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MMDA Editorial Guidelines

Please refer to the following guidelines for transcription, annotation, and the glossary. We continuously update these guidelines to reflect our most current practices, so some points may differ from previous versions. For a list of Guideline Revisions, see the bottom of this page.

Transcription Guidelines

These guidelines for creating MMDA transcriptions in MS Word (for subsequent conversion into TEI XML) are still in the process of being developed. If you are assisting with the transcription or annotation of a notebook and have any questions, contact Cristanne Miller or Nikolaus Wasmoen.

General principles

Our central aim is to produce a clear and accurate transcription of the words written on the page. We are not attempting to recreate the exact visual layout of the original document.

Numbered lines contain only: authorial handwriting, superscript numerals pointing to footnotes, and [tag] markers, as specified below.

In your initial transcription, editorial commentary or description should appear nested at the appropriate line-, page- or image-level depending on the scope of reference and type of information:

1) in an editorial comment tag bracketed with [!  !] to indicate that the commentary is not part of the transcription and is for internal use only;

2) in an [imagedesc] tag to indicate that it describes the image or the page;

3) in a footnote located within a numbered line of transcription, nested after the most immediate point within the line to which the footnote refers or as immediately following the [01] line indicator, if the quotation continues on the previous page (see Annotation Guidelines below).

The word "image" designates the digital copy of a MM notebook or manuscript page, by number—e.g., image 001 would refer to the digital representation of the first image of a manuscript, which may contain one or more "pages" depending on how the notebook is structured and how it has been photographed. Many "images" contain a facing verso and recto opening. Those images will generate two "pages" of transcript, whereas some notebook images only contain one "page."

I. Specific Guidelines for Transcription

1) Save each transcription file in MS WORD .docx format: title of file should be: [Number].[Genre].[Date(s)].[initials of editor].docx: e.g. "07.03.11.Misc.1929-1940.CM.docx."   

2) Transcribe a row of authorial script as one numbered line—each row of script receives a new line preceded by a bracketed numeral followed by a single space, e.g. "[01] Text of Line number 1." Where MM leaves white space between rows of print, leave a blank numbered line. See V below. 

3) Each notebook page will constitute a transcription "page" (whether it continues onto more than one WORD.docx page or not).

4) We do not reproduce non-authorial marks or pre-printed words, although in specific cases if this content might be crucial to transcription or to understanding the manuscript writing we could address it in an editorial image description (see VIII) or an annotation.

5) Omit stray marks that have no relevance to punctuation, a word, or to underlining, cancellation, or other authorial mark with clear relation to the text.

6) Representation of a notebook "line": type everything that seems to be on the same row of script as one transcribed line, including brief material that slants off at the end of a row of script (if there are more than a few words, they should be represented on their own row of script or described as a vertical line; see X below).

7) Illegible words should be marked as question marks within brackets:

a) [????] = 4 contiguous characters that are indecipherable;

b) [??] [????] = 2 indecipherable words, of two and four letters, respectively. Use your best guess for the length of the word in characters

c) Bou[???]= word beginning "Bou" followed by 3 unclear characters; flo[??]d = word with two unclear characters in the middle.

d) If you can make a guess, but are not sure, enclose the guessed-at part in an [unclear] tag. e.g. [unclear]When Pigs Fly[/unclear].

e) If you want to suggest multiple variants or alternative readings, just add [alt#] tags inside [unclear]. e.g. [unclear][alt1]When Pigs Fly[/alt1][alt2]When Pugs Flow[/alt2][/unclear]. 

f) MM frequently rewrites a word to clarify or writes over an initial word with a different one. Ignore simple rewriting, especially if it is of a single letter or if the rewritten word is entirely clear. If the rewriting raises questions of clarity, mark the second instance as an addition using an [add] tag: e.g. [add]rats[/add]; typically she will have deleted the first instance, which should also be noted using the [del] tag: e.g. [del]rats[/del][add]rats[/add]. See I.11 below.

8) If a letter is ambiguously capitalized, assume what is syntactically or bibliographically appropriate (where there is no source text to check from). Ditto for punctuation.

9) Put annotation in MS Word footnotes.

10) Where MM uses square brackets in her text, use a curly bracket to designate MM's usage {  }  and describe the use of square brackets below the numbered lines for the page, as one would describe any other non-representational marking (see VIII). This enables programmers to distinguish the square brackets used for tagging from MM's own use of this punctuation.

e.g. [imagedesc]MM draws square brackets around the words on line 23.[/imagedesc]

11) We are not creating a genetic edition or a full record of Moore's composition process; our aim is to provide a transcription of the words as they appear in the facsimile. As a result, we generally do not designate the timing or grouping of specific additions/revisions (i.e., whether material was added concurrently or after initial composition of a passage). We assume that readers can see the transcribed page, including MM's use of different writing implements. If, however, MM writes over a word that is still legible, use [del] and [add] tags to record all of the visible words or characters: e.g. th[del]e[/del][add]is[/add]. In this case, MM has written over the "e" to change "the" to "this." In cases where the editor feels it is necessary, additional clarification may be provided in notes.

