Transcribe Bentham is a collaborative transcription initiative whose goal is to digitize and make available digital images of the unpublished manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832), the utilitarian philosopher. The project is based at University College London. There are 60,000 papers written by Bentham in UCL’s library but several thousands of these papers, potentially of immense historical and philosophical importance, have yet to be transcribed and studied. By transcribing this material for the first time, two important tasks will be accomplished:
- making Bentham’s thought accessible to the world at large
- and helping UCL’s Bentham Project, which was founded in 1959 to produce the new, authoritative edition of the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham.
Volunteers are asked to encode their transcripts in Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)-compliant XML. The project managers realize that this may seem off-putting to some volunteers. Accordingly, in an attempt to make the addition of mark-up as straightforward as possible they have created the ‘Transcription Toolbar’. Instead of typing the tags oneself, simply clicking on a button will generate the required piece of mark-up.
For more information see the Transcribe Bentham website.