Facsimile Transcriptions

Facsimile Transcriptions are created by first transcribing the original black-letter print (similar to Gothic type) or, for later ballads, what was called white-letter print (comparable to Roman type) into modern Times New Roman according to strict rules of transcription. For the Pepys ballads, these modernized transcriptions were made in Microsoft Word documents and triple-checked by members of the EBBA transcription team; all other transcriptions have been double-keyed (two transcribers independently modernize the original text, and the two transcriptions are then compared and checked for accuracy using Microsoft Word's Merge Documents feature by a third member of the EBBA transcription team). Double-keying creates a very high level of accuracy in the transcriptions.


Sample Facsimile Transcription Close-up

Once a modern transcription is made, the ballad sheet facsimile is opened as a PSD in Adobe Photoshop by a member of the EBBA facsimile transcription team and blocks of the original text are cut out and replaced with the modern transcription. Line breaks and text size conventions in the original are observed as closely as possible so that the resulting facsimile transcription will resemble the layout of the original ballad. All ornaments and woodcuts adorning the ballad are left untouched, thereby creating a version of the ballad that is easily read, even by those untutored in black letter or other forms of early modern print, without losing the ballad’s aesthetic impact. A readable print-out of the ballads on 8 x 11 (or larger) paper is thus also produceable for independent study or classroom instruction.