12) Misspelling: leave incorrect spelling and MM's graphic errors without comment (no "sic" or correction); e.g., she often omits the "e" on words that begin "ex": xist [exist], xcel [excel], and so on.

13) All references to notebook numbers, including in annotation, should begin "07" not "VII." 

II. Punctuation

1) Make all MM's dashes em-dashes. Do this whether MM's own dash is long or short and regardless of how much space is left on either side of it. An em-dash has no space preceding or following the punctuation.

2) Do not correct MM's misuse or absence of punctuation; e.g., she writes many contractions without an apostrophe: dont [don't] or cant [can't].

3) In annotation, where syntactically a period should follow an initial, use only one period, e.g., at the end of a sentence, the initials U.S. should be written "U.S." not "U.S.."

III. Metadata and Bracketed Keyword Tags

Transcriptions should be done using plain text, written in standard characters, except for the MS Word footnotes used for annotation. To facilitate later TEI XML encoding, we use bracketed typographical tags to add structure, styling, and other metadata to the transcription files. All metadata appears in square brackets surrounding simple keywords or abbreviations, "tags," that correspond to what later are transformed to conform with the MMDA's TEI XML encoding schema. Eventually these tags will be available within our online editor tool so that we don't have to enter them manually each time.  

Some tags will be "empty," meaning that they do not contain any "child" text or elements. An example would be [image=0012], where the tag does not have a separate or second closing set of brackets.

For tags that contain child text or child elements, there will be an "open" and a "closing" set of brackets: e.g. "[source]MM's naming or citation of a source [/source]" where "[source]" indicates the start point of the citation or title and "[/source]" indicates the end. The closing tag always starts with a slash "[/tag]."

You can embed multiple tags within each other, such as "[add][???]tilus[/add]" where the uncertainty tag, [???] and the bit of text that comes after it "tilus" are both contained within the same parent element ("add"). This means that MM added a word that begins with 3 unclear characters and ends with "tilus."

You cannot have tags that contain the opening or closing of their own parent element: for example, "na[add][?????[/add]s]" would be invalid, because the uncertainty tag is both a child and a parent of the [add] tag. The correct way to handle this case could be to nest the tags like this "[add]na[?????]s[/add]," indicating that a word was added that begins with "na" followed by 5 illegible characters and then "s."

Do not add spaces between bracketed tags and authorial text where none exists in the original document, or these will be interpreted as intentional spaces within the subsequent TEI XML encoded transcription.

IV. Scansion

To represent MM's scansion of poetry, use the WORD prosody mark or a hyphen ( - ) for unstress and accent aigu (ˊ) for stress on the line above the actual language.


     -     ˊ    -      ˊ       -        ˊ    
The frog is green and black.

V. Spacing

Although MS Word spacing between words will have to be reinserted after translation into TEI XML (because Word spacing does not register as a space in TEI XML translation), try to approximate the spacing generally on the page for ease of reference in proofreading.

Verse Indentation

In transcribing poems MM quotes (that is, not her own drafted lines in poetry notebooks), mark a passage with consistent indentation or spacing with [space=#] tags:


[01] [space=5]This is all
[02] [space=5]she wrote in
[03] [space=5]this indented passage.

Vertical spaces

Where MM skips 1 or more lines in writing, indicate the spaces by leaving a blank line on your page; the example below shows a skipped line (vertically) and a major indentation, approximately indicated, horizontally:


[12] [color=pencil]rational at the time[/color]
[14]                     Spectator

VI. Editorial Comments

Editorial comments and any child elements or text they might contain will not be published or displayed, but may be useful if you want to call attention to something for a later proofreader or encoder who will be interpreting your transcription, or to keep notes for your own use during transcription and annotation. Insert a comment of any length at the appropriate spot in the transcription in the following form.


[! This is how to write a comment. !]

[! This is how to write a comment
that spans more than one line. !]

VII. Notebook Level Metadata

These fields will be part of the Template file that you open when you are starting a new notebook transcription. You will only fill out the Notebook Level Metadata fields once for each notebook transcription file.


A standardized MMDA notebook ID number, using the Rosenbach numbering system. Do not use roman numerals. 

e.g. [notebookid=07.03.11]

NotebookStartDate and NotebookEndDate

The start/end dates of the notebook in format YEAR.MO.DY.



If Date or Month are not known, just fill in what you do know. In this example, the exact start date is known, but the end date is only known to the year.


The primary genre type of the notebook. If a poetry notebook contains some reading or conversation notes, it would still be described generally as a "Poetry" notebook. A notebook is "Miscellaneous" only if a majority of images contain more than one genre or switch genres.

Common Notebook Level Genre Codes (more to be added as needed): 

r = reading 

misc = miscellaneous 

conv = conversation

p = poetry

l = lecture

concert = concerts

fin = financial

t = travel


[notebookgenredefault=r] indicates that only genres besides reading notes would be tagged in this notebook.

To switch the genre within a notebook, use a [g=genre_code] tag. Any text that is not contained in a [g] genre tag will be automatically treated as the default genre for that notebook.

