Editing Policy:

The Elizabeth Gaskell Journal: Digital Edition is an openly accessible edition of a single Gaskell text, Elizabeth Gaskell's manuscript journal, offering an annotated and newly transcribed text side-by-side with high-quality IIIF digital images of the manuscript pages. This new edition provides a digital version of the text encoded in TEI XML. The digital markup embeds metadata and editorial notes and transcription directly into a single TEI Edition file. Additionally, the Elizabeth Gaskell Journal: Digital Edition offers editorial headnotes contextualizing the journal as a text predominantly focused on motherhood, and a prosopography identifying important individuals, texts, and geographic locations that created the context within which Gaskell wrote.

The Elizabeth Gaskell Journal: Digital Edition aimed to produce a strictly diplomatic transcription, created by encoding Gaskell's own spelling and punctuation as it exists in the manuscript. The project's use of the TEI currently makes possible two views for readers: a default diplomatic view and a simplified reading view. The alternate views are made possible because both variants are encoded side by side within the TEI file and output as HTML. A combination of JavaScript and CSS are used to make only one variant appear at a time. The Digital Edition displays the diplomatic transcription by default, but site users have the option to select a "normalized view" by clicking a toggle switch.

Coding Principles: Structural Markup

The journal has been encoded as a single TEI XML file. Journal entries, together with their respective headnotes, are enclosed within TEI <div> tags, which are designed, according to the TEI, to "contain a subdivision of text" with an TEI @type attribute of @type="journal". These <div> elements are numbered and have been assigned unique ids for linking online. Each individual headnote and entry is further delineated using <div> elements using type="headnote" and type="entry" attributes accordingly. The initial dedication page is encoded using the same structure with a "dedication" value on the "type" attribute. Each <div> has been provided with a number attribute for easier identification. Within each headnote, the text is preceded by a set of encoded TEI <head> tags which include the date of the entry, the ages of Gaskell's daughters at the time of writing, the time elapsed since the previous entry, and the approximate length of the entry, counted in manuscript pages.

The transcription is held within a TEI <body> element, where the XML encoding is used to mark the structure of Gaskell's text. This markup includes TEI <p> (paragraph) tags to denote each paragraph, <lb/> elements to mark new lines, and the TEI page beginning element, <pb/>, for new page breaks. This structural markup allows the site to render the transcribed lines directly alongside the manuscript lines as they appear in the original. Pagination has been applied by assigning page numbers in sequential order beginning with the first blank page of the journal in which the manuscript is written. Gaskell quotes once (unattributed) from a poem; these lines have been encoded using the TEI <lg> (line group) and <l> (line) elements accordingly.

Coding Principles: Paradigmatic Markup

The choice of views is made possible by the use of the TEI <choice> element, which according to the TEI guidelines, "groups a number of alternative encodings for the same point in a text." The <choice> element wraps both the diplomatic form, which is itself wrapped in <sic> tags, and the regularized form, wrapped in <reg> tags. I have adopted a policy of applying<choice> elements to markup any instances where Gaskell's word choice differs from contemporary usage.

The case above depicts the encoding of Gaskell's use of split words which are commonly compounds in contemporary usage: in particular "any thing," "every thing," and "any one." Use of TEI <choice> allows the edition to maintain Gaskell's own usage, as well as provide a normalized rendering. On the resulting Edition page, the default view displays Gaskell's text as written; when the user selects "normalized view", the regularized form "anything" appears.

The <choice> element is also used to highlight Gaskell's occasional use of the long s character for double medial s patterns throughout the journal. In order to render this visible to the reader, Gaskell's long s characters have been encoded using the Unicode character ſ. The long s, where it appears, is also wrapped in a <choice> element using <sic> to indicate the long s as written and <reg> to indicate the regularized spelling. The long s appears in the default view and is replaced by "s" in the normalized view.

Gaskell tends to write words which break across the line in her journal entries. In nearly every case, she inserts an equal sign on both sides of the break, as in the following example:

Within the edition file, my policy has been that all new lines are denoted in the markup with the use of a TEI line beginning element: <lb/>. According to the TEI, "<lb/> (line beginning) marks the beginning of a new (typographic) line in some edition or version of a text". The <lb/> element is a self-closing tag, meaning it can be placed within any element without breaking the TEI hierarchy. Line beginning elements which occur during a split word have been encoded with the additional @break attribute with a value of "no" to indicate that the line does not begin with a new word as in other places of the manuscript. The equal signs stand outside of this markup, and thus appear as part of the text in the Edition. There is one exception to this policy. In the second journal entry, the top third of one page is missing — the very straight edge of the gap indicates it was cut away at some point. On the recto side of this gap, an equal sign followed by a partial character appears, indicating that this section of the page did contain text before its removal. As this symbol appears without context, it has not been encoded. Instead, the equal sign is mentioned as part of the editorial note identifying the gap in the manuscript.

