Editorial Method

  1. Guiding Principles

The materials published in MosaicNC—Governors’ Papers, Colonial Records, and Special Projects—are an edited selection of documents intended to contextualize and situate the most important moments, topics, and themes of each installment. The goal of this project is to make these historical documents accessible to a modern audience. The editors have included explanatory essays and links to related resources along with transcriptions and annotations to help convey the meaning and value of the selected documents.

  1. What material is in scope?

These are general guidelines for the collection of projects contained within MosaicNC. Each installment will have a more exact note on scope and selection.

Dates: The boundaries for governors’ papers are generally defined by dates in office with supplemental material leading into and out of the term each governor served. The scope of colonial and special projects will vary based on the needs of each installment.

Themes: Each edited collection will focus on the themes that are most salient to that collection. Documents may be selected that extend the temporal range of the scope to provide more meaningful context and to maintain coherence.

Limited selection and avoiding unnecessary duplication: These editions are not comprehensive digital archives and do not contain all the primary sources related to every topic or theme. We offer citations to guide researchers to related archival collections. Our intent is to publish documents that best illustrate the topics and themes of each installment; not to publish every available item. In cases where multiple or fundamentally identical versions of documents exist, we have chosen to include the most complete or most representative version.

  1. Technology and process

MosaicNC is a digital edition that carries forward the tradition of two long-standing print editions for the State of North Carolina. With this new platform, the editors will make previously unpublished materials accessible in ways bound volumes could not. For example, the bound volumes presented documents chronologically, whereas metadata, tagging, and filtering allow users of the digital edition to search and browse the material according to other criteria.

Transcriptions published in MosaicNC generally follow the precedents established by the earlier editors of the print editions published by the Office of Archives and History. Our goal is to present the documents as near to the original form as possible, making changes selectively in the interest of clarity. The original spelling has been retained unless the editors believe it will cause misunderstanding. If a word is changed, it is marked with square brackets. Superscript letters have been lowered to the line. Accidentals, such as double words, in the original are retained.

Capitalization in the manuscript has been followed with some exceptions. For clarity, each heading, paragraph, or notation begins with a capital letter regardless of its appearance in the original. The first word following a period ending a sentence or other passage is capitalized. If a proper name is not capitalized in the manuscript, it is not capitalized here unless it meets one of the other criteria. Contractions and abbreviations have been retained as written, with a period inserted after an abbreviation when needed. In cases where the meaning of an abbreviation may be unclear, it has been expanded in square brackets. The ampersand (&) and variations of et cetera using the ampersand, such as &c. and &ca. have been retained. The archaic letter thorn, appearing as the letter Y, is expanded as “th.” Thus, “ye” and “yt” are transcribed as “the” and “that.” The symbol for per (⅌) is retained.

Square brackets [ ] indicate editorial intervention. Inferred readings of missing or partially-missing passages are shown in roman type. Other material supplied by the editors is shown with square brackets around italic type, such as [torn] and [illegible]. The use of sic has been restricted primarily to pointing out discrepancies in dates, page numbers, and where an improperly used word might alter the meaning of the text.

Angle brackets <> enclose material that occurs in the manuscript but has been transferred to a different position on the page display. Marginal notes, for example, are shown in italics in angle brackets. When the intended location is clear, marginal notes are inserted into the body of the text; if not, they are moved to the footer.

Material crossed out or deleted by the author is generally omitted. If the deletions contain substantive material, it will be inserted in the text in angle brackets or moved to the notes.

The presentation of headers, footers, and dates has been standardized, with headers and dates aligned left and footers indented to the right. Endorsements, if included, are added to the end of letters. Incidental marks and notes from archives or scribes are omitted unless they aid in understanding the document.