Manuscripts and Their Transcription

Part of the Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences book series (QMHSS)


This chapter begins by describing the various types of Tagore manuscripts, from rough drafts in the author’s hand to fair copies, often by some other person. There are also a number of typescripts. It proceeds to consider the varied composition and content of the manuscripts, from bunches of stray pages to ready-made exercise books and diaries. Above all, the contents might be arranged in irregular and confusing ways. Many items are hard to identify, as they differ widely from the published text or were not published at all. There is a detailed account of the way the manuscripts were transcribed, from identifying the contents to devising a set of signs and conventions to indicate revisions and other palaeographical features. The rationale for using ‘surface’ signs rather than XML markup is explained and defended. The various types of files in which the contents were stored are described, from a sequential transcript to separate files for individual items. There is an account of the ‘filter software’ created to extract the final text from a mass of revisions. Finally, there is a brief account of Tagore’s celebrated manuscript doodles.


Radical Revision Filter Software Rough Draft Exercise Book Manuscript Version 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Chaudhuri, S. 2010. ‘Writing Pictures, Drawing Words: The Manuscript Doodles of Rabindranath Tagore.’ In The Metaphysics of Text, Sukanta Chaudhuri, 183-208. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia
  2. 2.School of Cultural Texts and RecordsJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia
  3. 3.Department of BengaliJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia

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