Purpose and Scope  Editorial Policies  Visualization Citation and Institutional Permission Abbreviation and Symbols

Welcome to Melville's Marginalia Online, an electronic catalog of books owned and borrowed by American author Herman Melville, and a digital edition of marked and annotated books that survive from his library. This page explains the project's aims and editorial procedures. To access the site's Online Catalog or use its keyword search tool, select "Search" from the upper-left menu. Return to this page at any time by selecting "Policies."

Purpose and Scope

The author of Moby-Dick, Billy Budd, Sailor and other revered works of American literature was also, as might be expected, a great reader of books. Yet few even among American literary scholars are familiar with the scope and variety of Herman Melville's personal library, and the profound influence of his reading on the growth of his intellect and on the composition of his own fiction and poetry. From youth onward Melville educated himself through rigorous, systematic reading, a habit of life and mind he assumed after the bankruptcy and death of his father required him to withdraw from formal schooling. By the time of his death in 1891, Melville's library numbered some 1,000 volumes before being dispersed among friends, family members, and second-hand book sellers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Books bearing Melville's autograph and marginalia continue to resurface, bringing periodic gains to our knowledge of his intellectual and aesthetic development. Since Melville marked and annotated his books with uncommon regularity and precision, the expanding record of evidence reveals his direct engagement with many past and contemporaneous works and figures: the King James Bible, Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, John Milton, Alexander Pope, Arthur Schopenhauer, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Honoré de Balzac, Matthew Arnold, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and a host of others. An ongoing project with cooperation and support from numerous individuals and institutions, Melville's Marginalia Online aims to make this wealth of evidence fully and widely available to readers.

Melville's Marginalia Online succeeds and augments two existing resources. With its "Online Catalog" of books and documents owned and borrowed by Melville, the project follows Merton M. Sealts Jr.'s "Check-List of Books Owned and Borrowed" (1948-50, 1966, and 1988). For over half a century, Sealts's Check-List has served as the authoritative record of title and edition information for books Melville is known to have owned and borrowed over the course of his reading life. It has also documented the growing number and locations of surviving books autographed, marked, and annotated in Melville's hand, with entries devoted to newly emerged books appearing in successive editions of Sealts's Melville's Reading, as well as in supplements published by Sealts and Steven Olsen-Smith in Melville Society Extracts and Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies. Supplying fuller bibliographic entries than was possible in the printed resources, the "Online Catalog" is instantly updateable as new volumes emerge. Its organization and features are described in the "Introduction to the Online Catalog."

Along with maintaining the "Online Catalog," Melville's Marginalia Online digitally reproduces books that survive from Melville's library. In this role it succeeds Wilson Walker Cowen's Melville's Marginalia (1965; rpt. 1987). Housed within the separate collections of numerous research institutions and private individuals, Melville's actual copies remain dispersed, their marginalia out of reach to most scholars. Cowen was first to undertake the task of making Melville's marginalia available to researchers with his 1965 Harvard University dissertation. But he performed his work well before the emergence of many important books such as Melville's marked and annotated copies of Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Thomas Warton's History of English Poetry, and poetical works by John Milton, William Wordsworth, and Edmund Spenser, to name a few. Along with being incomplete, Cowen's edition is difficult to use owing to its own rarity outside of major research institutions. While it aimed to meet a serious need in American literary studies, Cowen's Melville's Marginalia failed to make the scholarly impact warranted by the record of Melville's reading and its significance for our understanding of his thought and writings. The significance is profound, with implications for the study of literary influence, of Melville's aesthetic and philosophical sensibilities and creative processes, and, more broadly, of the relationships of literary production to broader ideological contexts of history, culture, and literacy.

The project's "Online Catalog" and "Browse Volumes" feature supply links to digital copies of Melville's books that can be examined in the site's page viewer. Mouse over the spine images in "Browse" to display bibliographical descriptions at upper left, and click on the spines to open digital copies. In most instances, the spine images in "Browse" are of copies owned by Melville, but in cases of surviving books with missing or mutilated spines, images of period surrogate spines are displayed. All images in the project's page viewer are of the copies Melville owned or (in rare instances) borrowed. The images are accompanied by bibliographical descriptions and documentary notes, as well as documentation and transcriptions of marginalia. Digital copies are added as funds become available for imaging services at institutions where Melville's books are preserved, and as volumes held by private individuals become available for photographic capture by the project. Selected digital copies include critical introductions to marginalia, and it is the goal of Melville's Marginalia Online to supply critical introductions for all published copies as contributing scholars continue to take part in the project. If you are a practicing scholar or graduate student in the humanities interested in contributing a critical introduction for an existing or forthcoming digital copy, and/or undertaking XML markup to render it searchable by keyword, contact the editors through the site's "Contact and Support" page to discuss the possibility of taking on an assignment.

