Transcription principles


As the transcriptions were assembled from several transcribers and sources, they lack coherent transcription principles. In the future, all of them should be checked and unified according to the following transcription rules.


In general, we strive to provide transcriptions that represent the original letters in most aspects. We do not try to modernize or improve the original text.

Layout: Try to follow the original layout as closely as possible. This does not mean that you have to reproduce the blank spaces at the top of bottom or the page, or follow the exact lines, but please do indicate:

  • Paragraph breaks: indicate with two keyboard enters (thus adding a blank line in between two paragraphs).
  • New page: Indicate with blank line and [new page].
  • Address leaf: On the verso or back of the letter is usually the adress and Clusius’ short handwritten annotation about the receipt of the letter. Please transcribe them both at the bottom of the transcription, and indicate them with [address] [Clusius’s hand].

Typography: The editor toolbar has buttons to apply special characters (diacritics), bold, cursive, underlined, super- and subscript, and strikethrough (readable deletions).

Punctuation and spelling: Please copy all original punctuation marks (full stop, colon, semicolon, brackets etc.) and spelling. Do not try to modernize or uniformize sixteenth century grammar or spelling! An exception is the old interchangeable use of i/j and u/v/w; this can be adapted to modern uses. You can also add capitals to names and places.

Contractions and abbreviations: Please indicate expanded abbreviations using square brackets. Otherwise just copy the abbreviated form with its original punctuation marks (thus . or ; or superscript).

Uncertain/unreadable words: Indicate with … (ellipses).