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Transcription of Samuel Simpson's Agreeable Historian, 1746.
Transcription the the Westmorland chapter from The Agreeable Historian or Compleat English Traveller, by Samuel Simpson, published by R Walker, Fleet Street, London, 1746. The text pages used are in the Wordworth Trust Collection, item GRMDC:2007.38.60.
The page size is: wxh, page = 11x16.5cm.
Transcription of the Cumberland chapter has been made from a copy of volume 1 of The Agreeable Historian in the National Library of Scotland, Map Room.
Volume 3 includes counties from N - Norfolk to Y - Yorkshire. The list on the title page omits Westmorland, but the text transcribed here has the catchword 'Wiltshire' at the end of its last page, and is surely from this volume.
Samuel Simpson declares his sources; William Camden, John Leland, Thomas Dugdale, John Ogilby, Mr Morgan, and others. In reading, the text feels as if it had been assembled by cut and paste in a word processor! grabbing bits of text, but never melding them properly.
Transcription and Indexing
Transcription and indexing follow the pattern used for West 1778, and Otley 1823, in the Lakes Guides project. Misspellings have been retained as carefully as possible. Marginals are added; they are not in the original text.
A catchword at the end of each page is transcribed.
Italics in this text have been marked with the HTML tags, MODES does not use these but when downloaded to html pages they will operate correctly. This has NOT been done in earlier transcriptions in the Lakes Guides project.
The Editing Process
This note might be boring, skip it if you wish.
Transcribe the whole text into a MODES Format to handle text (WORDS Format: at a later stage of the project an xml structure based on the TEI should be used). This is done in word processor software (Word Perfect 5.1 for DOS is still being used for its excellent macro facilties). The transcript is made page by page, each to be a separate MODES record. The wordprocessor file is a MODES .tag file called SMP3TXT.tag.
For some transcriptions the spell checker could be used at this stage, in the wordprocessor. MODES has no spell checker. The spelling in early texts is so irregular that this can be more of a nuisance than a help, and was ommitted for this text.
Load into MODES for Windows; the procedure checks the structure of the records.
Printout the records, and use these to proof read the transcription. Also: mark up the text with marginal notes, which will build a synopsis of the text, and mark up the text with keywords for each page.
Go back to the WP version of the transcription to make corrections. And now add marginal notes the help the reader follow the text, and to be used later for a contents list, a synopsis of the text.
Record keywords for each page, for indexing. This is done by copying the whole page text into a KEYWORDS field and then editing this into MODES style keywords, controlling terminology as necessary. The text spelling of places is retained, but at the same time the present day placenames are added, and places referred to indirectly 'the church ...' are identified and a more formal keyword added. The keyword lists are sorted into alphabetical order, using a WP macro, to aid checking.
Keywords are made for placenames as given in the text, and for the same place using its 'correct' placename as used in the Old Cumbria Gazetteer. Two entries might be made on the pattern:-
preferred name
quoted name (preferred name)
Ill Bell
Hill Bell (Ill Bell)
Where the two entries look to be too much of a good thing, common sense is used and the non-standard term is ommited.
Every time the text is edited you might spot errors of typing. But: beware of correcting spelling mistakes, check the original to see whether they are original, or your typos. Odd spellings are expected and accepted; (sic) is used sparingly and only where really necessary.
At this stage the transcript is loaded again into MODES, overwriting the previous records. The word processor (.tag) file is no longer the master version and edits from here on are made in MODES. But: keep the .tag file for another process; it is renamed SMP3GAZ.tag to guard against misuse.
The last step is to mine the text for quotable material to be attached, in Evidence groups, to places in the Old Cumbria Gazetteer. Where a match to an existing place cannot be made a new place record is made, giving this text as the source of its Identification. This process is sometimes uncertain. Identified places will show in the display of the relevant text page/s.

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