NB: Remember to include the closing [/g] genre tag to indicate the end of a non-default genre passage;  if MM continues a non-default genre across more than one page, close the genre [/g] at the end of a page and re-open it (e.g., [g=r]) at the beginning of the next.


[16]      & amazement because of its uncertainty[/g]
[18]    With simplicity & not w irony—
[19]    ivory white oyster white    without much stirring up
[20] [g=r]88  So one adds this brief position

In these lines MM moves from reading notes to poetry and then back to reading notes. Because the default genre is poetry, there is no [g=poetry][/g] tag for the middle two lines.


Provide a physical, bibliographic description of the whole notebook.


[notebookdescription] Yearbook 1921, red leather binding. Includes  8 pages of pre-printed information of various kinds, e.g. Time Differences, Thermometers; Greatest Altitude in Each State; followed by lined calendar pages divided in half so that each leaf contains two dates. First image with MM's writing is the inside front cover. RML number written in pencil: 1250-27 [/notebookdescription]


Identifies the person who made the initial primary transcription of the notebook, with annotation and introduction, and when it was started/finished; if multiple editors, include details about who did what.


[notebookeditor]Cristanne Miller, begin 05/01/2015, end 10/15/2015, transcribed and annotated, pages 1-50.[/notebookeditor]

[notebookeditor]Robin Schulze, begin 08/16/2015, end 08/21/2015, transcribed and proofed, pages 51-60[/notebookeditor]

NotebookEdit or NotebookProof or NotebookCorrect

Add a new entry for each batch of proofing, revisions, corrections, or (if made by the primary editor, "edits") made after the initial transcription was completed. The site will store backups of earlier states of these files, but we should document when changes were made.


[notebookproof]Heather Cass White, begin 08/25/2015, end 09/26/2015, proofed transcription and notes, pages 1-30[/notebookproof]

[notebookedit]Cristanne Miller, begin 02/22/2015, end 08/24/2015, edited transcription and footnotes, pages 1-30[/notebookedit]

Further Notebook Metadata Fields

Additional notebook-wide metadata can be gathered automatically using the embedded tags in the body of the transcription, such as a list of all the poems being drafted or of all of the writing implements being used within a given notebook. The editors do not need to create or maintain such lists during the initial transcription process.

Metadata defaults

"Hand" default is always MM; writing implement default is always black ink. Only note a new default if it differs from these assumptions (such as a notebook written primarily by MM's mother, MWM, or one written primarily in pencil). If a change for the default continues for more than a page, still only note the beginning and ending of the change once (not per line or per page).

VIII. Image-level Metadata 

Image Number

The number of the image based on the standardized filenames. This will appear at the top of each WORD  page above the numbered lines



Image Description

A description of any special features contained at the image or page level, including drawings or expressive markings by MM, as well as features of the image itself worth noting, such as tears, shadows, discoloration, or inserted items. The [imagedesc] always goes at the end of a transcription page, following all horizontal and vertical line numbers. The description of all drawn or expressive features on the page goes in a single tag.


[imagedesc]MM draws a straight line down the center of the page and cancels all but a few words of lines 21-27 with large swirls. In line 05 MM circles “heart” with a line leading to the word “red” in line 06 below. Lines 07-08 are followed by parallel straight lines in the right margin. MM draws large parentheses linking lines 34-35. [/imagedesc]

Locate the drawing in relation to line numbers, if possible. If there is no obvious text to link the [imagedesc] to, e.g., when MM draws an image that takes up all or most of a page, then say "occupies most of the page" or use other plain descriptive language.

When MM draws across two pages (verso/recto), describe drawing on each page separately and as part of a 2-page drawing. This means that the initial [imagedesc] of the drawing will differ for the verso and recto but the description of the full figure will be identical for both pages. Also transcribe MM's text on each page separately, even if it is written across page margins and your transcription stops mid-word. Then add annotation that gives full transcribed text across both pages. Text annotation should precede the first text written on the page, that is, go in the same position as page-initial [qu]; annotation on second page will follow "(see earlier note)" model.



[01]1[qu]Toilet box which da

[02]                 22nd Eg

[03][source]Ill. London News 26 [/source]2

[04][qu]may have contained a

[05]of the locust which was sup

[06]or cosmetic [del]quality.[/del] value. 

[07]                                   [add]lid of the [del][??????][/del][/add]

[08]form the [del]wings[/del][/qu]

[imagedescription]On top two-thirds of the page, back wing and rear body of a grasshopper, part of a two page drawing of a carved wooden locust, an insect with long, veined wings. MM renders an Egyptian toilet box from a photograph in the Illustrated London News.[/imagedescription]

1 Text across both pages, without cancellations, reads: Toilet box which dates from about the / 22nd Egyptian Dynasty from Saqqara / Ill. London News 26 July 1930 / may have contained a preparation from the flesh /of the locust which was supposed to have a medicinal / or cosmetic value. The wings are movable and / form the lid of the box.

