For our final project, we, Julia and Sarah, worked on previously transcribed diary entries from James Merrill Linn’s 1850 diary. Using Oxygen XML editor, we were able to mark-up the diary entries with TEI. Sarah marked up the first half of the diary, while Julia marked up the second half of the diary. This was an interesting choice because in this class and HUMN 100 we focused on Linn’s diaries and letters from his time in the Civil War. There was so much to mark up in just the diaries we chose, but we decided to focus on the people. We chose to do this because in his letters and diaries about the Civil War, he did not write about many people very often.
Our work is an interesting addition to the Linn project that the whole class is working on. The majority of the project is on his time fighting in the Civil War, but we wanted to add a different aspect to it. People who look at our website need to realize that this man is not just a Civil War veteran! He grew up in Lewisburg, and graduated from Bucknell. He had a life before he fought in the Civil War. Some people may think that his life during the war was much more interesting, but his life before was intriguing as well.
We extensively marked up his diary of 1850, while also becoming more and more interested as we dug deeper into the analysis. We noticed a couple disturbing stories that Linn wrote about, including a murder of a baby. Also, Linn documented much of his social life, which was an amazing opportunity to learn more about the social life of people our age during the 1850’s. One of the recurrent themes that Linn wrote about that was similar to his Civil War diary is his meticulous attention to the weather and its documentation in the diary. Linn never fails to write about the weather happening wherever he is. Another aspect that we became more aware of was Linn’s preoccupation with other religions. We are not exactly sure what religion, if any, that Linn identifies with; however, Linn writes about his experiences at many different religious affiliations, including Methodist and Presbyterian meetings.
Of course, subsequent “7” became easier to identify. Another aspect of the project that posed some difficulty to us was that the original transcribers failed to produce dates for the entries. After some digging up into the original documents, we were able to identify the dates for the diary entries. Shown in the image, we were originally using transcribed material that was lacking in dates and line breaks.
We seemed to work really well on this project. We are both familiar with James Merrill Linn through our first DH class and each of our independent study projects. We tended to agree on the types of semantic markup that we wanted to do, and our interest level in Linn is very similar. We think that our joint markup of Linn’s 1850 diary was a success.