The Linn Diary: Feb 3-Apr 18, 1862

These are the collected transcribed pages of James Merrill Linn’s diary dated February 3 through April 18, 1862. The work was produced by students in HUMN 100, Section 02 – Fall 2014.

Collaborative Edition of February 3-12, 1862 (Bui, Harmatz, Hartman, Landow, Loomis, Medure, and O’Hara):

Collaborative Edition of April 17-18, 1862: (Rosecky, Wigginton, and Zaki)

Hien Bui (Feb 3-5, 1862):

Rachel Harmatz (Feb 5-7, 1862):

Dale Hartman (Feb 7-8, 1862):

Alexa Landow (Feb 8, 1862):

Sam Loomis (Feb 8, 1862):

Mary Medure (Feb 8-9, 1862):

Connor O’Hara (Feb 9-12, 1862):

Sara Rosecky (Apr 17-18, 1862):

Julia Wigginton (Apr 18, 1862):

Riz Zaki (Apr 18, 1862):

Compiled Edition of February 12-April 17, 1862 (Jakacki – formatting only):

Blog Prompt #4: On Close Reading (TEI)

Close reading allows us to consider at a micro level how an author expresses her/himself using specific terms, descriptions of people and places, and observations about his/her experiences. Over the last two weeks you have worked intensively, learning TEI-compliant XML markup and applying it to your transcriptions.

How has the process of marking up your transcription affected your understanding of the text
How has the process of collaborating as an editorial board with your peers changed your understanding of how edited texts are produced. For example, how did you resolve disputes over event vs. time or place vs. object?

Write at least 400 words on this topic. In your response to these questions please include at least three points made by Elena Pierazzo in her article, “A Rationale of Digital Documentary Editions” – in particular, how she considers the richness of the marked up text as a form of intellectual engagement with its interpretation.
As well, include at least two illustrative screenshots from your marked up text in the editing environment that illustrate your argument. Give your post the category “Blog #4″ and at least five tags that help you to explain your work.

In addition, choose one of your classmates’ posts and give them feedback in the Comment box. Your comment should be 75 words in length and respond to a specific argument that is made in the post. For example, your comment might identify a correlation between your own post and one you see in your classmate’s work.

Week Five Assignments, Readings, Exercises

Monday 9/29

  • Lab: Timemapper

Wednesday 10/1

  • Discussion: What does time visualization tell us about Linn?

Friday 10/3

  • Close reading module introduced
  • Transcription revised and re-compiled (using marked draft transcriptions)

Sunday 10/5

  • Blog post #3 “On Time” due (11pm)

Linn’s Diary


Linn’s Diary page 33

This is the first time I transcribe any documents. It is a good experience to see how difficult it is for people to transcribe and study old documents. Transcription is the way to efficiently study a person’s life. While transcribing a person’s work, especially diaries and unpublished works, we can dive into his/her stream of thoughts and understand them at a deeper level. All the informations written are this person’s thoughts and observations. It is interesting to see what is happening in their lives and how they choose to write down informations that seem crucial to them.

The process was very simple. I opened a page of the diary on one side and use TextEdit on one side. For every word that I can’t read, I put a question mark, [?]. In the beginning, most of the texts were question marks. As I read more and more of his hand writing, I started to recognize the letters and eventually the actual words.

Overall, transcribing Linn’s diary can be fun but frustrating at the same time. Many words have became obsolete and unable to read.

There are names on the page that is hard to read without any previous knowledge. Below is an example of such. This is the name of an artist of the London Illustrated News. I can make out that his name is Frank but I couldn’t read his last name.

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 10.26.01 PM

Frank [something]

There are days in the diary that are just extremely hard to read. We can tell that Linn was having a bad day when his writings are all over the place. In this part, he was talking about the harsh conditions of the troops. He mentioned people getting sick so perhaps Linn was also sick.

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 10.33.31 PM

Example of Linn’s absurd handwriting

Although his handwriting is hard to read, this is a lot easier to read compares to the documents I have seen from Bentham Project. Overall, this has been a fun experience to transcribe his diary. There are a lot to be learned from this. The everyday life of a civil war soldier is harsh. Living in terrible conditions in the midst of a war is not something we can fathom.

Week Three Assignments, Readings, Exercises

Monday 9/15

  • Share out transcriptions – group help session
  • Transcriptions due via email (11pm)
  • Reflections due via website (11pm)

Tuesday 9/18

Full diary (rough) transcription file distributed to class (via email)

Wednesday 9/17

  • Reading: Whitley article
  • Lecture: Distant reading introduction (including Whitley)
  • Lab: Distant reading analytical/visualization tools
    • begin to form questions about diary text for distant reading blog post

Friday 9/19

  • Reading: Diary
  • Meeting with Nancy Frazier, research librarian