By Tim Causer, on 11 October 2013
Welcome to the progress update for the period 5 to 11 October 2013, during which time further superb progress has been made by Transcribe Bentham volunteers. We are also delighted to say that during this week we were able to lock our 6,000th transcript! This was JB/122/530/001, transcribed by volunteer Ohsoldgirl, in which Bentham makes his case for compensation for the failure of the panopticon to the British government.
6,345 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 68 on last week’s total. Of these transcripts, 6,041 (95%) are complete and locked, having met the required quality control standards. 14,771 words of Bentham text were transcribed this week, along with a further 6,402 words of TEI XML mark-up.
The more detailed state of progress is as follows:
This week, we uploaded a new batch of material relating to Bentham’s work in assisting in the foundation of the Thames River Police, which we hope volunteers will enjoy transcribing. As our digitisation programme continues apace, more manuscripts will be added to transcribe at regular intervals.
Thank you, as always, to everyone who has contributed their time and effort to Transcribe Bentham during the past seven days. It remains greatly appreciated by us all.
By Tim Causer, on 7 October 2013
Bentham’s work on the panopticon during the late 1790s put him in contact with several influential individuals with whom he became friends. These included Patrick Colqhoun, whose works on the police and other statistical studies Bentham greatly admired. The Pool of London – a stretch of the River Thames running from London Bridge to just below Tower Bridge – was in Bentham’s time vital to London’s trading powers, and was filled with wharves and ships. However, theft of cargo was an increasing problem, and in 1797 John Harriot, a Justice of the Peace and a master mariner, worked with Colqhoun and Bentham to persuade the West India Merchants to fund a new police force. The Thames River Police was the first regular, professional police force in the world, was initially under Colqhoun’s direction, and had a permanent salaried staff of 80, and an on-call reserve of 1,000 more. It’s visible patrols were a success in reducing crime, even though a mob attempted to set fire to the police station.
Bentham worked on drafting the 1798 Thames Police Bill, and the manuscripts from Bentham Box 150 demonstrate just how much effort he put into the endeavour. The Bill was enacted in 1800, permanently establishing the Thames River Police. Colqhoun published his Treatise on the Commerce and Policing of the River Thames in 1800.
This material also contains some remarks by Bentham on the prevention of forgery of coins.
We hope that you enjoy exploring these manuscripts!
By Kris Grint, on 4 October 2013
Welcome to the progress update for 28 September to 4 October 2013. After a brief interruption to our duties last week, the Transcribe Bentham editorial team is now fully back up to speed. Our transcribers, meanwhile, continue to show no signs of slowing down! Since our last full update at the end of September, a mammoth 27,876 words have been transcribed from Bentham’s manuscripts, along with an additional 9,027 words of TEI XML.
6,277 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially transcribed, which is an increase of 72 on last week’s total (and is up a total of 87 from the week before). Of these transcripts, 5,986 (95%) have been approved after checking by TB staff, up 90 from two weeks ago. We are very confident that next week will see our 6,000th transcript completed and locked. Considering TB only hit the 5,000 completed transcripts target at the start of April 2013, this is remarkable progress. Long may it continue!
The more detailed state of progress is as follows:
The papers relating to Panopticon in Box 122 remained the most popular box this week, with our volunteer transcriber Ohsoldgirl adding 58 new transcripts to this collection alone. One of the most interesting discoveries from Box 122 was Jeremy’s acknowledgement of his younger brother, Sir Samuel Bentham, as the originator of the architectural concept behind the Panopticon. In manuscript JB/121/527/002, part of the1813 compensation claim against the British government for the failure of Panopticon, Jeremy pays homage to the ‘ingenuity displayed by my brother’.
Students returned to the UCL campus this week, and everyone at the Bentham Project is looking forward to welcoming those taking our LLM module ‘Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition‘. Whilst extra credit for this course is not available for any work done on Transcribe Bentham, surely there’s no better way to get to know someone’s ideas by studying their handwriting?!
Our sincere thanks to everyone who has been so generous with their time, effort and patience over the past two weeks. Your contributions to Transcribe Bentham are greatly appreciated by us all.
By Tim Causer, on 29 September 2013
Welcome to a brief, and slightly late, progress update for the period 21 to 27 September 2013. This is just a brief summary as we have been away for most of this time, but normal service will be resumed tomorrow – thank you for your patience.
6,236 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 47 on last week’s total. We look forward to providing our usual, more detailed update next Friday!
Thank you, as always, to everyone who gave their time to Transcribe Bentham during the last week. It remains greatly appreciated.
By Tim Causer, on 25 September 2013
Dear TB volunteers,
Just a quick notice to apologies in advance: both Kris and I are away for the rest of the week from today. As such, there will be a slight delay in checking transcripts submitted this week: I hope to put out a brief progress update on Friday, but normal service will be resumed from Monday next week.
Please do accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.