Editorial Policies

Documentary Display

Page images display in the project's image window with one-click view options of height and width and drop-down zoom options at the top-right of the screen. The left sidebar apparatus consists of a collapsible hierarchy of section divisions, page labels, and documentary descriptions and transcriptions. Selecting a page label identified as marked and/or annotated will display its associated image in the main window and, beneath the highlighted page label in the left sidebar, descriptions of the markings on the page as well as transcriptions of annotations. For example, see Melville's marginalia to Matthew 26.45 in his copy of The New Testament, with the descriptive apparatus open at left to page 52, the image for which is displayed at height in the main window. Positions of marginalia on the page are documented by numeric reference to the textual lines on the page, excluding page headers, blank lines, and non-textual printed lines containing separator bars or ornamental devices. In order as they appear on the page (from the top of the page downward, and from within the text area outward), marginalia are described or transcribed beneath the page label, beginning in the present example with Melville's top margin pencil annotation followed by markings he applied to textual lines 1-6 and 2-3 (the preceding numeral 1 followed by a colon designates the first of the two columns that comprise the layout of this particular book, and would not be designated in the apparatus for a page with an undivided text area).

For a page containing erased and/or faded marginalia, the apparatus entry includes an "enhanced image" option that, when selected, displays a version of the page that has been layered and filtered through imaging software to bring out the content of the erased or faded evidence. For example, see Melville's marginalia to Matthew Arnold's "Empedocles on Etna" in his copy of Arnold's New Poems, with the apparatus open at left to page 20 displaying an "enhanced image" option. "Commentary" links address problematic aspects of marginalia in Melville's books and may accompany unerased as well as erased evidence.  Where appropriate, commentary may also identify matters of critical significance such as the influence of a marked passage on Melville's own writing or an unclear allusion in an annotation. Descriptions and commentary are devoted to verified inscriptions, only, and do not typically address other material features such as paper imperfections and stray press ink that could be mistaken for marginalia or, no less frequently, pencil offsets and show-through's of marginalia on adjacent pages. For instance, in the enhanced image displaying erased marginalia on page 117, volume 6, of Melville's set of Shakespeare's Dramatic Works, we can actually discern marginalia on three consecutive pages: the erased checkmark at line 15 on 117, unerased checkmarks from its verso (the following page 118), and still other unerased checkmarks from the recto of the next leaf (page 119). The descriptive apparatus for page 117 refers only to the legitimate checkmark at line 15. The absence of additional documentation indicates for users that the other marks are "ghosts"—not actually present on page 117 but identified respectively in apparatus entries for 118 and 119. This example illustrates the importance of examining the images on this web site in light of accompanying editorial documentation.

Transcriptions of Melville's Hand

Transcriptions displayed in the apparatus present the latest versions of inscriptions and annotations in Melville's hand, with readings aimed at representing Melville's intentions in the act of inscription. The transcriptions do not represent the genetic details of revised content, such as strike-through's or instances of over-writing, although such matters are addressed procedurally in accompanying commentary. Nor do the transcriptions represent Melville's frequent instances of fused, elided, omitted, or transposed letter forms, although outright misspellings are reproduced literatim in instances where they can be plausibly determined. For an informative account of the problems and intricacies of Melville's hand, see the statement of "Textual Policy," by G. Thomas Tanselle, in the Correspondence volume of the Northwestern-Newberry Writings of Herman Melville, ed. Lynn Horth.

Melville habitually inscribed annotations in the top, bottom, and outside margins of the page, often linking annotations in the top and bottom margins to text with corresponding x's or other varieties of markings. In all cases, editorial policy at Melville's Marginalia Online is to observe the line breaks of Melville's inscriptions as well as the exact distributions of Melville's words per written line. Although erased markings are with rare exceptions fully documented, Melville's erased annotations range among the fully deciphered, the partially deciphered, and the undeciphered. As illustrated in the descriptive apparatus for page 60 in Melville's copy of Thomas Beale'sThe Natural History of the Sperm Whale, partially deciphered erased annotations appear with editorial insertions enclosed by square brackets. Where words and letters can be responsibly conjectured on the basis of material evidence, these bracketed conjectural readings appear in non-italicized characters. Single undeciphered words appear bracketed as question marks preceded and followed by dashes. In instances where the number of words in an erased line are not clear, a bracketed editorial estimate is supplied in italic characters.

