Editing Historical Records

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British Library, 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 104 pages
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This book is about editing documentary texts. It is not a book of instructions, and indeed Professor Harvey has only three unbending rules: be accurate; say what you are going to do and do it; and give full references to the document and describe it. Based on these three rules he examines the underlying principles of editing records and historical documents, and the considerations the editor ought to bear in mind when working on these sorts of texts. Drawing on over thirty years experience as general editor of the ten volumes of the prestigious Portsmouth Record Series, Professor Harvey looks at the kinds of decisions and methodology the editor should adopt, citing the advantages and disadvantages he has encountered with varying approaches and points of style. Amongst the issues discussed are: selection of documents; the quest for accuracy; normalisation; translation; punctuation; abbreviations; calendaring; presentation and layout; consistency in the use of symbols; external presentation; the archival setting; the historical setting; appendices; the glossary; and indexing, including indexing people, places and subjects.

This book will be invaluable for archivists and historians, and for anyone involved in editing historical documents for publication either in hard copy or electronic format.

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About the author (2001)

P. D. A. Harvey is professor emeritus of medieval history at the University of Durham in England.

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