transcription question

BAND, Uncategorized

Working with Vertical Text

It wasn’t until I began looking through all the letters in the Blake Archive that I realized just how unique Blake’s second November 22nd 1802 letter to Thomas Butts really is. This uniqueness poses some interesting problems when it comes to encoding. The text of this letter fills both leaves of paper from top to bottom and comes very close to the margins. It includes both prose and verse, and the verse is in two columns that begin on the first page and end on the second.

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BAND, Digital Humanities

Blake In Photoshop, Part 2.5: Can You Read This?

A few weeks ago, I blogged about a simple Photoshop technique for recovering faded text in old manuscripts. I used a couple of objects from Four Zoas as a demo because we’ve been working a lot with Four Zoas and, well, it’s pretty hard to read.

It wasn’t a true experiment, though. Because FZ has been so heavily scrutinized by scholars past and present, nearly every conceivable reading is documented and available for verification. In other words, I was working towards a recovery that I already had in mind. Not-so-boldly-going where many have gone before.

OK, so maybe that’s fine for proof-of-concept. But what about a real test? Could we try this out on something we really had trouble reading? Wouldn’t you know it—a recent letter acquisition provided exactly that opportunity.

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A Transcription Puzzle: “then She bore Pale desire”, Part 1

I am currently in the process of transcribing some of Blake’s manuscript material beginning “then She bore Pale desire” and have run into some difficulty. At the bottom of object 5, Blake adds additional text in a rough hand using pencil. (The majority of the object is covered in brown ink.) I can read the text at the bottom right (which is an addition, the placement of which is indicated by a line). However, there is also what appears to be an abbreviation at the bottom left. I cannot make it out with certainty, and it is not connected to the rest of the text (in any obvious way, at least).

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