Attribution of Marginalia

Owing to the dispersal of Melville's library, and indeed to the fugitive character of books generally, questions inevitably emerge regarding conditions under which the notes and markings in Melville's books may be confidently attributed to him, or may instead be assumed to derive from other readers. Owing to Melville's distinct style of handwriting—a style that remained fairly consistent from the 1840s up until his death in 1891—positive identification is typically a straightforward matter of editorial recognition, with problematic cases analyzed against examples of his handwriting in verified period documents. In fact, Melville's handwriting is sufficiently distinctive that these means have been used successfully to identify his marginalia in books that lack his autograph and cannot be associated with him by any available external evidence. But there are numerous cases when inscriptions and annotations in Melville's books cannot reliably be identified as his. When handwriting can be positively associated with some other person in Melville's circle or with a subsequent owner whose identity is known, the individual is identified by name in the left sidebar apparatus entry for the inscription or annotation. When inscriptions or annotations cannot reliably be associated with Melville or any other identifiable person (such as the presenter of a book who inscribed it to Melville or a family member known to have consulted it) or with an unidentified bookseller or librarian (which is sometimes possible based on the content of the inscription), they are labeled in the apparatus as "unattributed." All inscriptions and annotations not labeled as unattributed, and not identified in some way with other specific persons or entities, are judged by the editors of Melville's Marginalia Online to be in the hand of Herman Melville.

The problem of attribution increases substantially with presumed origins of markings in Melville's books. By strict standards of verification, all markings are by necessity attributed rather than confirmed for the simple reason that they lack the strong corroborative character of Melville's recognizable letter forms. But Melville's accustomed array of signal marks is in many instances quite distinct and recognizable, so that in most cases it would seem overly fastidious to question the authenticity of a triple cross-check mark, say, in a copy known by documentary evidence to have been owned by him. Even Melville's individual checkmarks frequently display a characteristically rounded contour that is readily distinguished from sharply angled specimens. Nonetheless, except in cases where marks are explicitly associated with annotations in Melville's hand, in no case can the possibility be excluded that a subsequent reader (whether in or outside of the Melville family) consulted a book owned and marked by Melville and (for whatever reason) proceeded to mark it in a fashion that resembled marginalia it already contained. Moreover, Melville's frequent use of generic, non-distinct markings such as marginal scores and underlines makes attribution an unavoidable problem as it relates to copies that left the Melville family following his death, many of which found their way into used bookstores and circulating libraries, or copies that were already in a used state when Melville acquired them in the first place. As with its treatment of annotations and inscriptions, but in many cases on a basis that is necessarily more provisional than corroborative, the project treats all markings in Melville's books as the product of his hand unless compelling circumstances exist to throw doubt on the association. In instances of compelling doubt about the origin of a mark, it is described as "unattributed" in the apparatus, with evidence behind that classification addressed in accompanying commentary or, more generally, in the documentary note to that digital copy.  In due course, the editors of Melville's Marginalia Online will add a glossary to this page that displays images of Melville's accustomed markings and the terms by which they are identified in the apparatuses to digital copies of his books.

XML Encoding

Keyword search retrieval and display are enabled by machine-readable transcriptions in eXtensible Markup Language (XML) that associates printed text and Melville's hand-written words with pixel coordinates on the page and leaf images that comprise the digital copies of his books. Numeric pixel values in the markup allow for printed and handwritten words to appear highlighted (or outlined in red on enhanced images) when submitted and displayed through use of the search tool. The coordinate-based character of the XML renders it incompatible with Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) standards (https://tei-c.org/). It has been adopted by Melville's Marginalia Online for its functional properties rather than for the descriptive purposes that commonly underlie markup practices in digital editions. Under this policy, typographical transcriptions of text marked by Melville observe basic upper- and lower-case distinctions but do not observe font-stylistic distinctions in the original texts such as italics and small caps. Currently this minimalist editorial approach is warranted by the project’s guiding emphasis on substantive (as opposed to semantic) word search functionality and display, as well as by persistent methodological obstacles to encoding marginalia satisfactorily in accordance with TEI guidelines. The project's encoding practices will evolve as technology and funding allow.

