Archive for the 'Transcription' Category

Money, money money – progress update from Dr Michael Quinn

By Louise Seaward, on 17 January 2017

Below is an update from Dr Michael Quinn of the Bentham Project.  He gives some details of his editorial work on Bentham’s Writings on Political Economy and asks for help in transcribing the remaining documents from Boxes 1 and 2.

Money, money money

It’s high time to check-in with the TB volunteers and to provide an update on progress with editing Bentham’s Writings on Political Economy. I’m happy to report that all your efforts on transcribing box 150 are now coming to fruition with the submission of the draft text of Vol. III, Writings on Preventive Police, to the critical-corrective pencil of the General Editor. With luck and a following wind, we should be in a position to post the text of the volume on the Project website around the end of 2017. I’ll speak a little about some more Benthamic gems in Vol. III in another blog, but now I’d like to say a little about Vol. IV of Writings on Political Economy, which will contain Bentham’s Annuity Note scheme.

Thanks to TB volunteers, only 135 folios have yet to be tackled (103 in Box 1 and 32 in Box 2).  This is in large part thanks to the efforts of TB user Phillip Fawcet, whose Herculean labours on Box 1 have not gone unnoticed.

Early investigations have turned up a sustained discussion of Adam Smith’s view that paper money could not increase wealth, since it simply served to drive out metallic money (Wealth of Nations (Glasgow Edition), i. 300–1). The sequence begins in Bentham’s hand, and is completed in that of a copyist. We knew that Bentham disagreed with Smith, and Werner Stark, who edited the only previous edition of Bentham’s writings in this area, mentions this discussion in passing, but it has never been published. It will (if I have anything to do with it) finally appear in the new volume:

‘Another supposition is—that the commerce is the same, that is the quantity of wealth constituting the subject-matter of commerce is the same, that is, or at least may be, no greater after the introduction of a mass of paper money to any amount than it would have been without it. But this is altogether impossible, for:

  1. If the quantity of that which passes for money has been encreased, it is impossible but that the quantity of wealth of all sorts (unless the money, as in Spain, were sent out of the country without being expended in it) should not have encreased likewise.
  2. It can make no difference in this respect whether that which passes for money be gold and silver money, or paper money, so long as paper money is received for its nominal amount. A week’s labour for which the master-manufacturer pays a guinea, and the labourer receives a guinea, whether that labour were paid for by a guinea in gold, or by a £1 note and a shilling, the produce of that labour and the value of that produce is just the same. True it is, that if the £1 note be burnt, or—what comes to the same thing, whether because the payment of the £ in hard cash is refused by the issuer, or from whatever other cause—nobody will receive it, no more labour will be produced by that same note: but by the annihilation of the note the result of that labour will not be annihilated: if so many feet of walling have been built with it, the note may cease to pass current, but the Wall will not on that account fall down. It will be no more in danger of falling down than if the money with which the Bricklayer had been paid for it had been hard cash.
  3. It is only by an addition made to the quantity of money (metallic or paper) held out to labouring hands that the quantity of other species of wealth can—barter out of the question—receive any encrease. For (barter out of the question) who is it that will perform labour without being paid for it?—and—barter out of the question—wherewith can a man be paid for his work, but with money?’ (UCL Special Collections, Bentham Papers, Box I, fo. 309–10, transcribed by Phillip Fawcet)

 

001_309_001

UCL Special Collections, Bentham Papers, Box I, fo. 309

 

UCL Special Collections, Bentham Papers, Box 1, fo. 310.

UCL Special Collections, Bentham Papers, Box I, fo. 310.

Bentham accuses Smith of begging the question, and concludes that ‘the currency of any given quantity of it [i.e. paper money] depends much more upon the temper of the times, upon the opinion casually entertained of it, than upon the ratio of its amount to the amount of metallic money; and if there be in this respect a maximum or greatest ratio beyond which the proportion of paper money to metallic money cannot be carried, the Author does not appear to have given any sufficient reason for fixing that maximum at the point at which he appears to fix it’ (UCL Special Collections, Bentham Papers, Box I, fo. 314, transcribed by Keith Thompson and G. L. J. Willis).

