The Diary across Hands, Space, and Time (1)
This section continues our analysis of the state of the 1870 Field Diary manuscript by turning to material aspects of the diary closely linked to its travels across hands, space, and time. In particular, the section uses the presence of ink and pencil on the pages of the manuscript to explore the role of Livingstone and others in composing the text of the diary.
Introduction Top ⤴
The survival of the 1870 Field Diary entailed the passage from the nineteenth century to the present, from central Africa to Britain, and from Livingstone’s hands through a variety of others’ to the present project team members’. These diverse journeys have left their marks on the diary’s pages and often serve as incidental witnesses, providing information about Livingstone’s practices as a traveler and writer, events in the life of the diary, and environments through which the diary passed and in which it was preserved. The application of spectral imaging technology to these aspects opens new dimensions in our understanding of such marks or makes us aware of them in the first place.
A PowerPoint slide comparing the spectra of ink and pencil marks on two pages of the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1870h:XVII, XX). Copyright Keith Knox. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported
This section and the two that follow, therefore, concludes our analysis of the state of the diary manuscript by turning to material aspects of the diary closely linked to its travels across hands, space, and time. In this section, we consider characteristics related to composition of the diary, especially the diverse inks and pencil marks on the diary’s pages. In the next two sections, we examine handling of the diary, particularly as documented via folds, impressions, torn pages, and manuscript holes; and the impact of different environments on the diary’s pages as manifest through page discoloration and the presence of stains. We conclude with an additional section that sets out the diary’s previously documented history and that develops a new chronology of the manuscript (1863-2017) based on our overall study of its present state.
Composing the Diary: Ink and Pencil on the Page Top ⤴
– Spectral images most relevant for study of this aspect of the manuscript
Primary printed texts: IC1, IC3
Primary handwritten texts: IC4, IC5, sharpie, ICA_pseudo_1, pseudo_v1
Handwritten additions: IC2, IC3, sharpie, ICA_pseudo_1
Pre-composition: IC1, IC3, IC4, IC5
Preliminary composition and additions: color, pseudo_v1, ICA_pseudo_32, spectral_ratio
Reinking and revision: IC4, IC5, color, pseudo_v1
Texts from Other Hands Top ⤴
Livingstone constructed the 1870 Field Diary out of other texts over which he wrote his diary entries. These source texts divide into two categories: printed texts and handwritten texts. The 1870 Field Diary also includes a handful of additions in other hands made after the composition of the diary.
This subsection uses the presence of of various inks and pencil marks on the pages of the diary to describe how choices made by others in the first and third stages of composition of the text (i.e., those not involving Livingstone) helped configure the manuscript as it exists today. This approach to reading the manuscript thus reconceptualizes the 1870 Field Diary as a multi-authored document and restores Livingstone’s work to a longer sequence of composition history.
▲ Primary printed texts. The 1870 Field Diary includes five printed texts among its source materials: 1) the review essay from the Quarterly Review, April 1866 (Livingstone 1870b), 2) Arthur Penrhyn Stanley’s The Bible: Its Form and Substance, 1863 (Livingstone 1870e/1870f/1870i/1870j/1870k), 3) Samuel White Baker’s “A Map of the Albert N’yanza” from the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, 1866 (Livingstone 1870h) 4) the article (proof) by George Birdwood from the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bombay, 1863 (Livingstone 1871a/1871b), and 5) leaves from the Pall Mall Budget, 21 August 1869 (Livingstone 1871e).
|Two processed spectral images of pages from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1870k:LXXV IC1, 1871b:LXXXVII IC1). Copyright National Library of Scotland and, as relevant, Neil Imray Livingstone Wilson. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. In both instances, the processing suppresses Livingstone's handwritten text and foregrounds the underlying printed text.|
All these texts, with one exception (Livingstone 1870h), have been printed in black, presumably carbon-based ink, which remains same throughout each text. (Note: Our IC1 and IC3 spectral images foreground the printed texts for enhanced legibility, though the texts are generally visible beneath Livingstone’s writing. Alternate copies of nearly all of them are available at various research libraries.)
