Box 150 monthly update

By Tim Causer, on 19 March 2015

Below is an update from Dr Michael Quinn, on how your transcripts of Box 150 manuscripts are helping in his editing of a volume of Bentham’s Collected Works.

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Dear TB Special Constables,

Here’s an update, as promised, on developments in relation to the Preventive Police Writings. First, continued thanks for the transcription efforts! As of today, you have transcribed almost 400 update box 150 folios in little over two months. Of the 564 folios which I think will form the core of the volume, almost half are done. This figure is I know already obsolete, since Tim tells me there are another hundred or so waiting for me to get to them.

As is the way in producing Collected Works volumes, my attention has been in part diverted recently by the final stages of preparing the first volume of Writings on Political Economy for the press. However, I can add a bit more about the shape of the Preventive Police Volume. Bentham first met Patrick Colquhoun in December 1796, when Colquhoun visited Queens Square Place to offer his support for Bentham’s panopticon prison scheme. Colquhoun had recently published his Treatise on the Police of the Metropolis, and the book was to go through six editions by 1800. In 1798 both men gave evidence to the House of Commons Finance Committee which was investigating penal methods. The first work in the new volume, Bentham’s first draft of a Thames Police Bill, for which a an almost complete text has been located, can be traced back to Colquhoun’s refinement of ideas originally floated by John Harriott and John Staples for reducing loss by theft from ships and warehouses on the river Thames. Colquhoun and Bentham seem to have agreed that Bentham should put Colquhoun’s plan into ‘Statute-ese’, and this is what he was doing in May 1798. In November of that year, he returned to the text in order to draft a précis of the Bill, presumably for circulation and/or publication as a pamphlet, to be released in support of the Bill’s passage through Parliament.

In terms of further progress so far, the bulk of the text of Bentham’s ‘Summary View of a Bill For the more effectual prevention of Depredations on the Thames’, which is at UC cl. 118-24, and has been edited. So far, the text is incomplete, and we’re looking for one or two additional folios, the first paginated 6 or 7, and beginning with the word ‘but’. This is the only text in this volume which has previously been published, and that version, at Bowring x. 331-3, features an additional six-and-a-bit paragraphs which have yet to turn up.

Bentham and Colquhoun expanded their project into an interconnected set of Bills, chief amongst which was that which Bentham referred to indifferently as simply the ‘Police Bill’, and as the ‘Police Revenue Bill’. The fairly complete and fairly continuous text of the Bill is at UC cl. 179-289, and the next editing job will be to assemble a preliminary text thereof. In support of the Bill, Bentham began drafting another précis, ‘Heads of the Police Bill’, at UC cl. 126-70; a set of notes; and an elucidatory commentary on the Bill. This commentary may well prove the trickiest part of the text to organize, since he seems to had in mind three different arrangements, and three different titles, namely ‘Preliminary Observations on the Police Bill’, ‘Observations on the Police Bill’, and ‘Introductory Observations on the Police Bill’. In typically Benthamic style, he also thought about inserting some of this material either into the Bill itself, or into some another part of his observations, as is indicated by his oft-repeated instruction/suggestion/question ‘Inserenda?’ This mass of material appears at UC cl. 428-776. So far, I have checked only about 85 of these 350 or so folios, but with your help I’m sure, or at least hopeful, that all will become clear! More in a month … Keep up the good work, it is much appreciated!

Michael

 

 

 

 

 

Progress update, 7 to 13 March 2015

By Tim Causer, on 13 March 2015

Welcome along to the progress update for the period 7 to 13 March 2015, during which time further excellent progress has been made by Transcribe Bentham volunteers.

12,652 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 58 on this time last week. Of these transcripts, 11,469 (90%) have been checked and approved by TB staff: volunteers will no doubt be glad to hear that we have made a significant dent in the backlog of submissions requiring checking. Thanks again for your patience!

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 250 794 31%
Box 2 470 753 62%
Box 4 2 694 1%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 0 167 0%
Box 8 5 284 1%
Box 9 41 266 15%
Box 15 78 914 10%
Box 18 4 192 2%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 2 193 1%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 34 40 398 10%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 34 418 8%
Box 37 31 487 6%
Box 38 86 424 20%
Box 39 12 282 4%
Box 41 87 528 14%
Box 42 88 910 9%
Box 44 53 201 26%
Box 50 169 198 84%
Box 51 385 940 40%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 59 565 10%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 306 350 87%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 136 296 45%
Box 98 221 499 44%
Box 100 194 422 43%
Box 106 68 581 11%
Box 107 502 538 93%
Box 110 7 671 1%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 506 864 58%
Box 117 365 853 42%
Box 118 254 880 28%
Box 119 535 990 54%
Box 120 27 686 3%
Box 121 134 526 24%
Box 122 304 717 41%
Box 123 42 443 9%
Box 124 15 383 3%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 4 381 1%
Box 149 5 581 1%
Box 150 618 972 60%
Box 169 193 728 26%
Add MS 537 730 744 98%
Add MS 538 712 858 81%
Add MS 539 834 948 87%
Add MS 540 64 1012 6%
Add MS 541 327 1258 25%
Overall 12,652 31,767 39%

TB volunteers might be interested to read a news story from UCL’s Faculty of Laws, about the recent praise for their work from the German Secretary of State for Education.

In other Bentham-related news, if you’ve ever wondered how the auto-icon sees the world then wonder no longer! The PanoptiCam was recently installed on Bentham’s box: you can keep up-to-date by following @PanoptiStream on Twitter, or taking a look at the time-lapse of each day’s events on YouTube. (This refreshes each day).