2  B. ("Books of the Day."): 162 (see earlier note).



[01] 3tes from about the

[02] yptian Dynasty from Saqqara4[/qu]

[03] [source]July 1930[/source]5

[04] preparation from the flesh

[05] posed to have a medicinal

[06] The wings are movable and

[07]                      [add] box.[/add]

[imagedescription] On top two-thirds of the page, head and thorax of a grasshopper, part of a two page drawing of a carved wooden locust, an insect with long, veined wings. MM renders an Egyptian toilet box from a photograph in the the Illustrated London News.[/imagedescription]

3  Text across both pages, without cancellations, reads: Toilet box which dates from about the / 22nd Egyptian Dynasty from Saqqara / Ill. London News 26 July 1930 / may have contained a preparation from the flesh /of the locust which was supposed to have a medicinal / or cosmetic value. The wings are movable and / form the lid of the box.

4  Saqqara (also spelled Sakkara or Saccara in English). Necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.

5  B., C. E. "Books of the Day." Illustrated London News (26 July 1930): 162. Signed C. E. B., possibly C. E. Brock.


Do not repeat standard information—e.g., if an initial Notebook-wide entry describes the typical notebook page (perhaps lined, with pre-print features) or writing instrument (e.g., black ink) do not repeat this information for each image or page.

Ignore where MM's handwriting appears in relation to pre-print information unless she is responding specifically to a pre-print cue (extremely rare).

IX. Page-Level Metadata


Pages will be designated by the image number and "r" for recto" or "v" for "verso."


[page=r.0021] indicates the recto page contained within image 0021.

On recto/verso see, but note that our numbering is based on the order of images, not of the underlying physical pages, such that "r.0021" does not necessarily mean the "21st recto page" but only "the recto page contained within image number 0021."  Where images do not contain both recto/verso within a notebook, only the image number is required.

Page-level Genre

The genre tag at the page level will be used only for text that varies from the NotebookGenreDefault; if MM is taking reading notes on three consecutive pages in a poetry notebook, mark the beginning and ending of this genre at bottom and top of each page.

Mid-page, mark the beginning and ending of a non-default or continuing genre: for example, in a reading notebook, use a genre tag when MM adds a drawn figure or quoted conversation. In miscellaneous notebooks, you may need several tags per page. "Genre" may be abbreviated as "g." To mark the end of a non-default genre, you do not need to repeat the specific attribute.


[16]      & amazement because of its uncertainty[/g][g=poetry]
[18]    With simplicity & not w irony—
[19]    ivory white oyster white    without much stirring up[/g]
[20] [g=r]88  So one adds this brief position

In this example, the poetry passage is tagged as beginning at the end of line 16 and stopping at the end of line 19. 

Acceptable values:


c (conversation)

r  (reading; any material working from a written source, starting with the date on which she is reading, including citation of source and page numbers, through actual reading notes) 

v (verse; for where she quotes published verse from others)

prose (where MM does not seem to be quoting either written text or conversation but is writing prose;)

e.g. [g=conv]recalled conversation[/g]

A drawn figure requires no genre tag; annotation should occur in the location where it occurs on the page.

Within the value [genre=r] also use [qu] and [source]:

[qu]any material quoted or paraphrased from a written source, identified or not[/qu]

[source]title, naming, or citation of material she is reading or from which she is quoting or paraphrasing[/source]; This will not include page numbers or other location within the text unless she places this information in the middle of publication information.

e.g. [g=r]Dec 2 1932 [source]Wuthering Heights[/source] p. 32 Bronte writes [qu]cited or paraphrased passage[/qu][/g]

Preceding and closing genre tags [g=r] [/g] are required only when MM changes to a new genre on beginning and again following the quotation.

When MM continues quoting from a single text across several pages, mark the end of each page with [/qu] and the beginning of the following page with [qu], followed by annotation giving the source quoted. Do not indicate a new quotation [qu] for each new page citation within that same text. The first instance of [qu] citing a particular text is followed by the annotation for that text. Do not repeat annotation information at the end of the quoted material ([/qu]). Even if quotation from a text continues onto the following page, use [/qu] to mark the end of quotation on that page.


[01] [qu]1 28  w colors on of
. . .

[30] and so it is that he [/qu] [!this is the last line on this page!]

W. D. Wilcox, The Rockies of Canada, G. P. Putnams Son's, NY: 1909, p. 28. 

When a genre is mostly likely "Conversation" but it is unclear, use: [g=conv?]  [/g].  Make your best guess.

Genre designators may continue across recto/verso or across several images (pages).

Poetry Notebook drafts of particular poems

In poetry notebooks, mark passages where MM is clearly working toward a single particular poem as follows.

1) Indicate where on the page MM begins the draft, including the genre=draft tag, title of poem being drafted. For first instance where MM drafts toward a particular poem give: genre=draft tag, title of poem being drafted, and first publication date of the poem: [draft="title," first date of publication].

2) Where the draft resumes on the following page, use the same tag (without publication information) for that and every following page as long as the draft continues.

