My first transcribing/encoding experience

Bentham JB/002/312/001Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 4.48.28 PM

When I first glanced at the exercise for today, I wasn’t sure exactly what transcribing would entail. The tutorial videos were very informative, and the first video made the process seem relatively easy. But when I watched the second video, I thought, “I have to ENCODE this, too?” Typing words is easy. Encoding, to me, has always seemed like writing in an entirely new language.

However, I am very into toolbars. (I mean that). As such, I thought the encoding process of transcribing Bentham was totally doable, even on my first try! I typed the line breaks since they were so numerous, and made one typo ( <lb> instead of <lb/> ) at one point, but I caught myself when I viewed the preview. Other than that, the toolbar was incredibly easy to navigate, especially because I had a very simple page sequence with very few “additions,” no “strikethroughs,” and NO unusual spellings, illegible words or questionable words on my end!

Seriously, I have seen some of the words my classmates are dealing with and I’m not sure how I ended up with JB/002/312/001, which appears to have the most pristine cursive handwriting I’ve ever seen. I went to the “un-transcribed” links and this was the first folio I tried! But enough gloating about my beginner’s luck. I enjoyed the encoding experience, not because it forced me to try something I thought would leave me befuddled (and it didn’t) but because it forced (literal) close reading. Zoomed in, read-each-word close reading. With such diligent attention to words (and punctuation! oh, the punctuation) one can’t help but consider the choices the writer made as he or she composed the text. I’d imagine that transcribing and encoding poetry is especially illuminating in this way, as each line break and em-dash is noted in code. None of these are particularly new or astute observations, but it was, of course, fruitful to experience them first hand.

Happy snowquester, everyone!

7 thoughts on “My first transcribing/encoding experience

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