Editorial Procedures

1. Textual Procedures

Style - The general style guidelines used in this edition are those of Oxford University Press, Guidelines for Authors (1999), except that pages in books are identified by p. or pp.; place of publication is given, but not the publisher.

Transcription - The editor of a hard-copy edition of letters has to decide early on whether to produce the text faithfully as in the manuscripts or whether to modify certain aspects such as spelling or punctuation and thus to modernise the texts. One advantage of a digital edition is that the editor can do both. In this edition the text comes in two formats: the 'Browse' feature leads to the modernised version of the text; 'Full display' to the left of the screen on which the text first appears leads to the original source text. Here the transcription of letters from manuscript sources appears exactly as the correspondent wrote, as far as is feasible in the medium of type. Original spelling, punctuation, capitalisation, deletions and additons are shown, as well as text that is illegible for one reason or another. In the 'Full display' version, there has been no attempt to correct or adjust what may seem unconventional or eccentric punctuation, capitalisation, abbreviation, paragraphing or other stylistic mannerisms.

Spelling has presented problems. In the 'Full display' it remains as in the MS. In the version accessed from 'Browse', it is either standardised or kept and annotated as acceptable in the eighteenth century. In Barry's day the spelling of many words was not yet standardised - the final 'k' for example of 'publick' was widely accepted. English spelling was still establishing its norms. Barry's own spelling often has a seventeenth-century ring to it. Dictionaries, notably Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), were repositories of meanings rather than guidebooks for spelling, hence the fluidity of usage. Editorial policy has been to note eighteenth-century usages and to flag corrections only where there does seem to be a genuine error. Where Barry gives an incorrect spelling of a person's name, the spelling is preserved, but corrected in the note.

Underlining is maintained as are words written in capital letters; the same applies to italics in newspaper sources. An exception is made in that the long 's' has been modernised throughout.

Foreign language terms and phrases are italicised throughout, whether these occur in the original printed source or not.

The positioning of the date and place of writing of a letter has not been standardised in the text; sometimes this appears at the top, sometimes at the foot of the manuscript.

I have not recorded certain text features such as watermarks or paper types, mainly because much of the MS material was on microfilm or provided in digital form.

A particular problem in transcribing Barry's letters concerns the capitalisation of 'C', 'M' and 'S'; it is often difficult to discern whether the capital is used. The policy has been to decide after careful comparisons within the same letter, but generally the decision is to keep the capital where the size of the letter is clearly larger than normal.

Where the date of a letter is not given in the MS, an approximate conjectured date has been supplied by the use of 'c.', 'ante' or 'post'.

A number of letters from Barry to the Society of Arts do not have his signature: some start 'Mr Barry presents his respectful compliments...', but the hand is always unquestionably Barry's. In these cases I have not supplied a signature.

Letters between Barry and either the Secretary to the Society of Arts or the Royal Academy are regarded in this edition as between the institutions rather than individuals. There are occasional exceptions with Samuel More when there is a personal note to the letter.

In cases where no MS has been found, the letters follow the conventions of the printed source which is usually Fryer's edition. Among Fryer's practices, as demonstrated in Appendix B, was the standardisation of punctuation, spelling and phrasing. These texts have been followed exactly as printed, except that the Capitalisation at the start and end of letters has been silently corrected.

I have omitted the quotation marks down the margin of long quotations in Barry manuscripts and in Fryer's edition.

Translations from Latin and French are my own unless otherwise stated; I acknowledge the help of my colleagues at NUI Galway, Francesca Benatti and Jacopo Bisagni for help with Italian.

2. The Annotation

Head notes - For reasons of clarity and economy the presentation of the head note follows that in The Correspondence of Edmund Burke, ed. Thomas W. Copeland et al., 10 vols., Cambridge, 1958-78. The primary source of each text is given. Where a letter has more than one possible source or version, the transcription is of the first mentioned. Few of the letters have covers, but details are given where they are available.

Where letters fail to give full details of either the date or place of writing, the policy has been to supply a rough estimate of these, based on internal evidence or information from other letters.

Images - Digital technology affords the opportunity to provide images of manuscripts, art works, persons and places referred to in the letters. The provision of such images has been selective, more to demonstrate the facility than to be exhaustive.

Footnotes - These are designed to elucidate the text. Certain practices in a hard-copy paper edition seem not appropriate in a digital edition; for example, full details of persons and works referred to are here repeated at every mention. The policy has been to annotate each letter as comprehensively as if it were the only letter the user wishes to consult. Given that the user of a digital edition may want to look at but one of the letters, every letter is annotated accordingly.

There are two levels of notes: one level, always available on the screen, is for information that users cannot reasonably be expected to know; another gives information that may be familiar to some users but not to others. This second level, which can be accessed at will by clicking on 'Show/Hide' on the right top of the letter, is an acknowledgement that what may be familiar to a native speaker of English educated in Europe or America may not be recognised by users from other cultures. For the majority of the users of the world-wide-web, English is either a second or foreign language, Western cultural allusions are not universal. The editor is all too aware that this edition is dealing with a cultural context that will be unfamiliar, even foreign to many users.

