By Tim Causer, on 14 November 2014
Welcome along to the Transcribe Bentham progress update for the period 8 to 14 November 2014. During the last seven days not only have volunteer transcribers made further terrific progress, but a whole host of new manuscript images have been uploaded to the Transcription Desk (but more on that later).
11,502 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 102 on this time last week. Of these transcripts, 10,434 (91%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.
The more detailed state of progress is as follows:
|Box||No. of manuscripts worked on||No. of manuscripts in box||Completion|
|Add MSS 537||729||744||97%|
|Add MSS 538||625||858||72%|
|Add MSS 539||686||948||72%|
|Add MSS 541||220||1258||17%|
During the week, another 4,500 images have been uploaded for transcription, covering an enormous variety of subjects.
Box 540 contains correspondence to and from Bentham, and his family and friends, during the years 1784 to 1788. During this period, Jeremy travelled to Russia to visit his younger brother, Samuel, whom he had not seen for the best part of six years, and the letters feature details of Jeremy’s long and eventful journey, as well as the first inklings of the panopticon scheme. Box 4 details Bentham’s response to the Henry Brougham, the Lord Chancellor’s establishment of bankruptcy courts, Box 7 deals with Bentham’s writings on religion and education, while Box 8 covers some of Bentham’s thoughts on colonies and colonisation.
A number of these boxes contain a miscellany of material. Box 9 includes correspondence, the 1824 codicil to Bentham’s will, and John Bowring’s Memoir of Jeremy Bentham, which was memorably described by Leslie Stephen as ‘one of the worst biographies in the [English] language, out of materials which might have served for a masterpiece’. Box 106 contains Bentham’s detailed plans for a refrigerator which he called the ‘Frigidarium’, a discussion of the liberty of the press, plans for a network of ‘conversation tubes’ which would allow the panopticon inspector to speak to any prisoner in their cell, and part of the journal of Bentham’s secretary, John Flowerdew Colls. Box 110 contains some of Bentham’s constitutional proposals for Portugal, Spain and Greece, as well as European poetry and literature collected by Bentham’s literary executor, John Bowring. Finally, Box 149 includes parts and fragments of a number of works, a little about the auto-icon, the 1831 codicil to Bentham’s will, and a description of Bentham’s illnesses during 1826.
We hope that you enjoy looking through this material, and please do let us know if you have any questions about it! More will follow in the next week or so, and there’s no shortage of fascinating material to work through. Thanks to our colleagues at UCL Creative Media Services for digitising the manuscripts, and at the University of London Computer Centre for uploading them.
Thank you, as always, to everyone who has donated their time so generously to TB during the last seven days. It remains as greatly appreciated as ever.