Baker’s map (Livingstone 1870h:[map]), which appears on the verso of 1870h:XVII, XVIII, XIX, and XX, includes additional printed colors such as light blue for Lakes Albert and Victoria and red to indicate Baker’s route across the relevant part of north central Africa to Lake Albert. Baker’s map is also the one printed text over which Livingstone has not actually written; instead, Livingstone has written all of his diary entries on the back of the map, with the exception of a minor set of calculations.
▲ Primary handwritten texts.The 1870 Field Diary consists of two handwritten source texts in another hand: 1) the letter to Livingstone, July 1866, by someone named Gorbello[?] (Livingstone 1870c) and 2) the text that lies beneath 1870h:XVII – i.e., on one quadrant on the other side of Baker’s map (Livingstone 1870h:[map]). As in the case of the printed texts, the ink used to create each handwritten document appears internally consistent in each document.
In terms of the Gorbello[?] letter, the original handwriting appears beneath pages 1870c:I and 1870c:IV of Livingstone’s diary and runs parallel to Livingstone’s text beneath 1870c:IV (the address) and perpendicular beneath 1870c:I (the letter itself). All of the handwriting appears to be in a brown ink similar to Livingstone’s own on 1870c:IV and indeed, given this similarity, the ink of this other handwriting may have a similar material composition. However, since our project does not include spectral images of the Gorbello[?] letter, the opportunity to engage in further study of the handwriting on this document is limited.
|Four images (one in natural light and three processed spectral images) of a page from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1870h:XVII color, PCA_pseudo_34, pseudo_v1, IC4), detail. Copyright David Livingstone Centre. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. The processing considerably enhances the underlying text: "Dr Livingston / With J Kirk's / Compn [Complements]"|
The handwritten text beneath page 1870h:XVII appears to be that of John Kirk, Political Agent at Zanzibar. The light brown ink of this text differs considerably from Livingstone’s dark brown overtext. The light brown ink also has a very distinct spectral response, as demonstrated by our images, where the ink remains on the page in a number of different spectral renderings while Livingstone’s ink disappears (see IC4, IC5, and sharpie).
Finally, one case of handwritten text merits additional mention. Multiple pages of Arthur Penrhyn Stanley’s The Bible: Its Form and Substance (1863) bear marginal annotations in the form of vertical lines in either gray or red pencil, as noted earlier (Annotation of one undertext). The present editors have proceeded on the assumption that Livingstone made these annotations, but it is also possible that another hand added them. If so, then this item would represent a unique case of a source text with both printed and handwritten undertext pre-dating Livingstone’s composition of the diary.
First, a variety of archivists, presumably from the David Livingstone Centre, the National Library of Scotland, and the British Library, have numbered or otherwise annotated a selection of diary pages.
A natural light image of a page from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1870b:IV), detail. Image copyright British Library Board, Shelfmark Add. MS. 50184, 169r. Used by permission. One or more unknown archivists have made the handwritten additions in pencil that appear in the upper left- and right-hand corners of this page. The one at right ("169") indicates the shelfmark; the circled one at left ("57B") is of unknown meaning.
Second, Rev. James McNair, founder of the David Livingstone Centre, has annotated the diary leaf that bears 1870h:XVII, XVIII, XIX, and XX on its recto and Baker’s map on its verso.
All of the above additions appear to be in pencil and have a spectral response quite distinct from other kinds of writing on the given page (for instance, see the IC3 and sharpie renderings of page 1870h:XVII).
Livingstone’s Use of Inks and Pencils Top ⤴
In contrast to the textual contributions from other hands, Livingstone’s use of inks and pencils to compose the 1870 Field Diary bears a rather complex character because of the variety of ways in which he wrote, rewrote, or otherwise revised and expanded his text.
A processed spectral image of a page from Livingstone's letter to Agnes Livingstone, Mar. 1871 (Livingstone 1871h: spectral_ratio). Copyright National Library of Scotland and, as relevant, Neil Imray Livingstone Wilson. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Livingstone has written the text around the edges of the page in iron gall ink, but has used Zingifure ink for the handwritten text written across the printed text at page center. The spectral image suppresses the printed text and differentiates the two different handwritten inks by rendering one in blue (Zingifure), the other in black (iron gall).
