Day 6 of my summer research leave
Today, I’m mid-way on my research leave: I have until Friday mid-day to finish this project overview and data management sprint and see that the transcription and HTR-training mini-project starts well.
Admittedly, I felt a bit hesitant to start the day: it’s still mainly going through old files, checking their contents, comparing them to the files on the GitHub repositories and deciding whether or not to keep them and, if so: where to move them and what to do with them next. Most of the morning was spent bringing order to the chaos of miscellaneous files in a
documents folder. I moved most of them either into the private
admin repository or the Ethica and the Greflingeriana repos. I even found some old teaching materials from the master seminar I taught at my alma mater, Freie Universität Berlin, in the summer of 2011; I archived them on Zenodo for whatever it is good for.
Another thing I did was click through the overview of posts on this blog. There were several drafts, some as old as 2015. Two had no content yet, only a title, and I decided to delete them: farewell! I published the other two (one about crowd-funding and sourcing the edition, the other about the Nordischer Mercurius, Greflinger’s newspaper project), adding a short note at the beginning about when they were created and what their status is. This is mainly for myself to have a reference: have I already written something about a particular aspect or sub-project? Now I can refer to it more officially; perhaps they even find an audience!
Lastly, I investigated the dreaded
transcriptions folders. The one on the Ethica repository only contained XML files of transcriptions but without any documentation. On the other hand, the folders on my GoogleDrive only contained DOCX or other proprietary text files. If I remember correctly, when I decided to move some contents of the Ethica project into a GitHub repository, I didn’t want my MS Words files and other stuff there that could not be version controlled by Git. But it creates an undesirable situation where I don’t know what is where and finding the actual ‘latest version’ of a transcription will be a costly search, time-wise. And: if I ever want to share a file with a collaborator, it will be much easier to do so via the repository than having some files on a private GoogleDrive. However, the sheer amount of transcriptions and versions of files felt paralysing. So I started with the Löfflerey-Kunst instead of the Ethica.
The Löfflerey-Kunst (The Art of Spooning, i.e. making out) is an odd little book. It appears a short while after the first prints of the Ethica circulated, in 1648, right at the time of the negotiations of the Peace of Westphalia. I have reconstructed the genealogical relations between this text and the Ethica in my book and have pointed out that it is unlikely that the Löfflerey-Kunst in itself has anything to do with the alleged compiler-author Georg Greflinger but that the content lends itself to a combination with the Ethica and thematically related materials. The Löfflerey-Kunst can be best described as a satirical adaption of the Ethica: both in regards to the initiation of romantic relations between young men and women of status and in regards to the political and religious tensions of the times, where especially the Catholics were the targets of insults and jokes in protestant regions.
I have prepared an edition of the Löfflerey-Kunst, based on the printer syntheses B2 and C1, that is, where the Löfflerey-Kunst was printed together with the Ethica Complementoria and texts such as the Bettelstab der Liebe, Alamodische Damensprichwörter and a selection of poems from Seladons Weltliche Lieder. This edition will be published with the Deutsches Textarchiv, but I cannot say when it will happen. My investigation of the many files containing transcriptions revealed that I do have a complete transcription of C1 as a DOCX file – done from the digital copy of the Bavarian State Library in Munich and collated with the original print on-site in Munich in December 2016. But I do not know whether I have collated this file with the XML transcription. I also have a part of a transcription of B2, circle half of the text, from when I had my research stay at the Herzog-August library in Wolfenbüttel in 2013. Since it’s incomplete and I have no plans of travelling to Wolfenbüttel anywhen soon, I have ordered a digital reproduction of the book to run it through Transkribus and complete the transcription. More importantly, I would like to get a full transcription of what I have called L1, the most likely first edition of the Löfflerey. The Berlin State Library uniquely holds it and has a digital copy, so I don’t have to travel there for the transcription job!
To round off my day: data organisation post-factum takes a lot of time and is mentally draining. And it becomes evident that good data management would have prevented much of the frustration and saved me time to finish parts of the edition.