Editorial decisions for transcribing content as “marked” vary according to the type of marginalia involved. Marginal scores, for instance, have relatively clear beginning- and end-points in relation to textual line enumeration. MMO’s policy in such instances is to transcribe and identify as “marked” the entirety of the text within scored content, even though linguistically textual lines may begin and conclude mid-clause. Instances of marking types like checkmarks and x’s involve less spatial clarity, making detailed association of marginalia and textual content more of an interpretive matter. Editorial line designations and transcriptions of content in such instances are made on the basis of syntactical sense, and generally err on the side of inclusiveness in situations where it is unclear whether Melville was marking an independent clause or a subordinate phrase within it.

Coordinate-based XML presents no obstacles to accurate representation and regularization of searchable text. Disrupted and non-standard word forms in text marked by Melville are encoded using the following conventions:

        <w x="2064">
        <line c="2004" h="60" n="20">
            <w x="739" endhyph="true">ly</w>

All instances of contracted words and expressions (i.e., "into't" and "sweet'st") are encoded to return either the actual or regularized word forms involved, depending on the search term:

                    <reg>into it</reg>



Similarly, hard-hyphenated compound words (i.e., "thunder-stone") are encoded to return the full hyphenated expression or any whole word contained within it (i.e., "thunder" or "stone"). Typographical errors are likewise encoded using <orig> and <reg> tagging, as are instances of anglicized or antiquated spelling (i.e., "honour" or "villany"), with the exception of pervasive obsolete pronouns and simple verb forms (i.e., "thou," "art," and "dost"), which are not regularized. Fuller flexibility such as wildcard options will be added as the search tool undergoes continued development.

The above markup practices have also been applied to transcriptions of Melville's handwritten annotations in instances of outright misspelling, miswriting, contraction, and hyphenation where they can be plausibly determined. As explained in the section of "Editorial Policies" entitled "Transcriptions of Melville's Hand," transcriptions displayed in the sidebar apparatus of the page viewer present the latest versions of inscriptions and annotations in Melville's hand, with readings aimed at representing Melville's intentions in the act of inscription. This principle is likewise observed in the encoding of annotations and inscriptions, where misspellings and miswritings by Melville are represented literatim as well as corrected. For instance, Melville's miswriting of "vortex" as "voxtex" in his annotation to a passage on page 45 of Thomas Beale's The Natural History of the Sperm Whale is represented in original and corrected forms:


Melville's misspellings (whether inadvertent or accustomed on his part) receive identical corrective tagging, so that instances return in search-tool results regardless of whether the original or corrected spelling is submitted using the site's search tool. Thus his spelling of "evel" in an annotation on page 133 of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Spiritual Laws"


will return along with correctly spelled instances of "evil" in Melville's marginalia when that term is submitted using the site's search tool. Accounts of genetic details, such as strikethroughs and overwrites, are provided in the commentary feature of the sidebar apparatus.


Along with making Melville's marginalia searchable by keyword, XML-encoding and transformation at MMO radically expand opportunities for access and analysis, converting reading evidence to useful formats that link directly to the project’s digital copies of books that survive from Melville's library. To generate a visualization for marginalia in an encoded volume, open the volume in the page viewer and select one of the tool icons in the brown band at the top of the screen to display the filtering interface for visualization. (If the tool icons are dimmed, the volume lacks marginalia or has not yet been encoded, and selection will produce a notice to that effect.)

Bar Graphing
Use interactive bar graphing with any encoded copy to chart the quantities of words or passages marked within bibliographically defined sections of a volume. Where applicable, the filtering interface includes options for adding marginalia in associated volumes, such as additional volumes in a multi-volume set or different works by the same author. The filtering interface enables users to narrow results by section or chapter, and to include/exclude blank results for unmarked sections and volumes. Default filtration settings restrict output to marginalia attributed only to Melville but are otherwise all-inclusive. To restrict output to marked text, users may de-select filtration options associated with "Forms of Inscription," which will filter out Melville's autograph, annotations, and other forms of inscription. Select “Visualize” to generate the graph:

Figure 1: Bar Graph Filtering Interface for marked and inscribed
words in Melville's set of The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare.

