About the Project

The Benjamin Marston Diaries Project was designed as a prototype in the creation of the University of New Brunswick Electronic Text Centre (ETC). A major goal of the project was learning Standard Generalized Markup Language, or SGML, in electronic publishing. We would like to thank David Seaman of the University of Virginia Electronic Text Center for being our SGML consultant throughout the entire project.

The Marston Diaries were chosen as a pilot project for various reasons. Firstly, the diaries were of significant local and regional historical interest, with Marston's experiences being in many ways those of the archetypal Loyalist who came to this region. Secondly, the diary was of a manageable size with which to become familiar with SGML and other facets of electronic publishing, such as digital imaging and document presentation. Finally, the staff and collections of the Harriet Irving Library were uniquely suited to the needs of the Marston project.

Digital imaging of the diaries was done through the patient assistance of UNB Audio Visual Services. All images were derived by the Kodak Photo CD process and adjustments made for clarity, visibility and colour. In the Benjamin Marston Diaries Project it is the digital image that fully maintains the integrity of the document.

With regards to the transcription, proofreading was done against the original and much of the manuscript was checked against printed articles on Marston. Winslow Paper indices were also frequently consulted. Still, errors remain, especially given the high learning curve of all aspects of the project. The UNB ETC welcomes all comments and suggestions concerning the electronic version of the text.

Benjamin Marston's diary spans three volumes and is located within the Winslow Papers at UNB Archives and Special Collections, volumes 20, 21 and 22. The diary begins in 1776, volume 22, for 36 pages. It then continues in volume 20 (1778-1780).