a character for an unknown character

William_J_G Overington wjgo_10009 at btinternet.com
Thu Dec 29 09:20:11 CST 2016

Martin Mueller wrote: 

> But for the purposes of my project, which involves folks here, there, and everywhere working on editorial problems relating to digital transcriptions of Early Modern texts, ....

Whilst recognising that I am going somewhat off the specific topic of this thread, yet still on the topic of digital transcriptions of Early Modern texts and hoping that such a discussion may also be of interest to some readers of this mailing list, could you possibly say some more about your project please? For example, are the digital transcriptions of handwritten texts or of printed texts or both please?

A particular matter about digital transcription of printed texts from the 15th to 18th Centuries that interests me is as to how one transcribes each of a ligature; a swash letter; the probable use of a logotype such as Que used, for example, in the word Queen where the tail of the Q goes as far as beneath the first e of the word. I have seen such a use of Que in a 17th Century printed book in an exhibition, in the body text, using a typeface at about a 12 point or 14 point size (here I use point size of a typeface in the traditional sense, as the vertical size of the whole piece of metal type). The typeface was roman, not italic.

In Unicode a ligature can be specified using the U+200D ZERO WIDTH JOINER character yet that is a format character: what should be used to indicate to a reader of a transcript that two or more characters are ligated?

How should the fact that a swash italic character has been used be indicated?

How should one indicate the probable use of a logotype so that the information of that use becomes conserved in the transcript?

William Overington

Thursday 29 December 2016

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