Anglican Breviary: Call for Volunteers

The Anglican Breviary Online project is now up and ready for material!

Right now, my focus is on getting in materials contained in lettered section C which contains the texts for the Temporal Cycle. As I get volunteers, I shall assign them a section of pages, roughly a week’s worth, to complete. Once that material is in and they request more, more will be given.

I have a page up that serves as a template: The Feast of the Holy Trinity and the Week After. It currently just contains the material for the Feast of the Holy Trinity—I’m still working on the “and the Week After”… However, there’s enough there to give you a sense of what we’re trying to accomplish and how we’re going to get there.

First, we are going for a “diplomatic transcription.” The term “diplomatic” means that we will be copying the style along with the text. Thus, we will be keeping stylistic features like rubrication, drop capitals, the use of small fonts, and the typographical marks like crosses and accented letters.

Second, we will also be retaining a textual link with the physical text by retaining the page number and column letter by section. Thus, you’ll notice at the very head of the page this: [page C442a]. This identifies that the text under it comes from the left-hand column (“a”, the right-hand column is “b”) of page 442 in section C. In other words, we’re including the page number from the top outside corner and including a column letter. Thus, you’ll find the column break a bit down the page after the Matins invitatory antiphon: [page C442b].

Third, the transcription will capture the exact text of the Anglican Breviary. I haven’t run across any mistakes or typos, but even if mistakes are found they will be preserved as is to ensure complete conformity. (We may put in footnotes if we do find any errors that need to be corrected.)

I had set it up so that users could create logins. However, when I sat down to finish things in my example section last night and put this post up, I discovered that I must have done something wrong in the settings as the site had been greatly over-run by bots and a host of bogus pages had been created by users who shouldn’t have had creation and edit privileges. Thus, I spent the time I’d planned to use finishing up the section, locking down and cleaning up instead. Naturally, I’m a bit wary of opening things up too much at the moment until I have a better handle on the MediaWiki admin functions…

So—if you have a copy of the Anglican Breviary and you would like to help, here’s how we’ll proceed for now:

1. Let me know that you’d like to help by sending me an email at the address over on the side-bar.

2. I’ll send you a note back with a week/set of pages to work on and log that on the Plan of Work page. Let me know how you want to be identified in this time before we get proper user names up and running. If you want to be anonymous, that’s fine—I’ll keep a private list too so I know who’s got what.

3. Transcribe the pages any way you’d like—typing it, scanning it and using OCR, reading it with a voice transcription system, whatever—into a basic text format. Please keep an eye out for the special characters:  † ℟ ℣ â ê î ô û. You can copy and paste them from here into the head of a working document or on a dedicated cut-n-paste sheet for easy insertion. For the star, we’re just using an asterisk (*).

4. Skip any psalms!! My editorial assistants have been entering the psalms over the summer. MediaWiki allows us to drop in sections of text from a template so we’re templating all of the psalms so that they will be completely uniform. Thus, if you come to a psalm in your transcribing—say, Psalm 72, simply type in {{Psalm 72}} and let it go at that. If there’s a column or page break in the psalm, just insert it after your psalm marking.

5. Send me the text once you’ve got the page range done, and my editorial assistants and I will take the basic text, apply the formatting, and put it online.

Once I’m confident that the user permissions are set up properly, I’ll open it up so that text can be put directly into pages by authorized users. Also at that point, I’ll ask for help from users with code experience who would like to help apply stylistic features.

This is a big effort, but I truly believe that it’s worth doing! If you can donate your time, I would greatly appreciate the help. If you can help provide financial support, that is gratefully accepted too—use the PayPal link here and designate it for the Anglican Breviary and you’ll be added to the Benefactors page.

4 thoughts on “Anglican Breviary: Call for Volunteers

  1. Dale Crakes

    I’m probably way behind on the info curve but will this be the Lula Anglican Breviary?

  2. Fr. Jason Wells

    I have used the Anglican Breviary off and on over the years. Of course, it long predates the 1995 and 1960 reforms to the Roman Breviary. Keeping track of the numerous vigils, octaves, preces, etc is a challenge if you’re only used to the simplified BCP rites.

    With this material, would it be possible to have the liturgical material (calendar, prayers, etc) but have St. Bede’s Breviary rearrange it with more updated rubrics?

    In a way this would be an Anglican adaptation of what is permitted by Summorum Pontificum, the use of the rites in force in 1962. Exciting!

  3. Derek Olsen

    Once the transcription is done, I do plan to use the text to create a web app (with a mobile version). I’m still working out what options and preferences would be available with that. Too, I do plan to use material from it as an additional option for supplementing the Prayer Book Offices of the St. Bede’s Breviary.

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