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  • Heinrich Witt

    Edition | Edition

    6. October 2014 | Comments Off


    Sketch of the battle of Ayacucho in the diary

    The ten conserved volumes of Heinrich Witt’s diary have been published online and in print by Brill (Boston and Leiden) in 2016. The edition follows the principle of “the last hand”. This will ensure the published text stays true to the English original, which Witt wanted bound for posterity, without any additions or omissions. Deletions by Witt were agreed to tacitly, leaving repositioned passages to appear only where Witt marked them to be. Sections that are not readable, because of paper loss or other damages, are marked as such. For the first time, the original text of Heinrich Witt’s diary is available for everyone interested in it. One part of the online edition is a facsimile of the two volumes, which Witt wrote as a reference in Spanish during the 1840s. Therefore online edition has twelve volumes, print edition ten. Witt’s compositions, which have been conserved until today, are a diary condensed from extensive, preliminary texts, which had been considerably larger in volume. In fact, he destroyed these vast initial texts. Only the two volumes from the 1840s are still intact. A lot of information from these two volumes are also found in other works, but they are in no case identical with the later, English written diaries. The edition contains a register of people and locations totaling 16,000 entries. It enables the discovery and navigation of people, who appear with different names in the diary. This could be because of different writing, changed names due to marriage or that they were called by their first, and then later on, second name. Furthermore, the diary differentiates as much as possible between people, who appear with the same last name. That is why the register allows comprehensive access to the diary, which cannot be accomplished by a simple word search. Lastly, the edition contains a foreword and introduction to Heinrich Witt’s diary. Included is an introduction to writing diaries in Peru in the 19th century, a short biography of Heinrich Witt, the history of diaries (genesis and transmission), a comparison of the diary and the Spanish translated parts as well as elaborate explanations for the general criteria of the transcription and for the usage of the register.