Loading time will vary according to the extent of marginalia and the number of volumes visualized. When the graph displays, scroll up or down using the +/- buttons at right. Section or volume titles will display at left. In cases of multi-volume graphing, the bars occupying the main field will appear in different colors by volume. Hovering over any bar in the graph will darken its color slightly and display the name of the volume and/or section containing the marginalia quantified by the bar, as well as its total count of marked words or passages. Clicking or tapping on a bar will create a new tab and open it either at the beginning of the volume or at the selected section, depending on filtering specifications. Subsequent clicks in the graph will refresh the new tab.

Figure 2: Bar Graph Visualization, with inset hover-over detail, for quantities of
passages marked in Melville's set of The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare.

Like the Voyant Reader and Collocates Table tools explained and illustrated below, the Bar Graphing tool treats nested marginalia and their marked contexts as separate instances of marginalia. These conditions are exemplified by the following marked passages in Melville's marginalia to The Tempest. Encoded according to MMO markup policies described above, these marginalia consist of a check-marked passage of 18 words (extending from "That this lives" to "abysm of time") and an underlined passage of 7 words (extending from "the" to "time"), amounting to two marked passages totaling 25 words (seven more then their typographical sum). The Graphing Tool parses and counts these data according to their marked character rather than their fixed typographical total.

Figure 3: Check-marked and underlined content in The Tempest in Melville's set of
The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare (1.011), Houghton Library, *AC85.M4977.Zz837s.

Voyant Tools
Visitors to the site can also generate a dynamic Word Cloud (“Cirrus”), Terms Table, Reader visualization, or Collocates Table for any encoded volume using the project’s integrated version of Voyant Tools, an open-source visualization platform created by Stéfan Sinclair and Geoffrey Rockwell. As with bar graphing, the filtering interface enables users to narrow results by section or chapter and attribution of marginalia, and include or exclude forms of inscription:

Figure 4: Filtering Interface (cropped) for Word Cloud, Terms Table,
Reader, and Collocates Table tools, with settings applied to marginalia
in Melville's copy of Thomas Beale's The Natural History of the Sperm Whale.

When the data are filtered for output using Voyant Tools, only sections containing marginalia will visualize; restricting results to unmarked chapters or sections will generate an error page. Stop-words can be added or removed in any visualized data using the "Define options" toggle switch that displays on mouse-over at the upper-right corner of each visual. Users can select the "Export" feature next to "Define options" to generate a permanent URL for the visualization. That action will open a separate browser tab that displays an enlarged view of the visualization, and it is this stand-alone view of the visual that will be saved (not the one situated within MMO's page viewer) if the visualization is bookmarked and revisited. Additional "Export" options include embeddable code for using a visual within external web environments as well as an option for creating an actively-linked bibliographical reference for the visual.

Figure 5: Terms Table (cropped), with "Export" and "Define options"
features, listing high-frequency terms and numeric values for marginalia
in Melville's copy of Thomas Beale's The Natural History of the Sperm Whale.

In its present state, MMO's Voyant integration includes variables that cause some discrepancies between visualized results and search output. Quantitative results may vary in cases of antiquated, anglicized, or irregular spelling in the content of marked passages and/or in Melville's hand-written annotations to textual content. XML transformation scenarios differ structurally depending on the selected visualization format, but all scenarios effectively restore the text to a non-regularized state with the exception of line-end hyphenations and outright misspellings. Thus Melville's spellings of "evel" and "devel" (which were irregular in the orthography of his own time) are regularized as "evil" and "devil" in visualizations, where they will tally along with instances of these standard spellings in text marked by him, contributing to a single quantitative total. But non-regularized textual instances of antiquated or anglicized spellings in the visualizations, such as "colour," will be quantified separately there from any instance of Melville's spelling of "color" in an annotation or notation. In that instance, "colour" and "color" are quantified differently from one another in the visualizations, and these differences will be observed in search-tool results triggered by term-selection in the visualizations. Users can manage such discrepancies to an extent by deploying the wildcard format "colo*" (adding an asterisk to the end of any improvised word root) in visualizations that include search fields, such as the Terms Table. This action will quantify "colour" and "color" together in the visualization but will also add words such as "colony" to the table row for "colo*" if that term is also present in the visualized marginalia. Clicking on the wildcard term in such an instance will generate search-tool results that include all three word forms among the terms returned.