When he set out for Manyema in 1869, Livingstone anticipated passing through the region relatively fast, and the evidence suggests – most notably in the case of the materials used to create both the 1870 and 1871 Field Diaries (as well as the letters from this period) – that he packed limited supplies. As a result, the inks used on the pages of field diaries and the letters from this period (including the five letters included in this critical edition) help chart how Livingstone’s supplies dwindled over time and how he attempted to compensate for this loss.
In addition to this larger situation, Livingstone’s choices as a writer – what he writes and when – also appear to impact the character of ink on his diary pages. These choices result in an inconsistency in the material characteristics of the ink that cannot be ascribed simply to dwindling supplies. Rather elements of Livingstone’s overall composition practices have produced additional nuances in his use of ink and pencil on the diary’s pages. This section explores these nuances and their implications.
▲ Pre-composition (pencil and iron gall ink). Initially, Livingstone used the 1870 Field Diary source materials in the ways one might expect: for reading and annotation, as well as for note-taking and calculations unrelated to the texts’ content (see Initial Stages of Creation).
A processed spectral image of a page from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1871a:LXXVI [v.1] IC1). Copyright David Livingstone Centre. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. The processing removes Livingstone's overtext and shows what the page looked like before Livingstone began writing this segment of the 1870 Field Diary.
The evidence available prevents a definitive characterization of the amount of time Livingstone used the source materials in this way, but it could have been a year or two if not more since some of the source texts date back to 1863. Because there is a diverse selection of inks and pencil from this period, we conclude that Livingstone made the pre-composition marks over a longer period of time.
The notes and calculations consist mainly of a series in gray pencil on page 1871a:LXXVI [v.1], while the marginal annotations appear in both gray and red pencil on a selection of pages from Stanley’s The Bible: Its Form and Substance (the IC1 and IC3 processed spectral image renderings best foreground the calculations and annotations). Additional short undertext notes and calculations (now in a brown iron gall ink that seem very similar to that used for the main text of the 1870 Field Diary) appear on 1870i:LII and 1871b:LXXXVII.
A processed spectral image of a page from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1870h:XVII ICA_pseudo_1), detail. Copyright David Livingstone Centre. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. In this case, the processing demonstrates decisively that Livingstone drew the map in an ink that differs from that used for the surrounding text. This point, in combination with the fact that the map appears to lie below the surrounding text, suggests that Livingstone drew the map first, then added the other text at a later date.
Finally, Livingstone appears to have used a rather different, nearly black iron gall ink to compose the map on 1870h:XVII, portions of the text on 1871a:LXXVI [v.1], the text and map on 1871a:[LXXVI v2.], and one squiggle to correct ink flow on 1870b:. (The latter is especially visible in the IC5 rendering, while the former elements emerge best in the IC4 renderings.)
▲ Preliminary composition and additions (iron gall ink). Even cursory review of the 1870 Field Diary pages shows that Livingstone used a brown iron gall ink for the vast majority of the main text. Roughly speaking, the ink appears consistent from page to page and, whatever the spectral image processing method used, appears to have a generally consistent spectral response.
A natural image of a page from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1870b:). Copyright David Livingstone Centre. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. This page offers an example where the ink has a fairly consistent character for the span of the whole page.
However, this represents one area where the evidence of our current spectral images is not conclusive as the thickening of ink can produce visual results similar to more minute shifts in the material character of the ink. As a result, our spectral images in this case only provide useful data when the inks on the page are significantly different.
That said, a variety of gradations are still distinguishable in Livingstone’s iron gall ink. Some of these seem consistent with Livingstone dipping his pen then writing till he needed to redip it and did so (see 1871b:LXXIX for a particularly notable example of this mid-sentence). In such cases, the character of the iron gall ink evolves from being dark and consistent to being lighter and more splotchy, as the ink in the pen runs out.
A natural image of a page from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1871b:LXXIX). Copyright National Library of Scotland and, as relevant, Neil Imray Livingstone Wilson. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Livingstone appears to switch inks in the middle of the sentence (top center of page, four lines down), but actually the change in the character of his ink most likely derives from him redipping his pen.
