Reader’s Guide to Diplomatic Representations

The following explanations and demonstrations document the most important conventions and devices used in the diplomatic representations:

1. Overwritten or overtyped characters

The passages involved are highlighted in gray and initially show the top layer of text, i.e., the characters added later. Moving the mouse pointer over the passage will display the lower level of text, i.e., the original text.

2. Superimpositions

When one layer of text is physically superimposed upon another, e.g. by cutting and pasting, the original and lowest layer of text, i.e., the one covered over, is represented on the reproduction of the page with a light gray background. Holding the mouse pointer over the blue icon in the left margin will display the later text that was added through superimposition.

3. Attachments and inserted pages

Additional text physically attached to a page at one of its margins can be displayed by moving the mouse pointer over the blue box containing a wavy arrow (or another insertion mark used by the author). This placement of this blue box corresponds to the location of the author’s insertion mark in the manuscript or typescript. The insertion of one or several whole pages can also be marked in this way.

4. Added text above or below a line, or in the margin

Handwritten or typed additions to the text, above or below a line or in one of the margins of the page, are reproduced as they are found in the source material. If a marginal addition is joined to the running text by an insertion mark (e.g., a line, arrow, or other mark), holding the mouse pointer over the standardized insertion mark (“/” or “↝”) will highlight it, and a thin line will be drawn between the added text and its insertion mark.

5. Cancellations

Cancelled passages are reproduced and indicated as such in the diplomatic representation. When text is struck through in the diplomatic representation with a single line, like this , this indicates that the cancellation was done by hand. Printed slashes across a passage of text, like in this example , means that the author performed the cancellation by overtyping, generally with the “x” key. Erased text is represented in light gray letters.

In some cases, Hannah Arendt marked passages as ‘optional’ using large handwritten square brackets. For example, she used this method to prepare the typescript of "Ideologie und Terror" for use both in a longer print version and a shorter lecture version. Vertical lines, with or without arrows, curved or straight, indicate the optional transitions and are reproduced in the diplomatic representation. If these lines were erased, they are represented in grey. The bracketed passages can be foregrounded in colored text by hovering over the square brackets.

Longer text passages struck out with diagonal lines, x’s, or wavy lines are reproduced as follows:

6. Restored cancellations

The author usually indicated that a cancellation was to be reversed by placing a dotted line under the text that was to be restored . In the diplomatic representation, such passages are underscored with a dashed line.

7. Text connectors

In cases in which the text is interrupted by larger cancellations, the author occasionally reconnected the disjoined passages with vertical lines—for their representation, see point 5 above. If words are interrupted by blank spaces or the cancellation of individual characters, the gap is frequently closed up with a curved horizontal line (a sideways parenthesis), which can be above or below the word.

8. Uncertain readings

Text that cannot be deciphered with certainty is marked in the diplomatic representation with a dotted red line, like this.

9. Missing text

Text that is illegible, missing due to damage to the typescripts, etc. is represented by red inverted question marks: ¿¿¿.

There are two variants of this indicator. If the number of missing characters can be determined with sufficient certainty, then in the diplomatic representation one inverted question mark is used for each character believed to be missing. If one or more words is missing and the number of missing characters cannot be determined, this mark will be used: ¿...¿.

10. Transpositions

If a manuscript or a typescript indicates that individual letters or whole words or passages of text are to be moved (usually using curved lines or by circling, with an insertion arrow), the text to be moved is outlined in blue in the diplomatic representation. The destination of the transposition is marked with “ ”. Placing the mouse pointer over this marker will display a dashed blue line that connects the marker to the text to be moved, which makes it possible to avoid ambiguity when there is more than one transposition on the same page.

11. Altered or confirmed puncutation

The author circled punctuation marks to emphasize that they were to be preserved (e.g. after a revision) or to indicate that they were to be changed. Such markings are reproduced in the diplomatic representation by circling the punctuation in blue.

12. Capitalization

The author identified lowercase letters that were to be changed to capitals with double or triple underlining. Such markings are correspondingly reproduced in the diplomatic representation with double or triple underlining in blue.

13. Handwritten and typed text

In the diplomatic representation, handwritten text is reproduced in a italic, proportional typeface, while typed text is reproduced in a monospace typeface with serifs.

In this example, the text on the page is typed, while the text in the addition at the left margin is handwritten:

14. Paragraph breaks and blank lines

To retroactively insert a line break and begin a new paragraph at a particular point in the text, the author used this indicator: “¶”. The symbol “#” indicates that blank line is to be inserted.

15. Blank characters

Vertical lines like this: “|” identify the point at which a blank space is to be inserted in a series of characters.