Texts and Textual Authentication

Authenticated texts submitted for publication on VOD should contain four elements: (a) the text itself, (2) a complete Bibliographic List of Sources used in establishing the text, (3) a brief Statement of Editorial Procedures, and (4) Notes on any departures or deviations from the copy-text and editorial procedures.

The textual authentication material on VOD typically includes the following information.

  1. Speech title exactly as it to be printed (this may be the popular or formal title)
  2. Exact date and place of speech delivery (if known); if delivered more than once, then the date and place of the version of the speech used as the copy-text
  3. Complete name of speaker, with year of birth and year of death (if known)
  4. Complete name of editor or compiler of electronic text, with indication of role (for the purposes of VOD, you are an editor if you have made an independent evaluation of text sources, you are a compiler if you are following another editor’s critical edition of the text); for example: Jane Doe Smith, editor.
  5. Date of electronic edition (give exact date submitted)
  6. For the version or published edition followed by the editor, an indication that the electronic version of the text has been collated with that source version/edition and proofread. Also, any corrections of the source version/edition should be listed. Corrections in the list should pertain to matters not otherwise reported in textual notes. If your copy-text is a printed text, report corrections with reference to the page and line of the copy text, for example: p. 21 line 16 parf (now reads) part. If your copy-text is a video or audio recording, report corrections with reference to paragraph number and one word on either side of the correction, for example: paragraph 2: a parf of (now reads) a part of.
  7. Indication of any normalization of the text (usually spelling or pronunciation), for example: The word pronounced ‘noo-kya-ler’ in the videorecording has been spelled ‘nuclear’ in all instances.
  8. Indication of how double and single quotations are marked in the text.
  9. If applicable, indication of how end-of-line hyphenated words in the source have been treated in the electronic text.
  10. Indication of the languages in which the speech is expressed and percentage of use for each language. Normally this will be as follows: English 100%; however, some speeches may involve two or more languages, e.g., Kennedy’s speech, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” or Benjamin Franklin’s speech on adoption of the Constitution. To estimate percentages of language use in any speech, simply divide the number of words in any language by the number of words in the speech.
  11. Indication of the Library of Congress Subject Headings at the general level (e.g., Political Science) and special level (e.g., Presidents–United States–messages) along with the Library of Congress Classification (e.g., J82). A simple way to establish Library of Congress Subject Headings and Classification is to follow those already adopted in a printed source from which you have derived your text. For example, a printed source for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” (8 December 1953) is Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower. Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President: January 20 to December 31, 1953 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1960). One Library of Congress Classification of this book is given as “J82” in WorldCat. Likewise, “Presidents–United States–messages” may be found in WorldCat as a special level Subject Heading for the work. The general level Subject Heading that includes this special level heading is “Political Science” (for basic Library of Congress Subject Heading information see http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/lcco.html and http://fantasia.cse.msstate.edu/lcshdb/index.cgi). It should perhaps be noted that professional librarians do not always locate Library of Congress Classifications within the same category as special level Subject Headings reported for the work; moreover, Subject Headings and Classifications may be reported differently in different library catalogs. If your text has never appeared in a printed source that is cataloged using Library of Congress Subject Headings and Classification, you should consult Library of Congress Subject Headings, 5 vols., 29th ed. (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2006). This work will allow you to establish plausible Library of Congress Subject Headings for your text. To determine a Library of Congress Classification for such a text, consider the range of classification numbers that are relevant to the text, then check the final decision on a classification number against identical Library of Congress Classifications in WorldCat.
  12. Indication of editing functions performed (e.g., data entry, proof-reading), by whom (complete name), and when performed (complete [inclusive] date[s]); for example: John Q. Public, data entry and proof-reading of electronic copy-text, 21-22 January 2005; Jane Doe Smith, collation of electronic copy-text with other versions, 26 January 2005; Terry Rowe, editing of electronic text, 27 January 2005; Jane Doe Smith, proof-reading of edited electronic text, 28 January 2005.

Sample Bibliographic List of Sources:


Kerry, John F. “Statement of John Kerry, Vietnam Veterans Against the War.” New York: Encyclopedia Americana/CBS News Audio Resource Library, 1971. Audio Tape. [=A] (Version A represents the copy-text—the text that will be featured on the VOD website.)

Kerry, John F. 1971. “Statement of John Kerry, Vietnam Veterans Against the War.” In Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia. United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 92d Congress, lst sess., April 22, 1971. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office: 180-185. [=B]  (Version B represents another version that is compared to version A; version B may be used to answer paragraph issues, spellings, correct word usages when uncertainties exist with version A)

Sample Statement of Editorial Procedures:

The copy-text is Kerry 1971 (=A), an audiotape recording of the delivered speech. This selection was based on the plausible efficacy of the delivered speech before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the large number of listeners and viewers of the speech both on live radio and television and subsequently in various venues.

Kerry 1971 (=B) is followed for paragraphing, spelling, and punctuation.

Paragraph numbers have been added in square brackets.

Indications of any normalization of the text (usually spelling or pronunciation) are addressed in the notes below.

Non-grammatical forms have been changed and noted to reflect standard grammatical forms of language as reflected in (B).

The text of this edition has been thoroughly checked and proofread.

All double quotation marks are rendered with “, all single quotation marks with apostrophe ‘.

This copy text is not subject to end-of-line hyphenation.

Special characters and characters with diachronic marks: paragraph 45, communiqué.

Sample Notes on departures from the copy-text and general editorial procedures (reference numbers specify paragraph in which the departure occurs):

1 I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that B: blank tape A

6 result is of the feelings B: result is of of the feelings A

14 money B: monies A

17 North Vietnamese because B: North Vietnamese because because A

25 going to B: gonna A

29 indignations B: indignancies A

29 lain down B: lied, lain down A

For a more detailed discussion of the authentication procedures used on Voice of Democracy, along with a demonstration of those procedures as applied to Barbara Jordan’s famous “Statement on the Articles of Impeachment” (1974), see Robert Gaines, Notes on the Authentication of Rhetorical Discourse.