3) Where MM is drafting two or more poems simultaneously, list all poems; tags can be embedded, for where some lines in the middle of a page or draft section concern a second poem in addition to the first.

4) At the conclusion of the draft, or bottom of the page, use [/draft]. If MM is drafting toward more than one poem on a page, use [/draft="title of poem"]:


[01] [draft="Silence," first published The Dial 77, October 1924] —have to be shown Longfellows grave
. . .
[23]            not in silence but restraint [/draft]


The color tag will eventually be separated into two kinds of tags in the XML, one kind for different implements and another for different colors. There is no need to set a color tag at the page level unless it differs from the default color for the entire notebook; similarly, if a notebook is primarily in black ink but a page is primarily in blue ink, you need only note if there is a departure at the line-level from this default color value set at the whole-page level.

Use "color" for inks; include implement for non-ink implements and colors:

color=black (black ink, this is the general default)

color=blue (blue ink)

color=red (red ink)

color=purple (purple ink)

color=green (green ink)

color=pencil (gray lead pencil)

color=pencilgreen (green pencil)

color=crayonblue (blue crayon)

X. Line-Level Metadata

Line numbers

The start of each new row of script is indicated by [##] followed by a single space. Use initial zeroes for [01]-[09] You can have as many lines in a page as you want, and numbers may spill over a page break inside the MSWord document.


[01] Text of line 1.
[02] Text of line 2.

Transcribe an insertion or interlineated word as its own textual line with its own line number, using [add][/add] (carets must also be noted with an [add][/add]).


[01] Text of line 1.
[02]       [add]insertion[/add]
[03] Text of [add]^[/add] line 3.


Only mark cancellations when they are specific to particular words; horizontal lines drawn across all or most of a page and slanted or wavy lines cancelling passages of 2 or more lines will be described at the bottom of the page in [imagedesc]  [/imagedesc].

For cancellations, use the tag[del] [/del].


[15]  without [del]w[/del] perceptable bend or

This means that in line 15 the letter "w" is cancelled.

Underlined words

For underlining (underscoring) use the tag [ul] [/ul].


[24] [ul]that but only one at a time[/ul] – shall go on it

Vertical lines

Transcribe vertically written material below the numbered lines of horizontal writing as the next sequential line—i.e. if there are 30 horizontal lines on the page and 1 vertical line, the vertical will be numbered [Ver 31]. Add descriptive language about where the text is found in a [desc][/desc] element after the line number element. The precise location of vertical text will be marked up using visual zones, so the line numbers are more of an index value than a precise descriptive value


[21] Text of line 21.
[22] Text of line 22.
[23] Text of  line 23.
[Ver 24] [desc]span lines 03-17, left margin[/desc]Text of vertical line 24.

For vertical lines, there is no need for an end-tag. In the example above, the vertical text spans much of the horizontal body text, beginning line 3 and concluding line 17, in the margin. Vertical lines where the beginning of the line begins at 17 would be tagged: [Ver 24] [desc]span lines 17-03, left margin[/desc].

Vertical lines written in more than one row of print receive only one [Ver] line number. Describe the text as written in multiple rows of print but transcribe it consecutively in order to facilitate reading the text—e.g., you will include [del] and [add] tags but not put added material on a separate row of print; use / marks to indicate new row of script: 


Ver[51][desc]lines 42-06, left margin[/desc]Clearly schooling education has some connection with sobriety.

Ver[52][desc] continuation of line 30, along right margin and then in 6 rows vertically at foot of the sheet [/desc][from line 30: "it is not the"] red white & blue one tires of but / the onyx & the / silver / & the peculiar / tall [unclear]small[/unclear] / this giraffe / Characters 

When there is vertically written text on both margins, always transcribe the left margin text first, then the right. If there are distinct units of text in a single margin, transcribe them in separate

[Ver] line numbers, beginning with the text unit closest to the top of the page.


                        [Ver 34][desc]span lines 30-26, left margin[/desc] Conversation

[Ver 35][desc] span lines 31-17, left margin[/desc] It is [del]not to Cupid but to nor to[/del] Pan

Marks, squiggles, wavy lines, etc

For non-representational marks (circled or bracketed passages, cancellations across several lines, arrows, marginal lines apparently of emphasis), provide description following the transcription of vertical lines.


[Ver 24] [desc]span 03-17, along left margin[/desc]Text of vertical line.

[imagedesc]MM draws a circle around right-margin words, 05-58; MM draws an arrow linking line 02 to 24[/imagedesc]

Do not use end punctuation, and description of all non-representational marks on a page may be combined in a single [/imagedesc] note.

Foreign Languages

Mark the presence of a foreign language using [lang].

e.g. [lang=french]L'Abbé Tempête Arnaud de Rancé[/lang]

This is not required for words and phrases that are commonly used in English.

Shorthand "the"

When MM uses ^[the in shorthand], explain it in the introduction to the notebook and in a note the first time it occurs in that notebook; thereafter, continue to transcribe as [!shorthand!]the but it should be represented in the final visual displays as "the": e.g., in the visual display one would see for first use:

                  the choicest & the* worst

                 *Annotation: MM uses a shorthand sign (^) for the word the.