This cutaway page in entry two is the most significant alteration in the manuscript; on the whole, Gaskell's text is very cleanly written. She has changed or struck through the text in only a dozen or so places; she marks each strikethrough with a squiggled line. The large cutaway is marked with a TEI <gap> element. Any obscure or difficult to read text has been marked with a TEI <unclear> element. In cases where the <unclear> text is legible, I have included it within a TEI <supplied> element, and have followed the tagging with an editorial TEI <note> containing a @resp attribute which explains the origin of the supplied text and, if applicable, justification for the addition.

One unusual feature of the journal is Gaskell's frequent use of lengthy spaces within the text. These spaces occur mid-line within the text and are approximately the same width as Gaskell's paragraph indentations. Encoding these spaces was complicated because they inconsistently function as either a terminal gap, which appears to fall between two topically different paragraphs, or simply as elongated spaces. In an attempt to avoid imposing editorially inflected order upon the text, I have encoded these with TEI <space> elements, with a @type attribute that designates, to the best of my knowledge, whether each gap functions as a terminal stop or merely a sentence-level pause. According to the Guidelines, "<space> indicates the location of a significant space in the text" (Guidelines). The long spaces are rendered in the HTML output through the use of the HTML non-breaking space character.

On five occasions, where it appeared desirable to improve the clarity of the text for the reader, closing parentheses, one closing quotation mark, and some periods which Gaskell omitted were supplied as part of the encoding, with a TEI <supplied> element surrounding the punctuation that is not original to the manuscript and an editorial TEI <note> element which indicates the extant state of the manuscript as well as the editorial addition. Notes are accessible to readers by hovering over the note number regardless of the view they have selected.

In each case of editorially supplied material, I have denoted editorial responsibility by enclosing my own initials in a @resp attribute.

Diplomatic Transcription:

The transcription within this edition reproduces Gaskell's own spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. In addition to my use of the <choice> element to mark the archaic long s character and Gaskell's occasional spellings, I have included an editorial <note> tag offering further information to the reader at times; these additional notes primarily concern Gaskell"s references to obscure foods or medicinal remedies, and the previously mentioned instances of clarifying illegible text or editorially supplied punctuation. Superscript, which appears primarily in Gaskell's datelines, as well as Gaskell's changes, which appear as strikethroughs, have been encoded with a TEI <hi> element with a @rend attribute.

The unique entities named in the journal have all been given individual xml:ids. The TEI @xml:id attribute "provides a unique identifier for the element bearing the attribute.". Each unique entity in the journal — person, place, or text — is given an xml:id that is unique throughout the TEI file. There are nineteen individuals named within the text. Xml:ids have also been provided for several individuals who are not named or referenced in the journal, but who played a significant role in Gaskell's life and are therefore frequently mentioned in editorial headnotes and other contextualizing information. Similar structuring has been employed to assign names to these individuals. For people, places, and texts named within the manuscript or included in the encoded editorial notes, I have applied TEI <persName>, <placeName> and <title> tags. These are all assigned @ref attributes which hold the unique xml:ids so that these entities are accurately tracked throughout the file.

The methodology used in naming these entities is as follows; xml:ids have been created to assist in human readability of the code. Assigned xml:ids begin with the name that Gaskell most commonly applies within the journal and are followed with an underscore and the last name. In the case of married women, the first name is followed by underscores and the maiden name, followed by the married name of the individual. In this way the xml:ids are connected both to Gaskell's usual notation and to the individuals' legal names in an attempt to aid scholars approaching the code from multiple angles. Where last names are not known, another descriptor is applied; this is particularly true of servants, whose surnames are in most cases unknown. For servants, the word _household has been added for additional clarity. Where multiple names are used throughout the journal for the same individual, the shortest form has been adopted. This xml:id naming methodology is used throughout the text.

The xml:id naming conventions are illustrated by the name assigned to Marianne. Gaskell refers early on to her daughter Marianne, the primary subject of the journal, by her full first name. Later in the text, Gaskell begins referring to Marianne frequently by only the first two initials: MA; this shorthand has become common usage among previous editors of the journal. Marianne Gaskell eventually married after her mother's death, becoming Marianne Holland.

Thus the xml:id chosen for Marianne Gaskell Holland, MA_Gaskell_Holland, reflects each of these names. In this way, the id links Marianne both with Gaskell's shorthand for her, while still identifying both the name by which she is known throughout the time of the journal (Gaskell) and the name by which she became known to history as her mother's heir and executor (Holland). It is hoped that these measures make the names in the text as human readable as possible, while also making the distinctions between multiple individuals with the same name as clear as possible without consulting the prosopography file.