This process applies to both shorter, single-page stretches of text and longer, multi-page sequences, where the stark contrast between the ink on the earlier and latter pages would otherwise suggest that the material characteristics of the ink had changed significantly (for instance, the pages in 1870c, 1871b, 1871e, or even 1870e:X-1870i:XXI).
Other gradations, however, suggest a more complex and, at times, non-sequential composition scenario. In some instances, the characteristics of the ink on some diary pages indicate that Livingstone first pre-numbered those pages with Roman numerals, then added the rest of the text on the page at a later time (see Sequencing by Roman Numeral), a practice that he would also carry over to the 1871 Field Diary.
In such cases in the 1870 Field Diary, the iron gall ink Livingstone uses to write the numeral contrasts in shade and/or consistency with the text that covers the rest of the page. At times, the placement of the numeral on the page – for instance, clearly crammed into a corner on the page – also indicates that Livingstone added the numeral at a later time.
A processed spectral image of a page from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1870i:LV [v.2] IC4). Copyright National Library of Scotland and, as relevant, Neil Imray Livingstone Wilson. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. The processing removes or diminishes almost all of Livingstone's text at the top of the page except for the page number (in the upper left-hand corner), which was an after-the-fact addition in another ink (most likely Zingifure).
In other instances, gradations emerge when the character of Livingstone’s ink changes over the span of a single page or from page to page. In terms of a single page, such shifts appear in one of two ways:
1. On occasion, Livingstone revises a given passage with an obvious after-the-fact addition in iron gall ink that is thicker and/or darker than the ink of the original passage. Livingstone generally places such additions above or below the main line of text and uses a caret to indicate the place in the text where the addition should inserted (e.g., 1870b:, , ).
2. On other occasions, gradations in ink point to an alternate composition process at work. For instance, between 1870j:LXIX and LXII, which appear top-to-bottom over two still-bound pages of Stanley’s The Bible: Its Form and Substance, a change from orange to brown iron gall ink appears just after the page break but before a new, dated entry.
The shift suggests that some kind of change in the material composition of Livingstone’s ink has occurred, but the location of the shift (especially when seen in the full context of the two pages) indicates that Livingstone wrote the pages in the following order: 1870j:LXIX, then the top of 1870j:LXII, then (after altering his ink) the rest of page 1870j:LXII. In other words, he wrote these pages out of numerical (and chronological) sequence.
A processed spectral image of a page from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1871b:LXXX PCA_pseudo_34). Copyright National Library of Scotland and, as relevant, Neil Imray Livingstone Wilson. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. The processed image suggests that Livingstone first wrote the text at the top of the page in one kind of ink, then went back and wrote the page number and the rest of the text on the page in another kind of ink.
1871b:LXXX presents an even more unusual scenario with the number and text on the second half of the page clearly written in one kind of iron gall ink, and the intervening text in another. Such characteristics indicate that Livingstone either started this page at one time, then returned to it later to add the numeral and the second half of the text, or wrote most of the page first, but left a gap for the opening section, which he added later.
Whatever the case, we can conclude that Livingstone apparently did not write this page top to bottom in one sitting. More broadly, this and the foregoing cases of ink use demonstrate that a shift in the characteristics of Livingstone’s iron gall ink need not be incidental and can, indeed, result from a more complex composition process.
▲ Reinking and revision (iron gall and Zingifure ink). Not all of the text’s layers, however, resulted from deliberate composition choices. Material alterations to the actual manuscript leaves also give us information about the diary’s creation and preservation. For instance, an instance of significant saturation – what we call the big stain – occurred after Livingstone had composed the main text of the diary.
|A natural image and a processed spectral image of a page from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1870i:XLVIII color, IC4), detail. Copyright National Library of Scotland and, as relevant, Neil Imray Livingstone Wilson. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. To compensate for the smearing on this page, Livingstone has overwritten several words in Zingifure ink. In the natural light image, the Zingifure ink appears as a nearly indistinguishable faint orange over the brown iron gall ink. In the processed image, Livingstone's overwriting stands out much more clearly in black against a gray background.|
The specific dating of the saturation remains uncertain, but it occurred in Livingstone’s lifetime because reference to both the natural light and processed spectral images indicates that Livingstone sought to counter the damage from the saturation (and subsequent blotting of his ink) by reinking some of the most smeared words.
