Joshua Hempstead Diary Update

By: Patricia M. Schaefer

In April of last year I wrote an article for the newsletter about the upcoming new edition of The Diary of Joshua Hempstead 1711-1758. It is still upcoming, but there has been progress. I have finished the proofreading, Dan Connors has formatted the entire diary so that we have page numbers, and I’m mostly finished checking name index errors and additions.

This means there are two major tasks remaining: changing the page numbers in the index to match the page numbers in the new edition; and getting the diary printed. The new edition is seventeen pages longer than the last one, partly because of formatting changes, but mostly because of added content. There were a few entries added that had been suppressed by the Victorian transcribers, but most of the added content is a line here, and another one there. Most of these were simply missed, being at the end of an entry, squeezed between two other lines, or at the bottom of a page. They add up. There are a number of diary entries that make much more sense with the added line. For instance:
Tuesd 15. fair Cloudy. Samll Hide in Town. I was at home & in Town. I pd Ms Pygan 40s on Mr Winthrops accot & I Recd of him 40s 0d to buy Malt & oatmeal. Wee Mowed the orchard & Meadow. finished al in the lot at home.
The words in italics had been omitted in the previous editions.

It is difficult to find someone to do the re-numbering for a couple of reasons. It is not regular indexing work, where the indexer decides what to include and how to categorize subjects. The current index is 68 pages long (two columns), so it will take quite a while to do. And probably most importantly, we have no money to pay this person.

At the moment, the Hempstead diary fund balance is a bit over $2,500. The estimate Dan received from a printer was $4,000 for 200 copies. This is far greater than the printing costs for the 1999 edition—no surprise, given the way everything else has gone up—and grants for publishing have pretty much vanished.

All this is to say we need your help in two ways. One, of course, is financial. A donation (or a second donation) to the Hempstead diary project would be both helpful and greatly appreciated.

The other need is for help with re-numbering the pages of the index entries. The task would be more manageable in smaller chunks, say A-C, D-F, etc. If several people (who are willing to be careful and not too proud to ask for help with questions) each took one section, it might be possible to get the index done in the foreseeable future, before the price of publishing goes up again.
Patricia M. Schaefer

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