold font.

Text encoded as underlined is underlined in published form.

Text which cannot be transcribed with certainty has been encoded as unclear. It is rendered as italicized text appended by a question mark and enclosed within square brackets.
Ex: [word?]

Text which we know was part of the original document but which is missing or illegible has been encoded as supplied. Supplied text is rendered in italics, enclosed within square brackets.
Ex: [word]

Notes on Early Documents

In the 1600s-1700s, writers often recorded dates differently than we do today. Dates in the text of documents have been transcribed as they appear in the original, but headers for the documents display a "translated" date that aligns with our current calendar. For instance, "8th day of the 8th month, 1681," displays as "October 8, 1681."

Early printed works often printed the first word or phrase of the following page at the bottom of book pages. These "catchwords" helped bookbinders know that they were putting the pages in the right order. Catchwords in the documents have not been transcribed.

Old and Middle English writers used a single letter, called thorn (Þ), to represent the "th" sound in words like "the." Printed and handwritten documents in the 1600s-1700s would often use the "y" character (which resembles Þ) to represent the "th" sound. We have transcribed Þ/y as "th" in order to aid legibility.