Editorial Method

The documents in the Sutliff Family Papers have been transcribed according to the following method.

Spelling: the spelling of the original item is retained with the following exceptions:

  • When the spelling in the original document is so abnormal as to be confusing, the correct form is supplied in square brackets. [ ]
  • Words hyphenated at the end of a line in the original document will are reproduced in consistency with other occurrence in the item or with the correspondent’s current usage.
  • For published documents, obvious printer’s errors will be corrected. The most common of these are transposing letters within a word, or the inadvertent repeating of words, punctuation marks, etc.

Capitalization: the capitalization (or failure to use capitalization) of the original item is preserved except that every sentence will begin with a capital letter.

Corrections, Abbreviations, and Superscription: If easily understood, contractions and abbreviations are retained as written. If not immediately recognizable, they will be expanded within square brackets. The ampersand and the form “&c” are retained as well as monetary signs and the various units of weight and measurement. Periods are added after all abbreviated words. Superscription is silently brought down into the text and any accompanying underlining dropped

Punctuation: is retained as in the original with the following exceptions:

  • Modern usage is followed whenever marks of punctuation are illegible or ambiguous.
  • Periods or question marks are supplied to sentences lacking them. When it is unclear where the sentence ends, the original punctuation or lack of it is retained.
  • Dashes used as sentence endings are retained. Extraneous dashes following periods are omitted.
  • Omitted closings parenthesis or quotation marks are supplied in square brackets.
  • Brackets in letters are converted to parenthesis so they will not be confused with the Project’s use of brackets.

Grammar: is preserved as it stands in the original.

Omissions, Mutilations, and Illegible Words: When words or lines in a letter are illegible or parts of the original document are mutilated or missing, these are indicated in square brackets. If the editors can determine what the probable missing or illegible words were, they are inserted in the text in square brackets.