Archive for July, 2013

Progress update, 20 to 26 July 2013

By Tim Causer, on 26 July 2013

Welcome to the progress update for the period 20 to 26 July 2013, during which time further excellent progress has been made by Transcribe Bentham volunteers. 10,371 words of Bentham text were transcribed during the last seven days, along with a further 4,905 words of TEI XML.

5,832 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 33 on last week’s total. Of these transcripts, 5,555 (95%) have met the required standards, and have been locked.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

 

  • Box 2: 449 manuscripts transcribed of 753 (59%)
  • Box 27: 350 of 350 (100%)
  • Box 35: 283 of 439 (64%)
  • Box 41: 37 of 528 (6%)
  • Box 42: 17 of 500 (2%)
  • Box 50: 136 of 198 (68%)
  • Box 51: 361 of 940 (38%)
  • Box 62: 53 of 565 (9%)
  • Box 70: 293 of 350 (83%)
  • Box 71: 663 of 663 (100%)
  • Box 72: 610 of 664 (91%)
  • Box 73: 151 of 151 (100%)
  • Box 79: 198 of 199 (99%)
  • Box 95: 120 of 147 (81%)
  • Box 96: 527 of 539 (97%)
  • Box 97: 62 of 296 (20%)
  • Box 98: 214 of 499 (42%)
  • Box 100: 152 of 422 (34%)
  • Box 107: 398 of 538 (73%)
  • Box 115: 276 of 307 (89%)
  • Box 116: 444 of 864 (51%)
  • Box 139: 38 of 38 (100%)
  • Overall: 55% of the 10,488 manuscripts currently uploaded to the website have been transcribed.

There was another interesting find from Bentham’s disjointed panopticon notes, transcribed by Keith Thompson, which included a bizarre list of panoptical ‘luxuries’ for expired prisoners. Bentham describes a conservatory into which water flowed ‘through an Urn held by a River God recumbent’, and a heated indoor garden. He also mentions a ‘super-excellent’ organ (shades of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in his phraseology, there), and the various structures which would be present in the panopticon grounds: these ranged from the primary ‘penal panopticon’, the panopticon for female prisoners, the ‘Ptenotrophium’ (a panoptical fowl-house), a conservatory, and, intriguingly, a ‘Beaver-Park’. All this detail clearly suggests that Bentham’s plans for the panopticon extended much farther than a single building.

As always, many thanks to everyone who has given their time and effort to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days. It remains as greatly appreciated as ever.

 

 

Progress update, 13 to 19 July 2013

By Tim Causer, on 19 July 2013

Welcome to the progress update for the period 13 to 19 July 2013, which has proven very busy on a number of fronts. First and foremost was the launch of the upgraded Transcription Desk at the start of the week, incorporating a number of new features which we hope transcribers will find useful in their work (with more on their way). If you come across any bugs in the system, or have any other comments about the upgraded interface, please do email us.

7,471 words of Bentham text were transcribed during the last week, along with a further 2,923 words of TEI XML. 5,799 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, up 22 on last week’s total. Of these transcripts, 5,528 (95%) are now complete and of the required standard, which is an increase of 24 on this time last week.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

  • Box 2: 447 manuscripts transcribed of 753 (59%)
  • Box 27: 350 of 350 (100%)
  • Box 35: 283 of 439 (64%)
  • Box 41: 35 of 528 (6%)
  • Box 42: 15 of 500 (2%)
  • Box 50: 136 of 198 (68%)
  • Box 51: 361 of 940 (38%)
  • Box 62: 53 of 565 (9%)
  • Box 70: 291 of 350 (83%)
  • Box 71: 663 of 663 (100%)
  • Box 72: 610 of 664 (91%)
  • Box 73: 151 of 151 (100%)
  • Box 79: 198 of 199 (99%)
  • Box 95: 120 of 147 (81%)
  • Box 96: 527 of 539 (97%)
  • Box 97: 61 of 296 (20%)
  • Box 98: 214 of 499 (42%)
  • Box 100: 150 of 422 (33%)
  • Box 107: 391 of 538 (72%)
  • Box 115: 276 of 307 (89%)
  • Box 116: 429 of 864 (49%)
  • Box 139: 38 of 38 (100%)
  • Overall: 54% of the 10,488 manuscripts currently uploaded to the website have been transcribed thus far.

As always, we are extremely grateful to everyone who has given their time and effort to Transcribe Bentham over the last seven days (particularly in the light of the unusually warm weather we are currently experiencing in the UK). It remains very much appreciated by us all.

 

Upgraded Transcription Desk now available!

By Tim Causer, on 15 July 2013

We are delighted to say that the Transcription Desk is now available again for volunteers to access and transcribe material, and now includes several new and improved features.

The key changes are:

1. maximise and minimise buttons, to enlarge the transcription are and allow users to see more of the manuscript image than before.

