Box 150 update

By Tim Causer, on 19 February 2015

Volunteers working on manuscripts from Box 150 will, do doubt, be mightily relieved to hear that we have updated the list of untranscribed manuscripts from that particular box. This should make it considerably more straightforward to find material to transcribe!

Following on from Dr Michael Quinn’s note of thanks and discussion of the importance of this material, he is particularly interested in the following manuscripts:

  • Folios 233-64
  • Folios 266-79
  • Folios 283-9
  • Folios 428-561
  • Folios 574-640
  • Folios 642-99
  • Folios 701-17

If you are considering whether to work on Box 150 manuscripts, help with these manuscripts would be enormously appreciated!

Box 150: a thank-you from the Bentham Project

By Tim Causer, on 16 February 2015

As we mentioned in a post at the start of this year, the Bentham Project was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant, to produce the authoritative edition of Bentham’s writings on political economy for the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Dr Michael Quinn, Senior Research Associate at the Bentham Project, is carrying out this work, and the major task for this year is editing Bentham’s work on the Thames Police Bill. These manuscripts are contained in Box 150 of the Bentham Papers, and volunteers have very generously been transcribing these manuscripts. This transcription is of material benefit to the editing of the economic writings, as Dr Quinn explains below in a note of thanks.

——————————

Dear TB volunteers,

I wanted to say a simple thanks to all those who have been beavering away at box 150, containing JB’s efforts to draft (and to explain (at some considerable length!)) legislation on preventive police. My task as editor is hugely facilitated by high quality transcripts, and I’m very happy to say that the material I’ve reviewed so far is of very high quality indeed!

Just in case anyone is becoming weary of repeatedly transcribing ‘be it further enacted’, ‘hereinafter mentioned’, ‘aforesaid’, or even ‘Board of Police Revenue’, I thought I might try and explain the potential significance of this material to Bentham scholars. First, Bentham decided in 1769 that he had a genius for legislation, but, with the notable exception of the first volume of Constitutional Code, and one or two other writings, we don’t actually have that much of Bentham trying to write legislation. Once this volume appears, we will have a first draft of a ‘Thames Police Bill’, a ‘Summary View’ of that Bill, a draft of a ‘Police Revenue Bill’, an entire set of notes of guidance to that Bill, and two sets of ‘Observations’ on the Bill, in which Bentham seeks to explain and justify its provisions. One of Bentham’s mantras was the necessity for an indissoluble link between ‘rule’ on the one hand, and ‘rationale’ on the other; between the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of law. This project shows him trying to live up to his own prescription, in a way which should cast a fascinating light on his approach to the practicalities of making legal rules.

Second, this material is also likely to help with understanding Bentham’s concept of ‘Indirect Legislation’, which encompasses all the tools a legislator can bring to bear beyond simple command (You shall) and prohibition (You shall not). In this connection his deployment of licencing for some eighteen trades, and of ‘recognizances’ (a bit like bail bonds: forfeitable sureties that licence holders must deposit) as guarantors of good behaviour, provide an example of indirect legislation in action.

I know some of this stuff is a little dry, but I think it has a fascination all of its own, especially in watching Bentham try to accommodate utilitarian rules within the terminology and phraseology of eighteenth century English Parliamentary draughtsmanship! Please do keep up the good work! I promise that I’ll offer a monthly update on editing progress, and would be happy to try and answer any questions that you might have (m.quinn@ucl.ac.uk). Good luck, and happy transcribing,

Michael Quinn

 

Progress update: 7 to 13 February 2015

By Tim Causer, on 13 February 2015

Welcome along to the progress update for the period 7 to 13 February, during which time further superb progress has been made by TB volunteers.

12,351 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 84 on this time last week. Of these transcripts, 11,147 (91%) 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 4 284 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 33 418 7%
Box 37 31 487 6%
Box 38 81 424 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 51 379 940 40%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 57 565 10%
Box 63 154 345 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 97 134 296 45%
Box 98 221 499 44%
Box 100 194 422 43%
Box 106 49 581 8%
Box 107 501 538 93%
Box 110 6 671 1%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 505 864 58%
Box 117 363 853 42%
Box 118 250 880 28%
Box 119 535 990 54%
Box 120 27 686 3%
Box 121 133 526 24%
Box 122 304 717 41%
Box 123 41 443 9%
Box 124 15 383 3%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 2 381 1%
Box 149 5 581 1%
Box 150 457 972 47%
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 62 1012 6%
Add MS 541 270 1258 21%
Overall 12,351 31,767 38%

Thank you in particular for the Box 150 transcripts submitted: my colleague, Dr Michael Quinn, is currently working on these and has been remarking all week upon their extremely high quality!

