Guyana Colonial Newspapers

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Description of Transcription Approach

Lance Wilmer has transcribed some of the editions of the Essequebo and Demerara Gazette from the University of Florida microfilm. It is only an extract of what is perceived as the unique items referencing people and events in the colonies of Essequebo, Demerara (Demerary) and Berbice as reflected in Proclamations, Public Vendues, Advertisements, etc.

The "People" indexes don't contain references to officials such as Robert Nicholson (the Lt.-Governor), his Secretary Tinne and others - J. C. Stadtman, E. N. Wichers (Office of the Vendue), who regularly sign public notices. In addition, masters of vessels and officials outside of Demerary, Berbice and Essequebo (e.g. an official in Amsterdam) are not included. The printer/publisher's name, E. J. Henery, is not included except where he writes an item himself.

The People index expands on the reference in the transcribed data where this can be determined - where the data specifies Rousselet or N. Rousselet, he appears in the People file as "Rousselet, Nicholas."

Many of the editions contain list of Runaways held in stocks at the Barracks. These tables list the slave's name, the plantation or owner's name, and who brought the slave in to the barracks to be held in stocks. The first problem with these is where the table format falls outside the range of the normal printing (typesetting) the table has a poor impress - illegibility problems. Secondly, it seems that when the 'jailer' heard who the slave (runaway) said his owner was, the 'jailer' wrote down what he heard and thus over time there seems to be some 'corrective' action to the lists and the same applies to who brought the runaway in. So, there are some problems here with the information - yes, there are recognizable individuals (known names), but with all the changes (admittedly often minor) over time make this item difficult to sort out. There is no attempt to include these names in the People indexes.

In the transcriptions, only the English version appears where two versions appear, and the Dutch when only that is available. In the few instances where the Dutch version appeared to add something, it has been transcribed also. tems like the "Capitulation of Berbice" are not transcribed, but its presence is noted.

The text includes orthographic notation presented in a quirky way - e.g. Ko[umlaut]hler. This may be improved in future.

Researchers are advised to use this material as a finding aid, and to request their own photocopy of the item from the newspaper microfilm before citing it with any authority, and to confirm the transcription.


18020821EDG is transcribed from a paper copy located at the Houghton Library, Harvard University.

The Essequebo en Demerarische Courant transcriptions are based on the bound issues of the newspaper kept at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The newspaper is beautiful - the paper is heavy cotton with the texture of the mat on which it was laid during production - very nice stuff.

Created: 28 March 2003   Last modified: 19 June 2008     Creator: Wilmer, John Lance    Maintainer: Rodney Van Cooten
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