Progress update, 23 to 29 November 2013 and more material to transcribe

By Tim Causer, on 29 November 2013

Welcome to the progress update for the period 23 to 29 November 2013, during which time further steady progress has been made by Transcribe Bentham volunteers. This week, 8,087 words of Bentham text have been transcribed, along with a further 3,678 words of TEI XML.

6,524 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially transcribed, which is an increase of 24 on last week’s total. Of these transcripts, 6,259 (95%) have been locked, which is 61 up on last week’s total.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

We are delighted to say that a further 1,500 manuscript images have been uploaded to transcribe (and thanks to our colleagues at the University of London Computer Centre for getting them up). Manuscripts from Box 15 mostly pertain to Bentham’s work on Deontology. In this work, Bentham analysed what, according to the principle of utility, constituted virtue and vice, and how they operated in the relationship between interest and duty, and gave examples of how the individual could promote their own happiness while increasing (or at least refraining from reducing) that of others.Bentham did not publish this work during his lifetime, but it exists in manuscript. A version of the text, edited and prepared by John Bowring, was published in 1834, but this is essentially a paraphrasing of Bentham’s text with additions by Bowring, rather than being how Bentham genuinely envisaged the text. Folios 323 to 592 from this box of material are in Bowring’s hand, and are from his version of the text. A new version of ”Deontology”, based upon Bentham’s manuscripts, was published in 1983 as part of the ”Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham”, edited by Amnon Goldworth.

The remainder of this box of material relates to ‘political deontology’, which is distinct from the ‘private deontology’ discussed above. Bentham wrote manuscripts on political deontology largely in 1816 and 1817, but also in later years up until his death. This work appears to have been unfinished, and has not been published.

Manuscripts from Box 169 are a miscellany, containing correspondence, fragments of works, and other collectanea. They include correspondence with one Logan Henderson about ‘Ethereal Matches’, letters to French revolutionary leaders, experimentation with vacuums, letters to European monarchs in which Bentham offered to draw up constitutional codes, and bookbinding instructions. A full list of untranscribed material is also available to consult.

Thank you, as always to everyone who has contributed to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days. It is greatly appreciated by us all.