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Editorial Method

The Julian Bond Papers Project seeks to collect, edit, and make digitally accessible the comprehensive body of Bond’s documents, focusing primarily on the University of Virginia holdings. Transcriptions will be created in phases, first published as an Early Access version with a manuscript image and single-verified transcription (without editorial additions) and later as the Digital Edition version with a second verification and editorial annotations. These publications will represent original versions as accurately as possible while also prioritizing timely digital access and ease in the user experience. Where permissions are granted, the editors foresee no need to select or restrict access to most documents in the collection. 

Early Access Documents

Early Access documents are first versions. They are raw transcriptions that have been proofread once and published, with the goal offering public access as soon as possible to Julian Bond's voluminous works. Early Access documents may contain errors. Over time, the editors will verify all transcriptions, add annotations, and replace Early Access versions with final versions collected in one complete Julian Bond Papers Digital Edition. Our staff is indebted to the many other projects who have established the Early Access process, including Founders Online and the Jane Addams Papers.

Editorial Conventions

The Julian Bond Papers Project uses editorial conventions that represent transcriptions literally, except where a literal rendition is unwieldy for the user. Wherever possible, textual elements are transcribed as they appear in Bond’s original documents. Variations in this approach occur when a literal policy will distract from readability, such as in cases of formatting. Early Access documents may not include all editorial elements, but Digital Edition documents will adhere to the following methods.

Datelines accompany all manuscript transcriptions, at the top of the document, no matter their location in the original manuscript. If dates are in question, date ranges and best approximations are supplied. Signatures are included at the bottom right of a transcription, no matter their location in the original manuscript. Postscripts are supplied at the bottom of a transcription, left-aligned, no matter their location in the original manuscript.

Original spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are transcribed as they appear in the manuscript, including any potential errors and representation of underline and italics. Where doubt or confusion exists, editorial notations will provide context. For example, misspellings of proper names will be accompanied by a link to a canonical name and person ID, where possible. Underlines used for speech revision rather than emphasis are not included.

Manuscript notations such as inline insertions, marginal insertions, and deletions are indicated in transcriptions with various methods. Inline insertions are included at what is determined to be their intended location and appear as superscripts. A square bracket may accompany inline insertions indicating the location of the notation, such as: [on verso of page 1]. Deletions are indicated with strikethrough formatting. Large blocks of content that are deleted, as in the case of a templated speech that is changed for a particular audience, may be marked and explained with an editorial note. Significant changes in style, such as a typeset speech with an insertion of handwritten content, may be inserted as close to Bond’s intentions as editors can determine, and explained in a textual notation.

Julian Bond’s collection includes numerous speeches that use formatting to aid in spoken delivery and revisions. Where all capitals are used for visual magnification, the editors have rendered documents in regular casing for digital readability. In contrast, where all caps are used for emphasis, they are retained. Similarly, some speeches include what appear to be notations for a typist to create page breaks in the next version; these have been rendered as a superscripts, such as: ] 5.  The associated manuscript image will be useful for researching these instances, and editorial notation will offer context when formatting changes may influence meaning. 

When distinct, indentations and paragraph breaks are retained as they appear. Spacing is normalized for readability unless a meaningful distinction can be determined. Page numbers, when present, are regularized to the top right of the transcription, no matter where they occur on the manuscript. Where Bond lists a page number repeatedly as part of a numbering convention, the number has been reduced to one instance. For example, “5555555555” is reduced to “5.” Footnotes are displayed at the end of a document and, where indicators like asterisks are repeated, the editors number citations for clarity. Other manuscript conventions are included as they appear. For example, transcriptions reflect Bond’s tendency to indicate the end of a speech with the journalistic convention of “-30-”. Partial readings and editorial conjecture are supplied in square brackets. [illegible] is supplied where no information is available. Headnotes and textual notations explain context for meaningful changes or omissions.

As a general principle, all versions of a document are included in the Digital Edition when permitted and available. Metadata and editorial headnotes provide context for types of versions when known, such as draft and copy. Manuscripts that share content with other manuscripts are connected via related document links, and described in headnotes where context is helpful. For instance, Bond often uses a topical speech “base” and then alters and customizes it for delivery to a particular audience. Editorial headnotes and metadata seek to connect and categorize these types of speech versions, for ease of research comparison. Bond also often drafts a speech by hand-marking a copied version of a previous speech. In such a case, editors create a transcription that reflects Bond’s assumed intended outcome, with textual notes to clarify decisions.