3.1 Encoding the Digital Edition

In addition to the editorial principles and practices outlined above, this edition has been encoded along the lines of the TEI Guidelines P5. The following details indicate specific points in the encoding of this edition.

Head Note - Where details of place or time of writing are not known for certain, they are supplied in this way: the responsibility "tim" refers to the editor; the degrees of probability range from virtual certainty 'high' to a guesstimate 'low'; for example: where the place of writing is not given in the letter, the encoding is: <supplied resp="tim" cert="high" n="80%">London</supplied>

Spelling - Spelling that is incorrect, idiosyncratic, or unusual is marked up in one of two ways: one is to give the user a choice: <sic/> indicates the spelling in the text and <corr/> gives the correct spelling:
<choice>
<sic/>
<corr/>
</choice>
. What appears on the screen is the correct spelling; for the original spelling, the user needs to go to'Full display'. In some instances, however, a note is provided in the text to explain the spelling. Either way, the original spelling is available.

Notes - Each note is given a discrete tag number and description that identifies the two correspondents and the date of the letter; this anchors it to the annotation; for example, in the letter from Barry to Burke, 26 December 1775: <anchor xml:id="A01_jb_eb_26.12.1775"/>

Names and Titles - To meet the needs of this edition the encoding of names and titles is as follows: the tag <name/> has been subdivided into <name type="person"/>, <name type="artist"/>, <name type="writer"/>, <name type="organisation"/>, <name type="gallery"/> <name type="ship"/>; the tag <title/> has been expanded to the following, particularly to discriminate between different kinds of art work:<title type="painting"/> , <title type="engraving"/>, <title type="drawing"/>, <title type="sculpture"/>, <title type="print"/>. The tag <title type="book" /> covers print publications of all kinds, including newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, poetry collections, plays and novels.

Postscripts and after matter - There is ongoing debate over how to encode material that follows after the closing signature and, if mentioned, the place and date of the letter. The practice here has been as follows: where the writer adds a P.S. the encoding follows the TEI Guidelines <postscript>; for material that is written below the signature, but not signalled as a postscript, be it but the name of an addressee, or further text, a separate <div> is created for it.

Image Links - Links from the text to images are encoded in two ways: if the image is within the site in the 'Images' folder, that is 'internal', the encoding is <ref type="internal" target="image reference">Image</ref>; but if the image referred to is on another site, or 'external', the encoding is <ref type="external" target="URL">URL</ref>. Links to other 'external' sites, such as the DNB, are encoded in the same way. There are two latent difficulties here: one is that some of these sites may have ceased to function; the other is that some are accessible only to subscribers which is a serious drawback for users in underdeveloped countries who may not have the resources to subscribe.

Corrections - The scanned version of Fryer's text of 1809 was corrected against the printed text. Although some mistakes were noted, the percentage of error was less that one percent (1%).

Quotations - Single quotations are given as content in the text.

End of line hyphenation - This has been preserved from the source text.

Abbreviations - Barry was in the habit of abbreviating 'which' as 'wch' and 'your' as 'yr': these and other abbreviations are encoded to show first the text and then the expanded version by:
<choice>
<abbr/>
<expan/>
</choice>
.Only the expaanded version appears in the text accessed from 'Browse', but all abbreviations are shown in the 'Full display'.

3.2 Full display

The Full display version attempts to give the user a view of the uncorrected transcription of the manuscript or printed source. The colour scheme used to identify certain features is as follows: abbreviations - purple; spelling and punctuation- green; deletions - orange; gap/illegible - grey.

4. Abbreviations and Short Titles

  1. Burke, Correspondence: The Correspondence of Edmund Burke, eds. Thomas .W. Copeland et al., 10 vols.. Cambridge, 1958-1978.
  2. Boswell's Life of Johnson: James Boswell, Life of Johnson, ed. R.W.Chapman, intro. Pat Rogers. Oxford, 1980.
  3. DNB: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford, 2004, and online.
  4. Fryer, Works of Barry: The Works of James Barry, Esq.: historical painter; formerly professor of painting at the Royal-Academy; member of the Clementine Academy at Bologna, &c.: containing, his correspondence from France and Italy with Mr. Burke--his lectures on painting delivered at the Royal-Academy--observations on different works of art in Italy and France--critical remarks on the principal paintings of the Orleans Gallery--essay on the subject of Pandora; ...: And his inquiry into the causes which have obstructed the progress of the fine arts in England--his account of the paintings at the Adelphi--and letter to the Dilettanti Society.: To which is prefixed, Some account of the life and writings of the author. In two volumes. London, 1809.
  5. Lock, Edmund Burke: F.P. Lock, Edmund Burke. Oxford, vol. i (1730-1784), 1998; vol. ii, 2006.
  6. Nugent, Grand Tour: Thomas Nugent, The Grand Tour, or, a Journey through the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and France, 4 vols.. London, 1756.
  7. OED: Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford, 1989, and online.
  8. Pressly, Life and Art: William L. Pressly, The Life and Art of James Barry. London, 1981.
  9. PRO: Public Record Office, Kew, London.
  10. RA: Royal Academy, London.
  11. Reynolds, Discourses: Sir Joshua Reynolds Discourses, ed. Pat Rogers. London, 1992.
  12. RSA: The Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, London; known since 1908 as the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.