Transcriptions of Poem Texts

Transcriptions of Poem Texts

At this writing (September 2020) Variorum editors and assistants have transcribed into computer files more than 4500 copies of Donne poems. We plan to make all these transcription files available on this web site eventually, adding materials incrementally as successive volumes appear in print. The files posted below were employed in the preparation of volumes 6 (The Anniversaries and the Epicedes and Obsequies ), 8 (The Epigrams, Epithalamions, Epitaphs, Inscriptions, and Miscellaneous Poems ), 2 (The Elegies ), 7.1 (The Holy Sonnets ), 3 (The Satyres ), and 5 (The Verse Letters).

Navigating the directories and downloading. The links below lead to pages that list the poems included in each published volume, and the names of the individual poems are hot links to the folders containing the transcriptions of all copies of each poem.  On each page the poems are entered alphabetically by DV short form, and each short form is followed by the poem’s work siglum and first line.  The root directory for each poem lists each transcription individually, as well as a compressed zip file that contains all files in the directory.  The individual transcriptions are stored as plain text files, which may be either viewed on screen (by left-clicking the icon for the file) or downloaded to the user’s computer (by right-clicking the filename and choosing the “save as” option). The “.zip” file containing all transcriptions of a given poem may be similarly downloaded and its contents extracted.  Once downloaded to a directory on the local computer, the files may be manipulated with any word processor or collated with the Donne Variorum Textual Collation Program (DV-Coll) available elsewhere on this site.

Naming conventions. Individual files are named according to the formula F[3-digit work siglum][3-digit source siglum]. The work sigla (poem numbers) are those assigned by John T. Shawcross in The Complete Poetry of John Donne (New York: Anchor-Doubleday, 1967). For an explanation of the source sigla, see the list in the Front Matter.  For an explanation of the % signs found in the transcriptions, please see Donne Variorum Markup Tags.  Analogous to SGML tags, the Donne Variorum Markup Tags (keyboard characters only) were devised in the early days of the project to facilitate sharing of computerized texts among various word-processing programs and across operating systems.

File structure. The transcriptions are entered within a frame file made up of the following parts:

(a) an IDENTILIN$$ that includes the filename, the name of the artifact, the location (in page or folio nos.) of the poem within the  artifact, the initials of the transcriber and the nature of the source from which the transcription was made (fs = facsimile; mf = microfilm; o = original; x = xerox), the date of the transcription, and similar information about the proofing of the file;

(b) a line for the header/title of the poem;

(c) a line for each line of poetic text, including place-holder tags for lines missing or omitted;

(d) a subscription line (that records attributions or scribal signatures);

(e) a final $$-line specifying indentations and notes about the transcription or artifact that the transcriber deems worthy of reporting.

(f) The 11-digit ID-tag that precedes the heading and each line of text in the frame is made up of the work siglum, the source siglum, and the line no.


Volume 2:  The Elegies

Volume 3The Satyres

Volume 5The Verse Letters

Volume 6The Anniversaries and the Epicedes and Obsequies

Volume 7.1The Holy Sonnets

Volume 8:  The Epigrams, Epithalamions, Epitaphs, Inscriptions, and Miscellaneous Poems