Progress update, 22 to 28 March 2014

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
Box 1 85 794 10%
Box 2 465 753 61%
Box 5 149 290 51%
Box 15 17 914 2%
Box 27 350 350 100%
Box 34 4 398 1%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 4 418 1%
Box 41 70 528 12%
Box 42 55 910 6%
Box 50 156 198 76%
Box 51 370 940 39%
Box 62 55 565 10%
Box 70 295 350 84%
Box 71 663 663 100%
Box 72 612 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 100%
Box 79 199 199 100%
Box 95 122 147 82%
Box 96 530 539 98%
Box 97 73 296 24%
Box 98 215 499 42%
Box 100 182 422 41%
Box 107 461 538 85%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 497 864 57%
Box 117 207 853 24%
Box 118 51 880 5%
Box 119 63 990 6%
Box 121 119 526 21%
Box 122 280 717 38%
Box 139 40 40 100%
Box 150 95 972 9%
Box 169 129 728 17%
Add MSS 537 18 744 2%
Add MSS 538 20 858 2%
Add MSS 539 5 948 1%
Overall 7,369 21,451 34%

 

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.