ISO standard date forms were used wherever possible. ISO, or the "International Organization of Standardization" in English, is "an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 164 national standards bodies," which sets international standards that assist in the sharing of knowledge. Standard ISO 8601 is an internationally accepted way of presenting dates and times. Full dates are given in the headings of each entry, using the ISO format YYYY-MM-DD. Within the text of entries, complete or partial dates are often given, and are encoded within TEI <date> elements using the @when attribute.

In addition to the advantage of adhering to an established standard, the use of ISO dating also allows for computer processing of dates used within the manuscript. As an example, when the date markup of the journal entries was complete, I was able to use the Xpath query language to automatically pull out the dates and create a computer-generated list in a standardized format. The resulting string of data also served a research purpose, in that Xpath allows a chosen output method. In this case, the search asked for the output to include computer-generated dates days of the week, even in cases where Gaskell had not included them in her entries.

The use of ISO dates automated supplying the additional information. ISO 8601 also allows for the use of partial dates, containing for example, only a month and year. As Gaskell often referred back to the events of previous months not recorded in the journal with these partial forms, i.e. "last July" etc., the ISO date is given as completely as possible. In cases where a complete date is not written within the text, but can be logically determined through comparison to other entries, letters, or the like, and an editorial note is encoded within the text to indicate the means through which the superadded date was supplied by the editor. In each case, the encoding also includes the xml:id of the responsible editor through a @resp attribute.

Editorial Annotation Policy:

The annotation applied to the Digital Edition is facilitated using an XML prosopography file, which lists all people, places, and texts referenced within the journal. The prosopography is built as an index, using a TEI <listPerson> element, which is defined by the guidelines as follows: "<listPerson> (list of persons) contains a list of descriptions, each of which provides information about an identifiable person or a group of people, for example the participants in a language interaction, or the people referred to in a historical source." The prosopography file includes within the list, a <person> element and assigned @xml:id for each unique individual. These xml:ids are cross-checked for validity within the Edition file using the schema, which declares the valid forms of each xml:id. Within each person entry in the prosopography, I have encoded a <note> which contains a brief annotation identifying the person and details relevant to the context in which they appear within the journal or their role in Gaskell's life. These note elements are encoded with a @resp attribute denoting my editorial responsibility for the note. Places, texts, and their authors are similarly identified, encoded, and included in the prosopography with a unique identifier and a note containing a @resp attribute. The schema validates all xml:ids for places and texts as well, ensuring that identification of these entities is consistent.

I have also added editorial notes, which are embedded into the Edition file immediately following the content they reference using the <note> element. Editorial notes have been used to denote content that may be unclear for a contemporary audience, such as references to period texts and authors, or in some cases, Gaskell's health remedies. Editorial notes have also been utilized to identify editorial interventions in the text, such as the supplying of missing parentheses, and the identification of the cutaway section of the manuscript, always with a @resp attribute. As the entire edition has been produced by a single editor, these attributes function less to distinguish between multiple scholars and instead to identify any information within the edition that has been editorially supplied beyond the original content of the text.

Another aspect of the edition file which has been editorially supplied is the inclusion of markup surrounding Gaskell's prayers. I have used the TEI <seg> element, which marks arbitrary segments of a text, with an @type attribute (value of "prayer") to markup the moments in the text where Gaskell's text shifts into a direct address to God, written as prayers for herself and for her daughters. Religious journals were a conventional genre in the eighteenth century and Gaskell's Unitarian faith is well established; thus marking up the places where the text bears a resemblance to the former genre allows for scholarly comparison with other women's religious self-analysis and reflection, in addition to calling out a thematic element in Gaskell's journal.

Headnotes have been provided for each journal entry to allow readers greater contextualization. These headnotes begin with a set of identifying characteristics that are applied to each entry, identifying the ages of Gaskell's daughters when the entry was written, the date of the entry, the time elapsed since the previous entry, and the approximate manuscript length of the entry. Headnotes also include short paragraph-length information which gives information about the content of each entry, and places them in the context of preceding or following entries and contemporaneous historical events. Headnotes are styled in italics within the Edition HTML file to distinguish them from the journal content.

All contextual information contained in the Edition is drawn from the TEI Edition file and the TEI prosopography file. The notes for individual people and places are contained within the TEI prosopography file, while headnotes and editorial notes are contained within the XML transcription file. The content of the online digital edition page has been produced by an XSLT transformation which combines the content of both files and outputs their content in the edition's HTML format. Embedded notes are made visible within the Digital Edition page through JavaScript and are styled with the project's CSS file.