|Title||Editorial Policy for Primary Source Documents
Teacher Resources: OSV Background Paper
We have edited many of the primary source documents in the Old Sturbridge Village History Learning Laboratory for easier reading. In all cases we have taken care not to change the original meaning. These are the editorial guidelines that we have followed:
- We have inserted ellipsis points, a series of three dots “…” when we have deleted words from a document. The ellipsis points can indicate a deletion of any length from one word to many paragraphs.
- When there is a missing letter or word in an original document that makes understanding difficult, we have added it and enclosed it in square brackets, “.”
- Punctuation and capitalization are often missing or inconsistent in early personal documents such as diaries and letters. Where needed for clarification, we have added punctuation marks and capitalization without noting it.
- Since diaries are often repetitive, in many cases we have selected specific entries that are representative of the document as a whole. We have inserted ellipsis points whenever we have omitted words from an individual daily entry. However, we have not inserted ellipsis points when we have skipped entries entirely. Instead, we include an explanation in the headnote for each diary about how often (daily, weekly, occasionally, etc.) each diarist made entries.
- For published documents we have reproduced italic or bold face characters wherever they appear in the original.
- In manuscripts—handwritten documents such as letters or diaries—we use italics to indicate words that were underlined in the original. We use bold face to indicate handwriting in the original that was different in some way from the main body of the document.
The great majority of the documents in the History Learning Laboratory are from the collections of the Old Sturbridge Village Research Library. A number of documents are from other institutions, and have been transcribed, edited and put on line with their permission. We have included complete citations and acknowledgements in the Source section at the end of every document. In particular, Old Sturbridge Village thanks the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, for their generous cooperation.