He did this in two ways. On portions of 1870i:LXIX-LV [v.2], he apparently reinked the most damaged text at the top and bottom of the pages in iron gall ink, although our spectral images prevent reaching any definitive conclusions about this iron gall reinking because, as noted, the thickening of ink can produce visual results similar to more minute shifts in the material character of the ink. More interestingly, Livingstone also turned to Zingifure ink to re-ink some of the most smeared words on 1870i:XLII-LVII (and perhaps elsewhere). Since Livingstone did not create Zingifure ink until April 1871 (see 1871 Field Diary), he could not have carried out the reinking in the 1870 Field Diary until after that date.
A processed spectral image of a page from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1870i:LVII pseudo_v1), detail. Copyright National Library of Scotland and, as relevant, Neil Imray Livingstone Wilson. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Here, uniquely, Livingstone has rewritten several smeared words on the last two lines of page directly below in Zingifure ink. The rewritten words are quite faint and even in this processed image are barely visible.
In restoring the smeared words, Livingstone either retraces in Zingifure ink directly on top of the original words (the majority of cases) or rewrites the words directly below the original words (only one instance of this, on the bottom of page LVII). In natural light images, the reinking appears as faint orange Zingifure ink on top of the main brown iron gall ink, while our IC4 renderings bring the Zingifure ink into more prominence (also see the IC5 and pseudo_v1 renderings).
However, the 1870 Field Diary also contains two notable exceptions to this reinking practice. In one instance, Livingstone uses Zingifure ink – in the midst of reinking other words on the page – to make a significant revision to the text. When he complains that he cannot get “any carriers save the worthless liberated slaves who by thieving lying and
fornication [cowardice] have been a perpetual annoyance during all this Journey,” he substitutes the milder "cowardice" for the more graphic "fornication" (1870i:XLII, with Zingifure deletion and addition included).
An animated spectral image (ASI) of a page from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1870i:L), detail. Copyright National Library of Scotland and, as relevant, Neil Imray Livingstone Wilson. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. This ASI highlights the most notable moment of self-censorship in the 1870 Field Diary when Livingstone revises a reference, at image center, to his men's penchant for "fornication" to "cowardice."
In other words, Livingstone self censors in order to revise his text so that it reflect Victorian notions of decorum. Though the 1870 Field Diary has typically been considered an unrevised or first-stage document, then, we see instances where Livingstone is already revising with potential publication in mind.
In another instance, unrelated to the big stain, Livingstone composes an entire page in Zingifure ink (1870h:XX). This undated page represents one of a sequence of four on the back of Baker’s map (Livingstone 1870h:[map]) and, in addition to the Zingifure ink, internal references (specifically an allusion to February 1871) show that Livingstone wrote this page long after both the diary pages that precede it (the last date on 1870h:XIX is 2 November 1870) and succeed it (the first date on 1870i:XXII is 3 November 1870; 1870i:XXI bears no date, but the page’s appearance suggests it was written just before 1870i:XXII).
A processed spectral image of two pages from the 1870 Field Diary (Livingstone 1870h:XX, XVII ICA_pseudo_32)l. Copyright David Livingstone Centre. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. In this image, the color of the text on the page at left, the longest after-the-fact addition in the 1870 Field Diary, differs considerably from the adjacent page at right (as well as those below).
The odd placement of the page in Zingifure ink as well as its textual and material characteristics thus open a further dimension of complexity in Livingstone’s composition sequence for his field diary entries and suggests that other instances of asequential composition may yet be awaiting discovery by scholars. Such instances merit further consideration because they can diversify our understanding of Livingstone’s composition process and, potentially, the processes of other contemporary travelers to Africa.
Close analysis of the inks and pencil marks on the pages of the 1870 Field Diary, therefore, reveals the many ways that Livingstone and others have shaped and reshaped this text over time. Moreover, our analysis shows that a single composition model does not suffice, but rather that the process of creating the text alternates between linear and iterative trajectories. The next part of this essay explores the process of creation further by turning from issues of text to elements of manuscript materiality.