Elsewhere, we would urge you to follow the work of the brilliant Bentham Cookbook team, who are producing a handsome publication based on the recipes transcribed by volunteers among the Box 107 manuscripts. They have just secured a foreword by the Michelin-starred chef, Fergus Henderson, owner and head chef of the St John Smithfield restaurant, who in 2013 made a ‘Devonshire Pie’ (tripe, spleen, gooseberries and all) for a BBC News feature. We can’t wait to see the fruits of the team’s labour!

And finally, readers in Australia and New Zealand might be interested to know that I will appearing in the forthcoming Norfolk Island episode of Coast Australia, in a segment on the notorious penal settlement which operated there between 1825 and 1855, a topic which is a major focus of my own research. The episode also looks at the natural history of this beautiful island, and features some stunning cinematography. It premieres at 7.30pm AEDT on the History Channel and is then repeated throughout the week. This episode of Coast Australia – and the rest of the second series – should be shown on BBC2 in the UK in the coming months.

Thank you, as always to everyone who has contributed to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days. It remains as gratefully appreciated as ever.

 

 

Progress update, 31 January to 6 February 2015

By Tim Causer, on 9 February 2015

Welcome along to the Transcribe Bentham progress update for the period 31 January to 6 February 2015, during which time further excellent progress has been made by TB volunteers. Many apologies for the delay in the appearance of this update, caused by our attendance at the latest tranScriptorium all-staff meeting at the end of last week.

12,267 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 70 on the previous week. Of these transcripts, 11,085 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 1 243 794 30%
Box 2 470 753 62%
Box 4 2 694 1%
Box 5 199 290 68%
Box 7 0 167 0%
Box 8 4 284 1%
Box 9 40 266 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 38 398 9%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 33 418 7%
Box 37 31 487 6%
Box 38 80 424 18%
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 51 379 940 40%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 57 565 10%
Box 63 153 345 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 97 132 296 44%
Box 98 221 499 44%
Box 100 194 422 43%
Box 106 45 581 7%
Box 107 501 538 93%
Box 110 6 671 1%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 505 864 58%
Box 117 363 853 42%
Box 118 249 880 28%
Box 119 533 990 53%
Box 120 27 686 3%
Box 121 133 526 24%
Box 122 304 717 41%
Box 123 39 443 8%
Box 124 15 383 3%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 2 381 1%
Box 149 4 581 1%
Box 150 408 972 41%
Box 169 189 728 25%
Add MS 537 729 744 97%
Add MS 538 695 858 81%
Add MS 539 833 948 87%
Add MS 540 53 1012 5%
Add MS 541 268 1258 21%
Overall 12,267 31,767 37%

Thanks again to everyone who has donated their time so generously to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days; it remains as greatly appreciated as ever.

Progress update, 24 to 30 January 2015

By Tim Causer, on 2 February 2015

Welcome along to the (slightly delayed) progress update for the period 24 to 30 January 2015 – many apologies for the late appearance.

12,197 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 54 on this time last week. Of these, 11,019 (90%) have been checked and approved by TB staff. We are continuing to work our way through the backlog, and please do accept our continuing apologies for the delay as we work our way through the backlog of submissions.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 243 794 30%
Box 2 470 753 62%
Box 4 2 694 1%
Box 5 199 290 68%
Box 7 0 167 0%
Box 8 3 284 1%
Box 9 32 266 11%
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 38 398 9%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 33 418 7%
Box 37 31 487 6%
Box 38 78 424 16%
Box 39 11 282 3%
Box 41 85 528 14%
Box 42 88 910 9%
Box 44 53 201 26%
Box 50 167 198 83%
Box 51 379 940 40%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 57 565 10%
Box 63 151 345 43%
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 97 131 296 44%
Box 98 221 499 44%
Box 100 194 422 43%
Box 106 43 581 7%
Box 107 501 538 93%
Box 110 6 671 1%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 505 864 58%
Box 117 363 853 42%
Box 118 249 880 28%
Box 119 533 990 53%
Box 120 27 686 3%
Box 121 133 526 24%
Box 122 304 717 41%
Box 123 38 443 8%
Box 124 14 383 3%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 2 381 1%
Box 149 4 581 1%
Box 150 359 972 36%
Box 169 189 728 25%
Add MS 537 729 744 97%
Add MS 538 694 858 80%
Add MS 539 833 948 87%
Add MS 540 53 1012 5%
Add MS 541 268 1258 21%
Overall 12,197 31,767 37%

Thanks again to everyone who has given their time and effort so generously to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days. It remains as greatly appreciated as ever.