Annotation Guidelines

For now, we are putting annotation in MS Word "footnote" format, which is then transformed into TEI XML note elements.

Annotation numbers should appear after commas and periods, but before em-dashes.

General principles

Our goal is to provide basic useful information to help the reader navigate MM's notebook pages without engaging in scholarly interpretation or providing all information a scholar might desire. Commentary on, for example, the extent to which MM paraphrases rather than quotes her sources or on the numbers of times she repeats variations of a phrase in drafting a poem, will go in the editor's "Introduction" to the notebook. Obvious cultural references (Shakespeare, Wordsworth) do not require annotation unless there is a particular connection with MM—e.g., H.D. or T. S. Eliot are not just famous persons but were personal friends of MM's for decades.

Annotation should always be brief. People important to MM will have longer entries in the Glossary, and a brief note—e.g., on Pound—will have a hyperlink to the longer Glossary note. Only annotate references to family members if it is necessary for comprehension—e.g., if MM uses a nickname.

I. Specific Guidelines for Annotation

1) Except when embedded in quoted material, Marianne Moore should be referred to as MM in all annotations. Family names should also be abbreviated: MWM and JWM for Mary Warner Moore and John Warner Moore. If the context is unclear, add a descriptor in the annotation, such as "MWM, MM's mother."

2) Commentary should be brief and primarily factual.

3) Annotate all articles from which MM quotes. If you cannot find information about an article, do not annotate it.

4) Web links are not included in annotation. 

5) If you locate a web link or other source for MM's reading material, make a list of the appropriate links or PDF sources in a separate (Word) document. Give specific information for each link or source: Notebook and image number, and title/location of source. When you have finished transcribing the notebook, send it to Cris as a separate document. Please hold on to the PDF files until either Cris or Nick requests them. Much or all of this material will be posted in "Moore's Sources," under "Criticism and Commentary."

6) Typically, do not cite the material MM is quoting or paraphrasing in a notebook. Often her quotations are inexact, and in Poetry Notebooks she often intermingles note-taking with composition. If she is quoting a famous source and the quoted material is brief (a line or two of poetry; less than one sentence in prose), you may provide an exact quotation of the original material, if it seems relevant. Similarly, MM sometimes gets a page number wrong. If it seems important to correct this information, do so. Otherwise, ignore. Interested scholars may determine the accuracy of MM's quotations.

7) Use [source][/source] and provide annotation only for texts from which MM quotes. When she lists books or essays but does not quote from them, do not use source brackets and do not annotate. If the content of the list is not clear from context, you might annotate the list as a whole, e.g., "MM lists several books about printing."

8) Do not provide line numbers in annotation on MM's drafting toward a poem, or in any other circumstances. The viewer will not see line numbers. Instead provide a general description of where the drafting occurs, if it is not throughout the page; e.g., MM drafts toward "The Jerboa" until the horizontal line drawn across the page, then toward "The Plumet Basilisk." Line numbers should be used in [imagedesc] or [VER][desc], as indicated in the Transcription Guidelines.

II. Annotating Persons, Places or Institutions

Persons, places, or institutions MM mentions will appear in the glossary, and there will be a link between appropriate notes and glossary items. In the note, give minimal information. 

1) To annotate an author, give name, birth/death dates, and very brief information: e.g.,

Davis, Frank Cecil [1892-1990]. English art critic, author of numerous books about the art market and collecting, and of the recurring Illustrated London News feature, "A Page for Collectors."

Only annotate authors of articles if they recur or if the people are themselves important. Annotate other people mentioned only if they are important to MM (or modernism) and where an annotation significantly clarifies the context. Shakespeare, Confucius, and other famous people should not receive annotations unless there is a specific link to MM's publications or providing a date contributes significantly to the context (e.g., of a Chinese emperor/dynasty). Where MM lists several people in a field, you might include one annotation saying, e.g., "MM lists several fourteenth-century painters." If this information is clear from MM's reading notes, the annotation is unnecessary.

2) No individual should receive more than one annotation per notebook, regardless how often s/he is cited or mentioned.

III. Annotating Quoted or Paraphrased Texts

1) Quotations should be annotated to the extent necessary to clarify the source of the text; do not provide comparative text or URL. If MM provides page numbers, no need to corroborate in annotation but if possible do give the edition she is quoting from. 

2) Repeated sources: repeat annotation for quotation on each page that MM quotes that text—e.g., if she quotes a single text on several successive pages, repeat it in abbreviated form at the beginning of the first line of transcription on each page, that is, the annotation should come before any transcribed text and before [qu]; in the note, the abbreviated reference should be followed by (see earlier note).

[!first annotation!] Davis, Frank. "A Page for Collectors: Persian Art, the Small Collector's Point of View." Illustrated London News (10 January 1931): 67.

[!following references!] Davis, Frank. "Persian Art" (see earlier note).

If the author contributes a regular series (e.g., Davis, "A Page for Collectors") refer to it by abbreviated distinguishing sub-title in references following the initial annotation—as indicated above. Do not repeat note on the author.

