Quick-start guide to using the edition


Finding an item via metadata

Go to collection home page of The Mary Hamilton Papers in Manchester Digital Collections, MDC. There are filters at lower left to help select item(s), including by classmark, words in the title, author, recipient [for letters], date range. Click Apply, then choose from thumbnails offered.

Alternatively, download the Excel file listing everything in the edition. A large selection of metadata is displayed for each item, together with a hyperlink direct to the edition.


Finding textual content (in transcribed items)

Go to CQPweb search page at Lancaster CQPweb site (under ‘Historical English’). Search the whole corpus by default, or confine search to a single author with the Restriction filter on a Simple query or by a Restricted query (in Menu). The latter allows many other filters as well (receiver, year, repository, etc.), which can be used in combination. You need to register before first use, a simple, one-time process, then log in, but you can remain logged in for a long period. Our Text search page has more information.

Enter whole words or strings of words in the search box at the top. Part-words must be completed with a wildcard such as * . For general search tips see here and for specific Hamilton-related example searches see here.

Click Start query to produce a KWIC (KeyWord In Context) concordance of hits, with 10 words either side. To view several lines of context within CQPweb, click on the underlined keyword(s) in column 3. CQPweb’s default view is similar to normalised transcription in the edition, while alternative view is like diplomatic. You can widen the context further. Your choices of view and context width in CQPweb are ‘sticky’ — that is, they become your default until/unless changed. Alternatively, to go straight to the edition in MDC from any hit, click the open-book icon 📖 in column 1 of the concordance.


Navigating inside edition in MDC

Each item has numbered pages, one per image. On most devices (but not a phone or small tablet), the screen is divided into two panels, with image on the left and a choice of About (metadata), Thumbnails or transcriptions (under View more options) on the right.

Choose between Transcription (diplomatic) (which captures what is on page) and Transcription (normalised) (which represents final intention of author, ignoring deletions and subsequent annotations). The normalised transcription also expands abbreviations, spells out ‘blanked’ names, recombines words split across lines, and uses present-day British English spelling and verb forms, etc. For a detailed list of differences between the transcriptions, see our Editorial policies page. The choice of right-hand panel in MDC is ‘sticky’ as you move within or between items.

To facilitate visual cross-reference between image and text, both transcriptions retain the lineation and page layout of the original, except where the original position of a chunk of text would violate textual continuity, in which case the original position is signalled by ▼.

Use the arrows at top centre to move through the item one page at a time, or enter any valid page number in the box. At top right, the Previous item and Next item buttons allow you to move through a (sub)series. The sequence followed is generally that of the catalogue numbering, unless changed by the editors to reflect corrected chronology or attributions, or to incorporate both sides of a correspondence in one sequence. Alternatively, you can browse through the entire Hamilton collection in strict classmark order using the arrows at the foot of the collection page.

A button under the right-hand panel offers image downloads (where permitted).


Project website, Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers

This site contains pages on the project and its precursor project, recent developments, and much other information. Particularly relevant here are the Overview page under Edition, containing links to

  • MDC home page
  • downloadable Excel spreadsheet of every item in the edition
  • personography of (most) people mentioned in transcribed texts
  • networks of relationships among writers, recipients and people mentioned
  • editorial policies
  • full TEI schema

and the Text search page, containing links to

  • The CQPweb user page
  • The CQPweb search page for The Mary Hamilton Papers
  • Some sample CQPweb searches of The Mary Hamilton Papers