By Tim Causer, on 28 March 2014
Welcome along to the progress update for the period 22 to 28 March, a week in which the greatest number of manuscripts have been worked on by volunteers since Transcribe Bentham was launched in September 2010! Our 7,000th transcript was also locked this week, just to add to the achievement of TB volunteers. 27,205 words of text were transcribed this week, along with an additional 11,055 words of TEI XML.
7,369 manuscript have now been transcribed, which is an increase of 111 on this time last week. Of these transcripts, 7,026 (95%) are complete after having been through our quality-control procedures.
The more detailed state of progress is as follows:
|Box||No. of manuscripts worked on||No. of manuscripts in box||Completion|
|Add MSS 537||18||744||2%|
|Add MSS 538||20||858||2%|
|Add MSS 539||5||948||1%|
This has been an extremely exciting week for Transcribe Bentham, not only because of the fantastic rate of transcription, but because we were able to upload to the website the first batch of the British Library’s Bentham manuscripts. These volumes contain correspondence to and from Bentham and his wider family, and intellectual associates. Already, volunteer Simon Croft has transcribed a letter from Jeremy Bentham to his younger brother, Samuel, in which he discusses the matchmaking efforts of their father, Jeremiah. Jeremy had been introduced to one Sarah Stretton and reported that though she had ‘a most enchanting set of teeth’, her ‘features are too large for her face’ and she was ‘dressed most unbecomingly’. Nevertheless, Jeremy remained keen ‘to have an opportunity of being better acquainted with her’. Oh, Jeremy.
As Dr Kris Grint remarked of the British Library’s Bentham Papers, in a post on the British Library’s Untold Lives blog, ‘some of this correspondence has not been read since its original composition’, and so there is the genuine opportunity to ‘fundamentally shape and illuminate our understanding of Bentham’s life and relationships’. The definitive biography of Bentham still remains to be written.
223 years ago today – 28 March 1791 – nine convicts, taking with them two infant children and a whole host of supplies, stole a six-oared open boat from Sydney Harbour and begin a 3,000-mile voyage to Timor. This episode is the most well-known of all escapes by convicts transported to Australia, and the manuscript of the only first-hand account – the Memorandoms of James Martin – was acquired by Jeremy Bentham, and is part of his vast archive here at UCL. The Memorandoms is now available online for the first time via the Bentham Project website, featuring an introduction, detailed annotation, and links to the original manuscripts. UCL Media Relations has also filmed a video about this fascinating story.
Thank you, as always, to everyone who has given their time and effort to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days. It is as greatly appreciated as always.