3) Where there is no author's name, refer to an abbreviated title of the source.

e.g. "The Jewel" (see earlier note).

4) If information is unknown about a person annotated, use a question mark where appropriate.

e.g. Smith, John [1953?-2003].

5) Make separate annotations for an author's name and for the title of a work, when both are necessary. A hyperlink to an author's name in the Glossary will be in the note on that author; a hyperlink to a publication MM cites—e.g., the Illustrated London News—will appear in every note pointing to the ILN.

6) Do not annotate journal titles. The Glossary will provide standard information for all journals mentioned.

7) Typically place the source annotation following all relevant information about the source (author, title, publication information—but not page number cited). If this would place two annotations—one for author and one for source—in the same position, move [/source] and annotation for source earlier. E.g.

[18][source]At.[add]lantic[/add] Monthly Oct 1935

[19] Proust [/source][!source annotation here!]  Havelock Ellis[!author annotation here!]

Bracket for [qu] begins after the source information. Where MM gives source information at the end, or in the middle, of a quotation, provide annotation of source either at the beginning of the quotation (preceding [qu]) or following her reference to the source (following [/source]). Do not provide two notes to the same source. Typically:

[21][source]Ill. London News 18 Oct 1930[/source][!annotation goes here!]

[22] p. 13 [qu] on the hot afternoon . . . [/qu] 

8) Where a quotation is continued in a vertical line or vertical lines, do not repeat the annotation.

IV. Annotation examples

1) Annotating sources not by MM:

a) book

Last name, First name. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Commentary. 


Santayana, George. The Last Puritan: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel. London: Constable Publishers, 1935.

b) article, essay, or poem from a magazine or newspaper

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical Volume.Issue (Day Month Year): pages. Commentary (if useful) and if not provided under author annotation. In some cases not all information will be available (e.g., page numbers). In others, the relevant information may be editor of the little magazine, not author of an article, if MM is reading the entire issue. 


Tyro: A Review of the Arts of Painting, Sculpture and Design 1 (1921). Ed. Wyndham Lewis. MM praised Tyro in her essay "Feeling and Precision," Sewanee Review (Autumn 1944).

This commentary might also appear as:

Lewis, Wyndham [1882-1957]. English painter, writer, and critic, co-founder of Vorticism. MM admired his and Ezra Pound's Blast (1914) and praised Tyro in "Feeling and Precision." [!This assumes the essay publication information appeared in an earlier note!]

c) review from a magazine or newspaper

Review Author. "Title of Review (if there is one)." Rev. of Performance Title, by Author/Director/Artist. Title of Periodical Volume.Issue (Day Month Year): page. Commentary. 


MacPherson, Kenneth. Rev. of Cinema: A Review of Thirty Years' Achievement, by C. A. Lejeune. Close-Up 8.1 (December 1931): 333-336. 

d) poem

i) If the poem/author is well-known (Yeats, Milton, Shakespeare, Donne) give:

Last name, first name. "Title of poem," first published XXXX: "line or lines quoted [!if necessary; see I.5 above!]."

ii) If the poem is obscure, give full publication information.

e) advertisement

Ad. Author [if any]. Ad. for Company/Product in ad. Title of Periodical Day Month Year: pages. Commentary (if required). 


Ad. for Leonhard Frank's novel, The SingersNew York Herald Tribune 26 February 1933: H13. 

2) Annotating poem by MM

"Poem Title." Commentary.

On first mention of the poem, give publication information, as: "Poem Title," first published Publication, Month Year. Commentary.

Commentary may include "quote from poem" [qtd. from source—ideally from first presentation of poem—as provided by Schulze or White]. **In Poetry Notebooks, information about source of quotations may be given in the Introduction. Typically, do not cite lines from a poem to provide a comparison with MM's drafts; this should be done only in exceptional cases—for example, where a single important line used in the published poem appears very early in MM's drafting process. Do not give variant versions of a line or lines, as they appear in various publications.


MM drafts toward "The Frigate Pelican," first published Criterion, July 1934.

Or when first publication has already been given in the notebook:

MM drafts toward "Marriage" and perhaps, on the bottom half of the page, toward "An Octopus." Only the lines beginning this page appear in a published poem: "men have power and sometimes one is made to feel it" ("Marriage").


MM drafts toward "Silence"; several phrases appear in published poem.

3) Generic explanatory note



STE: for librarians in the early twentieth century, this refers to the Dewey Decimal Science Technology and Education system; MM seems to be referring to the New York Board of Health sanitary code. It could be that section 215a of the code was amended during the 1930s to address radio and phonograph noise—which would have been relatively new at the time. 

4) Occasion or event

"Event Name (if there is one)." Description of event. Location, Day Month Year. Commentary. (if any).


Reading by Alfred Kreymborg and Harriet Monroe. Brooklyn Institute, November 1932. The "girl" described has not been identified.


Glossary Style Guide

These guidelines describe how information should be rendered for glossary items. Please enter information in the Glossary spreadsheet according to these guidelines so that it will appear as intended when it is processed for publication on the site. To review or update the formatting rules for how items are displayed on the glossary web page, see [link to stylesheet file].

