All sermons transcribed and published in this database have been collated at least three times, and contributors have followed the following editorial practices, which are adapted from the work of Reiner Smolinski, in transcribing and publishing Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana:
- Where pagination is extant, in the manuscript, it has been preserved in text, as noted in brackets throughout each sermon: . For sermons not paginatedby their author, each consecutive non-blank page has been assigned a number; blank sheets have not been numbered. Thus, for a sermon whose first page contains a title on the recto but no writing on the verso, the recto is numbered , and the verso is not noted in the paginated record; numbering proceeds with the recto of the following page. Additional leaves or cutouts not bound into a manuscript have been paginated successively within the sermon as [A1], [A2], [A3], [A4], [B1], [B2].
- Interpolations have been introduced without editorial intervention, unless they appear in a new hand. Emendations or elaborations by a second author are rendered in COLOR.
- When legible, text canceled by the author has been transcribed and is rendered in
strikethrough. If the reconstruction of a word is conjectural, it is rendered in COLOR. If deletions are illegible or if words have been lost for other reasons, they are rendered as follows: [*], [**], [*10]to indicate the loss of one or more words by defacement
- [* illeg.], [** illeg.], [*10 illeg.] to indicate the loss of one or more words through indecipherable paleography
- [* damage], [** damage], [*10 damage] to indicate the loss of one or more words by mutilation. Words interrupted by mutilation have been reconstructed and placed in brackets: [uncertainty]. Sites of mutilation are identified in COLOR.
- [* gutter], [** gutter], [*10 gutter] to indicate the loss of one or more words to binding. Words interrupted by the gutter have been reconstructed where possible and placed in brackets: [uncertainty].
- In order to facilitate full-text searches, spellings have been regularized. Contractions and abbreviations have been expanded so that, for example, “yt” has been rendered “that,” "Cin" has been rendered "Christian," and “G” has been rendered “God.” Archaisms and colloquial speech—including verbs ending in "est," pronouns such as "thee," and "em" for "them"—have been preserved, although the spelling ("heighth" rather than "higth") has been corrected.
- Text underlined in a sermon—whether for emphasis, to indicate the use of Latin, or for some other purpose—is also
underlinedin this electronic text.
- Capitalization and punctuation—or the lack thereof—have been preserved, except for the insertion of an occasional apostrophe indicating the letter s signifies possession rather than plurality.
- As a service to readers, biblical citations are noted parenthetically throughout the text. Rather than preserve the original—and generally inconsistent notation, providing citations for some verses but not all—citations have been inserted throughout, whenever a preacher has quoted or paraphrased scripture. Citations for other quotations, when identified, are provided in the footnotes; if the author has provided a citation, the note will include, in brackets, the designation [Author’s Marginal Note].