The letters in this pilot edition have been transcribed from photographic scans of the original documents, checked against the originals where possible, and marked up in XML in accordance with the open-source protocols of the Text Encoding Initiative. The original text has been only lightly edited and the editors have set out to follow mainly diplomatic conventions. Paragraph breaks and page breaks have been indicated, and original spellings and abbreviations have been retained (with editorial notes where necessary). Words underlined in the originals are underlined in the transcriptions; double or triple underlinings by the writer are transcribed as underlined and italicized text. When a handwritten letter includes printed text, such as a letterhead, the print is displayed in bold to distinguish it. Letters that are typed throughout are not bolded but are identified as typewritten in an annotation. Cancelled words have generally not been transcribed unless deemed significant in some way, in which case they appear struck through by a horizontal line. Text added retroactively by the writer is coloured blue. Where words in the original are uncertain, conjectures in the transcription are shaded grey and italicized. Very occasionally, missing characters and punctuation marks have been added (also shaded grey) to aid comprehensibility.
Dates, salutations, and valedictions have been transcribed as written in the originals, except that textual alignment has been regularized so that dates appear to the right and valedictions to the left.
The names of correspondents, the sender’s address, and the current location and holding institution of each letter (where known) are recorded above its transcription. Extensive editorial annotation has been made on the letters throughout, mostly on their content and occasionally, where called for, on their form; these notes appear at the foot of each letter and can be jumped to by clicking on the superscript numbers within the letter. Many annotations also contain links to related letters, to commentaries, or to relevant entries in the bibliography, glossary, and list of persons.