All information should be entered into the appropriate category box on the spreadsheet without regard to font style or size, although examples below include approximations of final formatting.

I. Entries for People or Characters

Glossary items about people or characters should begin with the name of the subject (last, first) followed by birth and death dates, if known (if only approximate dates are known, use "c."):

de Monvel, Bernard Boutet (August 9, 1881 – October 28, 1949)

On the MMDA Glossary Spreadsheet, enter this information, along with any known aliases or nicknames, using the respective columns for "Last (or full)," "First," "Other names," "Birth YYYY." "Birth MM," "Birth DD," "Death YYYY," "Death MM," and "Death DD."

Remember to check for existing entries under all versions of a person's name before entering new ones to avoid any duplicates.  

In the "General Description" field, describe the entrant briefly in general terms, typically including occupation and most notable accomplishments or associations. This description need not use complete syntax—e.g.:

Harunobu, Suzuki (c. 1725 – July 15, 1770)
     Japanese designer of woodblock print, noted for being the first to produce full-color prints, in 1765.

This information can be added and updated in the MMDA Glossary spreadsheet under the column "General Description." 

Where possible, each entry should include additional information about the entrant's connection to Moore or to modernism, or both. In some cases, entry will include information about a specific reference as well as a list of page numbers for other mentions.


Huebsch, B. W. (1876 – 1964)

     Early-twentieth-century New York publisher of many notable modernist works, including D. H. Lawrence Sons and Lovers, James Joyce's Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist, and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio.

     Publisher of the 1921 Yearbook that Moore repurposes for Notebook 07.03.11.

     See: Notebook 07.03.11 page 0005-recto.

This information can be added and updated in the MMDA Glossary spreadsheet under the column "Description of Relation to Moore." 

In most cases, information about specific mention or use will appear in annotation, not the glossary.

Entry should conclude with finding information: "See: Notebook page [#]". Where the entrant is mentioned on multiple pages or in multiple notebooks, page references should be divided with a comma and notebook references with a semi-colon, as:

See: Notebook 07.03.11 pages 14r, 15v, 17v; Notebook 07.04.07 page 1r.

A complete entry (formatted) would look like:

Harunobu, Suzuki (c. 1725 – July 15, 1770)
     Japanese designer of woodblock print, noted for being the first to produce full-color prints, in 1765.

     See: Notebook 07.04.07 page 0031.

When appropriate, the finding information should be separated into categories as follows:

See: general mention or reference [default]

Cited: named as an author or creator of a work or work(s), without quotation. If there is citation and quotation, just use "quoted."  

Quoted: source of a quotation with or without citation

Quotation about: subject of a quotation or named within a quotation

General mentions or notebook references will go under "See" designator, which should include any instances that do not fit clearly into one of the other categories. .An entry may have more than one category of reference. In the spreadsheet, enter the relevant pages within the appropriate field for each new category of finding information, i.e. "See," "Cited," "Quoted," or "Quotation About." 

The full template for an entry including all optional fields, then, would look like: 

[Last/Family Name], [First Name] [a.k.a. [Other names]] (birth date – death date)

     [General Description.]

     [Description of Relation to Moore/Modernism.]

     See:  Notebook [##.##.##] page [####].
     Cited: Notebook [##.##.##] page [####].
     Quoted:  Notebook [##.##.##] page [####].
     Quotation About:  Notebook [##.##.##] page [####].

II. Entries for Organizations or Institutions

Glossary items about organizations or institutions should list the full title of the group or company, omitting initial "The" unless it is part of the formal title, as in the case of a magazine such as "The Spectator." Note that when entries are alphabetized within the glossary, initial "The" will be disregarded, such that "The Spectator" would appear under the "S" section rather than the "T" section.

In "date" fields, include beginning and ending dates, if known. For books and periodicals, give the date of first publication and, if identified in the corresponding annotation, the publication information for the specific edition that Moore is using. For still existing entities, enter "Present" as the end date. For example, formatted entries would appear as:

State Board of Health of New York (1880 – Present)

     Department of the New York state government responsible for public health, first established as an advisory body by New York state law on May 18, 1880 as the "State Board of Health of New York" and later reorganized as the New York State Department of Health. Also referred to as "New York Board of Health."

     See: Notebook 07.03.11 [page XX].

The Spectator (6 July 1828 – Present)

     Weekly British magazine addressing current affairs, politics, and culture, founded by Robert Stephen Rintoul. The Spectator first came to prominence for its cultural coverage under the proprietorship of John St Loe Strachey, who edited the magazine from 1887– 1925. Under subsequent editors, The Spectator was also known for its coverage of politics.

     MM frequently read and took notes on articles in The Spectator.

     See Notebook 07.03.11 pages [#], [#], [#], […]; Notebook 07.04.07 pages pages [#], [#], [#], […].


Guideline Revisions

Last update: February 15th, 2020 by Kehinde Alonge and Kathleen Naughton.  

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