In Genesis Blake uses ruled lines that he (probably) would have eventually erased all of (you can see evidence of this in the first couple of objects). In the later objects he hasn’t gotten to finishing, the ruled lines are still there and his text often lies under them or is bisected by them, instead of being written on top. There doesn’t seem to be a way to transcribe this, so in the transcription the text always lies on top of the ruled like with an object and/or line note for explanation. The problem is when you have lines being underwritten/overwritten so there are multiple lines under text.

The transcription makes it seem as if there is empty space in the middle of Blake’s text, which there is not. The Blake Archive Editors have decided that we should only transcribe underwriting when it has moved or is somehow different from the top layer. Using this principle Esther and I got rid of the double lines on the transcription that appeared to simply be overwritten in relatively the same place (see object 6 and transcription). This one was left, because it does seem to be in a noticeably different place, but it makes the transcription look strange when compared with the original manuscript.

Should our transcription accurately reflect the layout of the object or should it err more on the side of readability?

– Lisa Vandenbossche