Thanks you, as always, to everyone who has so generously given their time to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days. It is enormously appreciated by us all.

 

Progress update, 28 February to 6 March 2015

By Tim Causer, on 6 March 2015

Welcome along to the progress update for the period 28 March to 6 March 2015, during which time further steady progress has been made by TB volunteers. It should also be noted that during the last week, the work of Transcribe Bentham and its volunteers attracted the praise of the German federal government!

12,594 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 41 on this time last week. Of these transcripts, 11,337 (90%) 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
Box 1 250 794 31%
Box 2 470 753 62%
Box 4 2 694 1%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 0 167 0%
Box 8 5 284 1%
Box 9 41 266 15%
Box 15 78 914 10%
Box 18 4 192 2%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 1 193 1%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 34 40 398 10%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 34 418 8%
Box 37 31 487 6%
Box 38 84 424 19%
Box 39 11 282 3%
Box 41 87 528 14%
Box 42 88 910 9%
Box 44 53 201 26%
Box 50 169 198 84%
Box 51 385 940 40%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 58 565 10%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 306 350 87%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 613 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 136 296 45%
Box 98 221 499 44%
Box 100 194 422 43%
Box 106 61 581 10%
Box 107 502 538 93%
Box 110 7 671 1%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 506 864 58%
Box 117 365 853 42%
Box 118 254 880 28%
Box 119 535 990 54%
Box 120 27 686 3%
Box 121 134 526 24%
Box 122 304 717 41%
Box 123 42 443 9%
Box 124 15 383 3%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 2 381 1%
Box 149 5 581 1%
Box 150 589 972 60%
Box 169 193 728 26%
Add MS 537 730 744 98%
Add MS 538 702 858 81%
Add MS 539 834 948 87%
Add MS 540 64 1012 6%
Add MS 541 327 1258 25%
Overall 12,594 31,767 39%

As always, we are enormously grateful to everyone who has contributed to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days. It remains as greatly appreciated as ever.

Praise for Transcribe Bentham from the German government!

By Tim Causer, on 4 March 2015

Here at Bentham Towers we were all delighted – and not a little surprised – to hear that the German Secretary of State for Education and Research, Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, gave praise to Transcribe Bentham as a key example of how scholars and the general public can fruitfully collaborate, in a speech to yesterday’s Digital Humanities 2015 summit in Berlin.

Below is a brief extract from the relevant part of her speech (we are very grateful to our friend and colleague, Dr Angela Marciniak, for acquiring a copy of the speech, and to Angela and Dr Michael Quinn of the Bentham Project for the translation).

(…) Please, give more opportunities to interested people to deepen their knowledge online, and don’t forget that this is best achieved by employing user-friendly software.

The London “Transcribe Bentham” Project, which combines open participation and safe-guards for high quality, is a fascinating example of such an approach. Already on its homepage, everyone is able to see how far the transcription of the manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham has advanced. Anyone may open one of the 169 archive boxes virtually, and to sign up to become a transcriber. Maybe “Transcribe Bentham” could also become an inspiration for projects in Germany, not only to disseminate their research among interested parties but to encourage people to participate in.”

We are extremely grateful to the Secretary of State for these warm words, and TB volunteers should be extremely proud that their efforts are being internationally recognised.

Progress update, 21 to 27 February 2015

By Tim Causer, on 2 March 2015

Welcome along to the progress update for the period 21 to 27 February 2015 – please do accept my apologies for its delayed appearance. This was caused by our attendance in Luxembourg at the annual review for the tranScriptorium project in which we are participating. I’m glad to say that the progress which tS made this year was rated ‘excellent’ by the reviewers. Do watch out for news in the coming weeks about the launch of a transcription platform which incorporates the Handwritten Text Recognition technology developed by the tS team….

12,553 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 97 on this time last week. Of these transcripts, 11,264 (90%) have been checked and accepted by TB staff.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 248 794 31%
Box 2 470 753 62%
Box 4 2 694 1%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 0 167 0%
Box 8 5 284 1%
Box 9 41 266 15%
Box 15 77 914 9%
Box 18 4 192 2%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 1 193 1%
Box 31 18 302 6%
Box 34 39 398 9%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 34 418 8%
Box 37 31 487 6%
Box 38 82 424 19%
Box 39 11 282 3%
Box 41 85 528 14%
Box 42 88 910 9%
Box 44 53 201 26%
Box 50 169 198 84%
Box 51 380 940 40%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 57 565 10%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 306 350 87%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 613 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 136 296 45%
Box 98 221 499 44%
Box 100 194 422 43%
Box 106 56 581 9%
Box 107 502 538 93%
Box 110 7 671 1%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 505 864 58%
Box 117 365 853 42%
Box 118 253 880 28%
Box 119 535 990 54%
Box 120 27 686 3%
Box 121 134 526 24%
Box 122 304 717 41%
Box 123 42 443 9%
Box 124 15 383 3%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 2 381 1%
Box 149 5 581 1%
Box 150 559 972 57%
Box 169 189 728 25%
Add MS 537 730 744 98%
Add MS 538 695 858 81%
Add MS 539 834 948 87%
Add MS 540 64 1012 6%
Add MS 541 325 1258 25%
Overall 12,553 31,767 39%

Again, particular thanks to everyone who has contributed transcripts of Box 150 manuscripts this week.

Thank you, as always, to everyone who has donated their time and effort so generously to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days. It remains as greatly appreciated as ever.