How Tagging Helped Me

When marking up a transcription it also forces you to take a deeper look into the diary entry, mainly just because you’re analyzing it even mScreen shot 2014-10-26 at 10.37.45 PMore. It has allowed me to understand the details of Linn’s diary better, especially who the people are and how they relate to John Linn and to the Civil War. For example, I was not sure if I had transcribed the word “twit” correctly, but after I did and looked up the definition it helped my to better understand the context of the text around it. It was particularly helpful to work with my classmates to figure out together who someone mentioned in a diary was because it was most likely in another student’s diary as well. It definitely allowed me to understand better how edited texts are produced, and it is not easy. OScreen shot 2014-10-26 at 10.42.30 PMur editorial board had some particular issues with resolving disputes over places vs. objects. Although I did not have any of the words in my diary post that were being argued over, one that was constantly discussed was if we should tag regiments as people. We did finally decide and all compromised on many tagging of words and discussions. It all had to do with judgment, and “Judgment is necessarily involved in deciding what is in face present… but the transcriber’s goal is to make an informed decision about what is actually inscribed at each point” (Pierrazo 465). Thankfully, it was a collaborative effort with the rest of the class that we were all able to work on together via computers and the Internet. Pierrazo put it in a way that makes sense by saying, “An electronic edition is like an iceberg, with far more data potentially available than is actually visible on the screen, and this is at the same time a great opportunity and a temptation to overdo things, When so many possibilities exist, there is a danger of technological considerations of what can be done taking priority over intellectual considerations of what is actually desirable or necessary in any particular case” (Pierrazo 467). Making decisions about transcribing has the potential to take an incredibly long time. “We all know how important economic considerations are in our decision-making processes; almost all of our research projects are funded for a specific time-span and budget, and so it is fundamental to ensure that the transcription (and encoding) is feasible within this lifetime.” (p 469). Although we don’t have to worry about a budget, it would not be time conscious to give every single word an in-depth tag, and we did a good job at tagging words but not going overboard.

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