2. a tabbed transcription interface, allowing users to switch instantly between their transcript, a preview of the rendered version, and highlighted changes of any edits they have made to the transcript. The transcription box also now has better spacing between the transcribed text, making it easier to read and navigate.

3. the image viewer now allows for rotation of the manuscript image.

We look forward to talking in more detail about the new interface tomorrow, and in hearing what you think about it! In the meantime, happy transcribing, and do drop us an email if you have any further questions.

Transcribe Bentham unavailable, Monday 15 July 2013

By Tim Causer, on 12 July 2013

Transcribe Bentham volunteers should note that from 11.00 BST on Monday 15 July 2013, the Transcription Desk will be unavailable for up to a few hours. It will not be possible to edit transcripts or save any work, owing to the switchover to the upgraded transcription interface,with several new features which should make transcription that little bit more straightforward. We recommend that users save any transcripts which they are working on well before this time.

All user accounts and content will be transferred to the new Transcription Desk, which will be accessible from the same website address. For updates on the progress of the switchover, please do keep an eye on the TB blog, as well as the Facebook page and Twitter account.

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience which this may cause, and thank you for your patience. We look forward to welcoming you to the new Transcription Desk!

Progress update, 6 to 12 July 2013

By Tim Causer, on 12 July 2013

Welcome to the progress update for the period 6 to 12 July 2013, a week in which Benthamic myth became reality.

It is often stated that Bentham’s auto-icon (his preserved remains) attends UCL council meetings, where it is recorded as being ‘present, but not voting’. This is, we are afraid to say, only one of the several myths which surround Bentham: the auto-icon rarely emerges from its box. However, this week marked the occasion of the final council meeting of UCL’s outgoing provost, and as a special treat, what’s left of Mr Bentham put in an appearance. This is has been the cause of much amusement around UCL, and has even garnered some press coverage.

Anyway, enough of that: we here at Transcribe Bentham know that the most interesting thing about Bentham is not his corpse, but his corpus, 6,430 words of which have been transcribed by TB volunteers during the last seven days, along with a further 2,459 words of TEI mark-up.

5,777 manuscripts have now been transcribed, which is an increase of 19 on last week’s total. Of these transcripts, 5,504 (95%) have met the required quality-control standards, and have been locked.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

  • Box 2: 441 manuscripts transcribed of 753 (58%)
  • Box 27: 350 of 350 (100%)
  • Box 35: 283 of 439 (64%)
  • Box 41: 33 of 528 (5%)
  • Box 42: 15 of 500 (2%)
  • Box 50: 136 of 198 (68%)
  • Box 51: 361 of 940 (38%)
  • Box 62: 53 of 565 (9%)
  • Box 70: 290 of 350 (81%)
  • Box 71: 663 of 663 (100%)
  • Box 72: 610 of 664 (91%)
  • Box 73: 151 of 151 (100%)
  • Box 79: 198 of 199 (99%)
  • Box 95: 120 of 147 (81%)
  • Box 96: 527 of 539 (97%)
  • Box 97: 60 of 296 (20%)
  • Box 98: 214 of 499 (42%)
  • Box 100: 150 of 422 (33%)
  • Box 107: 385 of 538 (71%)
  • Box 115: 276 of 307 (89%)
  • Box 116: 423 of 864 (48%)
  • Box 139: 38 of 38 (100%)
  • Overall: 60% of the 9,497 manuscripts currently uploaded to the website have been transcribed thus far.

Jottings from another couple of unpublished panopticon manuscripts proved very interesting this week. In one, Bentham imagined what would happen to soliders liberated from the panopticon: they could serve as prison guards, while seamen could be contracted to merchantmen, and convicts transported for life might be ‘educate[d] … at the Panopticon for a year or two’ by Bentham. Most bizarrely, in a flight of fancy Bentham conceived of raising a regiment for the East India Company, some form of ‘Panopticon Corps’, officered, drilled, and educated by Jeremy himself. They would have a separate uniform, and be ‘perfectly silent never having tasted a drop of fermented liquor for many years’ (Bentham clearly had little experience of soldiers, let alone prisoners!)

Elsewhere, Bentham imagines the ‘Panopticon Garden’, and directs how ‘Shrub-Planting’ should be done. The crops would be watered using a ‘Hose-Engine fed by the canal, and cheaply: the only expense would be the hose, as the pumping would be ‘performed by the Convicts’. Bentham also mentions that ‘hollow artificial hills’ might be excavated, and that one ‘may serve as an Ice-house’. Bentham had an interest in refrigeration, a discussion of which can be found in David L. Cohen’s paper, ‘Bentham’s Frigidarium: Utilitarianism and Food Preservation‘, published in the Journal of Bentham Studies in 1997, and downloadable from UCL Discovery.

Thank you, as always, to everyone who has given their time so generously to Transcribe Bentham over the past week. It is greatly appreciated by us all.