I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the attempt to edit Bentham’s other discussions of Smith, and trying to reconstruct his unexpurgated draft of ‘Circulating Annuities’. In the meantime, I need to ask the transcribers for one more heave to finish the transcription of Boxes 1 and 2. It will be worth it in the end …

Progress Update – 7 to 13 January 2017

By Louise Seaward, on 13 January 2017

It’s Friday and that can only mean one thing at TB HQ.  It’s time for the weekly round-up of our statistics.  We need to take this moment to say a huge thank you to our volunteer transcribers for their efforts.

17,513 manuscript pages have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 45 on last week’s total.  Of these transcripts, 16,477 (94%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.

The more detailed progress chart is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 685 795 86%
Box 2 721 753 95%
Box 4 37 694 5%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 5 169 2%
Box 8 22 284 7%
Box 9 47 266 17%
Box 10 115 459 25%
Box 11 12 480 2%
Box 12 164 615 26%
Box 14 4 514 1%
Box 15 86 814 10%
Box 16 10 254 3%
Box 18 65 193 33%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 4 193 2%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 32 0 160 0%
Box 34 40 399 10%
Box 35 287 439 65%
Box 36 37 419 8%
Box 37 36 487 7%
Box 38 195 427 45%
Box 39 12 284 4%
Box 41 87 572 15%
Box 42 92 910 10%
Box 44 53 202 26%
Box 47 0 466 0%
Box 50 178 198 89%
Box 51 387 940 41%
Box 52 1 609 1%
Box 57 19 420 4%
Box 62 78 565 13%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 308 350 88%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 75 0 77 0%
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 87 2 604 1%
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 148 296 50%
Box 98 224 499 44%
Box 100 212 442 47%
Box 104 1 502 1%
Box 106 235 581 40%
Box 107 508 538 94%
Box 110 15 671 2%
Box 115 277 307 90%
Box 116 794 865 91%
Box 117 495 853 58%
Box 118 258 880 29%
Box 119 540 990 54%
Box 120 562 686 81%
Box 121 150 526 28%
Box 122 309 728 42%
Box 123 45 443 10%
Box 124 17 383 4%
Box 135 0 571 0
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 94 381 24%
Box 149 87 581 14%
Box 150 972 972 COMPLETE
Box 169 197 728 27%
Add MS 35537 730 744 98%
Add MS 35538 824 858 96%
Add MS 35539 882 948 93%
Add MS 35540 947 1012 93%
Add MS 35541 986 1258 78%
Add MS 35547 32 701 4%
Add MS 35549 24 366 6%
Add MS 35550 86 637 13%
Overall 17,513 38,770 45%

Progress Update – 31 December 2016 to 6 January 2017

By Louise Seaward, on 6 January 2017

Happy New Year one and all!  We’ve been blasting through the first week of the year with a good dose of transcription from our volunteers.  We owe them many thanks for all their hard work.

17,468 manuscript pages have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 58 on last week’s total.  Of these transcripts, 16,449 (94%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.

The more detailed progress chart is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 672 795 84%
Box 2 721 753 95%
Box 4 37 694 5%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 5 169 2%
Box 8 21 284 7%
Box 9 47 266 17%
Box 10 115 459 25%
Box 11 12 480 2%
Box 12 157 615 25%
Box 14 4 514 1%
Box 15 86 814 10%
Box 16 10 254 3%
Box 18 63 193 32%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 4 193 2%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 32 0 160 0%
Box 34 40 399 10%
Box 35 287 439 65%
Box 36 37 419 8%
Box 37 36 487 7%
Box 38 190 427 44%
Box 39 12 284 4%
Box 41 87 572 15%
Box 42 92 910 10%
Box 44 53 202 26%
Box 47 0 466 0%
Box 50 178 198 89%
Box 51 387 940 41%
Box 52 1 609 1%
Box 57 19 420 4%
Box 62 78 565 13%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 308 350 88%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 75 0 77 0%
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 87 2 604 1%
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 148 296 50%
Box 98 224 499 44%
Box 100 212 442 47%
Box 104 1 502 1%
Box 106 235 581 40%
Box 107 507 538 94%
Box 110 15 671 2%
Box 115 277 307 90%
Box 116 794 865 91%
Box 117 495 853 58%
Box 118 258 880 29%
Box 119 540 990 54%
Box 120 547 686 79%
Box 121 150 526 28%
Box 122 309 728 42%
Box 123 45 443 10%
Box 124 17 383 4%
Box 135 0 571 0
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 94 381 24%
Box 149 87 581 14%
Box 150 972 972 COMPLETE
Box 169 197 728 27%
Add MS 35537 730 744 98%
Add MS 35538 824 858 96%
Add MS 35539 882 948 93%
Add MS 35540 947 1012 93%
Add MS 35541 986 1258 78%
Add MS 35547 32 701 4%
Add MS 35549 24 366 6%
Add MS 35550 85 637 13%
Overall 17,468 38,770 45%

