Display Conventions for the Women Writers Online Interface


These notes describe the presentation of the texts in Women Writers Online. With electronic texts, there is a large difference between the information that is recorded and the way the text is displayed (on the screen or in print output). A single encoded transcription can be used to produce many different forms of output, and in a sense many different “editions.” The current presentation of these texts represents one of these possible editions; in the future, the WWP will also make others available. In general, we have tried to present the information needed to grasp the visual language of the text—font shifts, alignment, and so forth—in a way which will also provide flexibility for an effective and consistent display on the web. The display you see in WWO represents some aspects of the source text fairly closely (such as capitalization and italics) but regularizes or suppresses others. The notes below provide a guide to understanding this display and how it corresponds to the printed source; for more information about the underlying data and what details we capture in our transcription, please see our statement of editorial principles.

Page breaks, pagination and collation

The original page breaks in the source text are indicated by a ruled line accompanied by the idealized signature for the page, in gray. These values are regularized: even if no signature is printed on the page, an idealized value will appear at the top of each page of the transcription. At present, printed signatures and catchwords are not displayed.

Lineation and hyphenation

Line breaks in prose are not retained in the WWO display, except on title pages, and in the openings and closings of letters and similar documents where lineation may be significant. Line-end hyphens are preserved in the encoded transcription, but are suppressed when the text is relineated for this display. Hard hyphens (i.e. those that are integral to the spelling of the word) are retained in this display.

Details of document layout and formatting

This display retains original italics. The type sizes used in the display are governed by a style sheet rather than representing the original type size (either absolutely or relatively).

Alignment and indentation are displayed in a simplified form. Indentation in prose is only presented in title pages, headings, and the openings and closings of letters and similar documents. Alignment is simplified to left, right, or center.

Treatment of typographical errors in the original

Errors appearing in the original text are displayed in their corrected form. However, our identification of error is conservative. Spellings which might be legitimate period variations are preserved unchanged.

Treatment of original typography

Long “s” characters are preserved in most modern browsers. Early use of i/j, u/v, and vv/w is regularized in this display to conform to modern usage.

Treatment of abbreviations and brevigraphs

Common abbreviations whose expansions are clear from context are presented as they appear in the original text (for instance, Mr., etc., vol., and so forth). However, contractions deriving from early manuscript practice (often printed using a brevigraph or a diacritical mark to indicate omitted letters) are displayed in their expanded form.