Hard-hyphen compound words (i.e., "thunder-stone"), while encoded to return the full hyphenated expression when entered in MMO's search tool, are sected by Voyant into two discreet terms (i.e., "thunder" and "stone"). For this reason, if the sected portion of a hard-hyphen compound is selected within the Word Cloud, Terms Table, or Collocates Table tools, the search result at MMO will be "0" if there are no additional stand-alone instances of the term within the visualized content. If the visualized content does contain stand-alone instances of the term, the sected instance will not be included among them in the results. Similarly, if a hard-hyphen compound is selected in the Reader tool, it will return the associated page image at MMO, but the hard-hyphen compound will not be highlighted.

Refinements to the Voyant integration, along with development and integration of additional visualization tools at Melville's Marginalia Online, are under way. To keep informed of these developments, follow the project on Facebook and Twitter in the upper-left sidebar. While the primary functions and output of these tools are rigorously tested for accuracy prior to being made available to users on the site's front end, supplementary features in some tools remain inoperable and will either be integrated successfully in due course or removed as funding and development allow. If you would like to support the work of augmenting and improving these resources, please make a tax-deductible donation to Melville's Marginalia Online through its Support page, or by clicking on the mug icon in the upper-left sidebar.

Peak performance of visualization tools at MMO depends in part on browser types and settings. Based on testing by MMO staff to date, Mozilla Firefox offers the fullest range of functionality involving mouse-over display and new-tab creation.

(Figures 6 and 7 below visualize marginalia in Melville's copies of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Essays: First Series, Essays: Second Series, and The Conduct of Life)

Word Cloud (Figure 6)
The Cirrus tool displays a word cloud of the highest-frequency substantive terms in the visualized marginalia, offering a rapid grasp of the terminology to which Melville gravitated most consistently in his marking of the visualized content. In compatible browsers, hover over words in the cloud to display their quantities. Clicking on words will open or refresh a new browser tab, triggering a search in the visualized volume(s) and displaying term-specific snippets with links to high-resolution images of the marginalia in MMO's page viewer. At the lower-left corner, click to the left or right of the disc in the "Terms" slider of the Cirrus tool to increase or decrease the number of words displayed in the cloud. Word clouds offer a useful but designedly reductive impression of the evidence, indicating recurrent terminology across the visualized marginalia but not providing a broad sense of its variety. For a more exhaustive display of terms in the marginalia, users may choose to visualize evidence in the form of a Terms Table.

Terms Table (Figure 7)
The Terms Table displays a list of all of the words in the visualized marginalia (minus stop-words) by order of frequency from highest to lowest (default) and sparklines indicating trends across marginalia when more than one volume is visualized (as illustrated here for Melville's Marginalia in Emerson's essays, but not in the single-volume Terms Table visual for his marginalia in Beale's Natural History of the Sperm Whale illustrated above). Clicking on the tabulated words will open or refresh a new browser tab, triggering a search in the visualized volume(s) and displaying term-specific snippets with links to high-resolution images of the marginalia in MMO's page viewer. Clicking on column headings will reorder lists by term and count. Entering or selecting terms in the text field at the lower-left corner of the Terms Table will narrow table content. The quantity that displays to the right of the text field represents the number of unique word forms on display in the table, with the total quantity of unique words in the visualized content (minus stop-words) constituting the Terms Table's default setting.

(Figures 8 and 9 below visualize marginalia in Melville's copies of Homer's The Iliad and Nathaniel Hawthorne's Mosses from an Old Manse)

Reader Tool (Figure 8)
The Reader tool generates a dynamic transcription of each marked passage in the visualized marginalia, with bold headings displaying volume and section information along with marking type(s). The initial header labeling consists of the Sealts/MMO number (i.e., 277_1), the volume number (if applicable) and page number (i.e., 1.051), and a numeric identifier (i.e., 1) that distinguishes the inscription or marked passage displayed directly beneath the header from other instances of marginalia on the page. Click on a heading or word to open or refresh a separate tab displaying the corresponding page image with content highlighted or bordered. Hover over a word to display its frequency within the marked passage or inscription. Click in the bar graph at bottom to navigate marked content by position of marginalia and relative length of the passage. Enter terms in the search field at lower left to display individual words and their total quantities within the visualized content, and to highlight results in the transcriptions. The Reader tool displays nested marginalia and their marked context as separate instances of marginalia, as with the passage "revengeful sail" at the top of figure 5, where it appears as part of a larger checkmarked passage as well as separately underlined content. This duplication inflates total quantitative results over and above the raw quantities documented in the same marginalia by Word Cloud and Terms Table visualizations as well as by the site’s search tool, but offers a fuller sense of the frequency with which Melville gravitated to specific terms and types of terms while reading.

