About the Fort Victoria Journal site

Editorial Notes

This transcript is the result of the intersection of two projects. In the fall of 2009 John Lutz in the History Department at the University of Victoria, used the journal as a project for students in a Historical Editing Course (Hist 469) with the goal of publishing an online edition. During the course he met Graham Brazier who already had begun editing the journal for publication. The class and Graham decided to collaborate and once the class was over, Graham, John, Fred Gentz and a number of students continued to work on the project.

Editorial Team

  • Graham Brazier, Editor;
  • Fred Gentz, Associate Editor;
  • John Lutz, Academic Director.

Participating Editors:

  • Siku Alooloo
  • Benjamin Clinton Baker
  • Kimberly Dillon
  • Miranda Harvey
  • Graeme Johnston
  • John Lutz
  • Caitlin Ottenbreit
  • Robert Pantella
  • Christopher Perry
  • Ceileidh Sager
  • Anna Stooke
  • Neil Vallance
  • Jehan Zouak

Web Design and Development

  • Patrick Szpak

How to Cite this Document

(example – you want to cite the entry of June 30, 1849)

“Fort Victoria Journal”, June 30, 1849, Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, B.226/ a/1, edited and transcribed by Graham Brazier et al, eds. Fort Victoria Journal, www.fortvictoriajournal.ca. (Date of your access)

How to Cite Images from this Website

John Turnstall Haverfield, A Wood Near Victoria, Vancouver Island, August 29, 1849, Royal BC Museum, PDP01179, reproduced on Graham Brazier et al, eds. Fort Victoria Journal, www.fortvictoriajournal.ca. (Date of your access)

Editorial Policy

In editing the Fort Victoria Post Journal, two guiding principles were adopted. The first was to transcribe the words, so far as they are discernable, as written. The second was to ensure that the words are linked in such a way as to maximize readability and minimize obstacles for the 21st-century reader. Primarily, this involved applying contemporary standards of punctuation and capitalization to a text written a century and a half ago. Punctuation in the journal is neither consistent, nor always readily decipherable. Consequently, periods (or full stops) have been used to indicate the ends of sentences, rather than hyphens, dashes or long spaces, as is common in the journal. Colons have been employed to indicate the beginning of a list, and commas have been inserted to separate items in a list. Apostrophes to indicate possessives, rarely used in the journal, have been inserted where warranted. Italics are used to cite the names of ships, though in the journal ships' names were occasionally indicated by the use of quotation marks.

To 21st-century eyes, capitalization practices of the 1840s appear baffling, in that no pattern is readily discernable. Consequently, upper case letters have been used only for proper nouns (such as personal names, geographic locations, ship’s names, months or seasons of the year, and First Nations' tribal names) and to indicate the beginnings of sentences. Exceptions to this practice include the capitalization of wind directions (such as "Eastward"), rituals (such as "Divine Service"), and some abbreviations (such as "No").

While this may be a departure from the more common practice of striving to reproduce an exact copy of the text, it was adopted in a technological setting that allows for the future display of photographic reproductions of the journal pages alongside the edited version. This approach not only maximizes readability but also offers readers the opportunity to see the original punctuation and capitalization and track editorial decisions.

Consistent with the first guiding principle, the spelling of words conforms to spelling in the journal. Accordingly, numerous antiquated spelling practices (such as "despatches") as well as spelling errors (such as "groved") are reproduced without note. In addition, the spelling of some words, such as "granary/granery" and "scow/skow" change over the course of the journal. These too are reproduced without note. On the other hand, the misspelling of the names of individuals is noted in the text.

The use of "{sic}" to indicate that an error is not one of transcription but rather one from the journal itself is used sparingly. Where legibility renders a phrase, a word or a letter uncertain, a "best guess" is indicated by enclosing the uncertain material in square brackets [ ]. Editorial insertions, including corrected spellings of names and the determination that a word or group of words is illegible are enclosed in braces { }.

Abbreviations are widely employed throughout the journal. In particular, they were useful on Saturdays, when it was customary to summarize the accomplishments of the workweek. For the most part, they are transcribed as written. As a result, variation in the spelling of abbreviations is reflected in the text without note. (A list of abbreviations is provided adjacent to The Journal.) While the use of superscripts and/or underscoring in abbreviations has contributed to creating a compressed text, they are often challenging to decipher. For this reason, all abbreviations making use of superscripts are transcribed with an underscore as well.

One antiquated symbol (for which the modern keyboard has no precise replica) was used throughout the journal to indicate, depending on context, "for" or "for the", or "by" or "by the". The modern keyboard infinity symbol (∞) was selected to approximate it.