Annotation Guide

Using, you’re invited to add at least four different types of annotations to the public layer of this anthology.

1. Historical references. Ideally, these should include links to Wikipedia or other open-source reference materials. For example, click on the link below to see the annotation for this paragraph in “Bartleby, The Scrivener.”

Some time prior to the period at which this little history begins, my avocations had been largely increased. The good old office, now extinct in the State of New York, of a Master in Chancery, had been conferred upon me. It was not a very arduous office, but very pleasantly remunerative. I seldom lose my temper; much more seldom indulge in dangerous indignation at wrongs and outrages; but I must be permitted to be rash here and declare, that I consider the sudden and violent abrogation of the office of Master in Chancery, by the new Constitution, as a—premature act; inasmuch as I had counted upon a life-lease of the profits, whereas I only received those of a few short years. But this is by the way.

2. Historical usages. Early and 19th-century American literature is filled with words that are no longer used, or no longer have the same meaning. For example (again from “Bartleby”):

His countenance became intolerably fervid, as he oratorically assured me—gesticulating with a long ruler at the other end of the room—that if his services in the morning were useful, how indispensable, then, in the afternoon?

3. Visual annotations. Some historical references have visual elements. Many images are available on wikimedia commons and elsewhere. Be sure to add a link:

The same day I received the note I went to the Tombs, or to speak more properly, the Halls of Justice. Seeking the right officer, I stated the purpose of my call, and was informed that the individual I described was indeed within. I then assured the functionary that Bartleby was a perfectly honest man, and greatly to be compassionated, however unaccountably eccentric. I narrated all I knew, and closed by suggesting the idea of letting him remain in as indulgent confinement as possible till something less harsh might be done—though indeed I hardly knew what. At all events, if nothing else could be decided upon, the alms-house must receive him. I then begged to have an interview.

4. Secondary source references. The public layer isn’t the ideal forum for interpretive discussions, but you might help other readers by pointing out relevant readings.

He did not look at me while I spoke, but kept his glance fixed upon my bust of Cicero, which as I then sat, was directly behind me, some six inches above my head.

You can also combine types of annotations. Just remember to provide links and/or citations.



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