Collocates Table (Figure 9)
The Collocates Table displays terms that appear in proximity to one another within annotations and marked passages across the visualized marginalia (minus stop-words) by order of frequency from highest to lowest (default). In compatible browsers, click on words to open or refresh a separate tab displaying term-specific snippets with links to page images. Click on column headings to reorder by terms, collocates, or counts. Enter terms in the text field at lower left to restrict table content. Adjust the context (quantity of surrounding words) for pairings by clicking and dragging the slider at the bottom of the tool. Click and hold the disc to display the quantitative context for any given position on the slider. Unadjusted, the slider defaults to the word quantity of the largest marked passage in the visualized marginalia, thereby drawing results from within the entirety of their immediate marked contexts. Like the Reader tool, the Collocates Table treats nested marginalia and their larger marked contexts as separate instances of marking, inflating total quantitative results over and above counts displayed by Word Cloud and Terms Table visualizations, but offering an exhaustive account of word pairings in visualized content. Moreover, when triggered by the Collocates Table, the site's search tool observes the duplication of nested marginalia parsed by the table, but quantifies words rather pairings. For this reason and the fact that collocate counts multiply quickly in marginalia that have more than one pairing, numbers in the "Count" column of the Collocates Table will often be substantially different than the quantities that display in the site’s search tool when a row in the table is selected.

Citation and Institutional Permission

Documentation for written or edited material quoted or cited in articles, books, and other forms of publication should include author and title information plus Melville's Marginalia Online, the project's three main editors, and date of access. The following examples illustrate proper documentation of content on this web site.

Melville, Herman. "Melville's Marginalia in Thomas Beale's The Natural History of the Sperm Whale." Melville's Marginalia Online. Ed. Steven Olsen-Smith, Peter Norberg, and Dennis C. Marnon. 2 April 2012.

A documentary note:
"Documentary Note to Melville's Marginalia in Thomas Beale's The Natural History of the Sperm Whale." Melville's Marginalia Online. Ed. Steven Olsen-Smith, Peter Norberg, and Dennis C. Marnon. 2 April 2012.

A critical introduction:
Yothers, Brian. "Introduction to Melville's Marginalia in The New Testament and The Book of Psalms. Melville's Marginalia Online. Ed. Steven Olsen-Smith, Peter Norberg, and Dennis C. Marnon. 2 April 2012.

"Commentary to Melville's Marginalia in Matthew Arnold's New Poems." Melville's Marginalia Online. Ed. Steven Olsen-Smith, Peter Norberg, and Dennis C. Marnon. 2 April 2012.

The Online Catalog
"Online Catalog of Books and Documents Owned, Borrowed and Consulted by Herman Melville." Ed. Steven Olsen-Smith, Peter Norberg, and Dennis C. Marnon. 1 January 2008.

Permission for displaying photographic images on this web site has been granted by the holding institutions and persons for one-time use only. Users should not download or copy an image without written consent from the institutions or persons named in the record fields of digital copies, or on the "Photo Credits" page of this web site.

Abbreviation and Symbols

Unless otherwise indicated, primary works quoted or cited in documentation and commentary on this web site refer to the Northwestern-Newberry Writings of Herman Melville. 14 volumes to date. Eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, G. Thomas Tanselle, and others. Evanston and Chicago: Northwestern University Press and the Newberry Library, 1968-. Citations include the abbreviation "NN" plus the work: Typee (1968); Omoo (1968); Mardi (1970); Redburn (1969); White-Jacket (1970); Moby-Dick (1988); Pierre (1971); The Piazza-Tales, and Other Prose Pieces (1987); Israel Potter (1982); The Confidence-Man (1984); Clarel (1991); Correspondence (1993); Journals (1989); Published Poems (2009). Hyphenated and multi-worded titles among these works receive the following parenthetical abbreviations:

White-Jacket = NN WJ
Moby-Dick = NN MD
The Piazza-Tales, and Other Prose Pieces = NN PTPP
Israel Potter = NN IP
The Confidence-Man = NN CM
Published Poems = NN PP

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