New material to transcribe: political fallacies and mathematics

By Louise Seaward, on 5 January 2017

Did anyone make a new year’s resolution to learn more about philosophy and improve their paleography skills?  As always, we’re here to help!

There are now 75 boxes of material written by Jeremy Bentham available at our online Transcription Desk.  We have kicked off the new year by uploading two new boxes of papers – ready for volunteers to read and transcribe.

Boxes 104 and 135 are the latest boxes and they contain 1,073 images in total.  These documents concern vastly different subjects – Bentham’s views on mathematics and politics.  Bentham proposed new methods of teaching mathematics and also attacked the misleading arguments used by British politicians in parliament.

135_090_002

Process of Teaching Arithmetic & Algebra to Children (1830), UCL Special Collections, Bentham Papers, cxxxv, fo. 90 (Image courtesy of UCL Special Collections)

More information on the contents of each of these boxes and access to the manuscripts can be found on the following pages:

Box 104 – political fallacies

Box 135 – mathematics

Users can also view pages from these boxes through the Untranscribed Manuscripts page.

Best of luck to anyone who decides to work on these new documents!  Please feel free to contact us with any queries.

Progress Update – 24 to 30 December 2016

By Louise Seaward, on 30 December 2016

Hello!  We’re here with the latest statistics for the past week.  Our volunteers have kept transcribing steadily over the Christmas period – and we owe them a huge thanks for their efforts.  Hopefully, they’ve also found time to eat a few mince pies too!

17,410 manuscript pages have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 21 on last week’s total.  Of these transcripts, 16,341 (93%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.

The more detailed progress chart is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 650 795 81%
Box 2 721 753 95%
Box 4 37 694 5%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 5 169 2%
Box 8 21 284 7%
Box 9 47 266 17%
Box 10 115 459 25%
Box 11 12 480 2%
Box 12 144 615 23%
Box 14 4 514 1%
Box 15 86 814 10%
Box 16 10 254 3%
Box 18 62 193 32%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 4 193 2%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 32 0 160 0%
Box 34 40 399 10%
Box 35 287 439 65%
Box 36 37 419 8%
Box 37 36 487 7%
Box 38 184 427 43%
Box 39 12 284 4%
Box 41 87 572 15%
Box 42 92 910 10%
Box 44 53 202 26%
Box 47 0 466 0%
Box 50 178 198 89%
Box 51 386 940 41%
Box 52 1 609 1%
Box 57 19 420 4%
Box 62 78 565 13%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 308 350 88%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 75 0 77 0%
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 87 2 604 1%
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 148 296 50%
Box 98 224 499 44%
Box 100 212 442 47%
Box 106 235 581 40%
Box 107 505 538 93%
Box 110 15 671 2%
Box 115 277 307 90%
Box 116 794 865 91%
Box 117 495 853 58%
Box 118 258 880 29%
Box 119 540 990 54%
Box 120 535 686 77%
Box 121 150 526 28%
Box 122 309 728 42%
Box 123 45 443 10%
Box 124 17 383 4%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 94 381 24%
Box 149 87 581 14%
Box 150 972 972 COMPLETE
Box 169 197 728 27%
Add MS 35537 730 744 98%
Add MS 35538 824 858 96%
Add MS 35539 882 948 93%
Add MS 35540 947 1012 93%
Add MS 35541 986 1258 78%
Add MS 35547 32 701 4%
Add MS 35549 24 366 6%
Add MS 35550 85 637 13%
Overall 17,410 37,697 46%