Livingstone's 1871 Field Diary

A Multispectral Critical Edition

Livingstone’s Manuscript Structure
The pages of the 1871 Field Diary conform to a basic pattern. Attention to this pattern reveals the development of Livingstone's narrative objectives as he writes the diary.
Page Numbers
Livingstone numbers each of the 64 pages of the Nyangwe portion of the diary with a Roman numeral. The sequence of numbers from 297c/102 to 297b/163 is correct and continuous except for a few anomalies. The numbers 132 and 133 appear twice (297c/132-33, 297b/132-33). A few pages, which have the top crumbled off, do not include a number (297b/134, 297b/135, 297b/137, 297b/161). 297b/141 (CXLI) is misnumbered as 140 (CXL), so that the latter number also repeats, although Livingstone didn’t intend for it to do so. Finally, Livingstone mistakenly gives the Roman numeral on 297b/159 (CLIX) as CLVIX.
Figure 1. Livingstone, 1871 Field Diary, 297b/159, detail, spectral ratio.
Livingstone has mistakenly written "CLIX" as "CLVIX."
Journal Entries and Notes
In general, the individual pages of the 1871 Field Diary contain either one or more "journal" entries or one or more "notes." With a few exceptions, 297c/102-13 all contain diary entries, and Livingstone does not further describe these pages then to add the following words after the Roman numeral on 297c/102: "to be copied into Journal at Ujiji now."
Figure 2. Livingstone, 1871 Field Diary, 297c/102, detail, spectral ratio.
However, from 297c/113 onward, Livingstone labels each diary page as either "Journal" or "Note" or "Notes." Click here to open a window showing all of Livingstone’s headers.
Figures 3 and 4. Livingstone, 1871 Field Diary, 297c/126 and
297c/132, details, spectral ratio. Examples of headers
with, respectively, "Journal" and "Note" designations.
This designation always appears in close proximity to the page number and, on the pages in question, conforms to a pattern that evolves as follows:
Page(s) Structure of first line Remarks
297c/113, 297c/115 page number - date - "Journal"
297c/114, 297c/116 page number - "note for letter" On both pages, the first line appears to be an after-the-fact addition.
297c/117-22 page number - "Note" On all these pages except 297c/121, the word "Note" appears to be an after-the-fact addition.
297c/123-31 page number - "Journal" - date On 297c/131, Livingstone has written the word "Journal" over the word "Note."
297c/132-33 page number - "Note."
297b/132-56 page number - "Journal" - date The page numbers are torn off for 297b/134, 297b/135, 297b/137. On 297b/149 the date appears on the second line.
297b/157-58 page number - "Note." On 297b/157 Livingstone follows the page number and "Note." with "Manyema Nyangwe" and on the second line gives a date.
297b/159 page number - "Note Journal Note" Livingstone appears to have written "Note," then "Journal" over it followed by "Note," then cancelled everything and added a sentence about "the foregoing Note" (on 297b/157-58), followed by the word "Journal" on the fifth line of the page and a series of diary entries.
297b/160 "Journal" - page number - date
297b/161 [page number] - "Journal" The page number is torn off. The date appears on the second line.
297b/162-63 "Notes" - page number On both pages, the page number appears to be an after-the-fact addition.
Note: The pages under file prefixes NLS10703, DLC1120b, and RHOLAfrs16-1 consist wholly of diary entries and, outside of a "Journal" designation at the opening of DLC1120b/r, receive no other designation from Livingstone.
It emerges that 48 of the Nyangwe Diary pages begin with a new diary entry or note. Of the 16 pages that open with a diary entry or note continued from a previous page, half include a full or abbreviated version of the word "continued" immediately after the date on the first line of the page. (The first entry of DLC1120b/r also continues from a previous page, albeit one that has not survived). On those pages where space permits, Livingstone also includes a few words of the opening diary entry on the first line of the page following the date.
Figure 5. Livingstone, 1871 Field Diary, 297b/151, detail, spectral ratio.
An example of a header that continues an entry from the previous page.
There is no hard and fast distinction between the subject matter that might constitute a diary entry or a note. Diary entries tend to be relatively unreflective descriptions of the events and observations of a given day. Notes tend to take one of two forms: 1) reflective, at times heavily revised, drafts for letters, and 2) shorter jottings from the field such as vocabularies, descriptions of African cultural practices, and geographical information collected from informants. On occasion note-like material appears among a series of diary entries (e.g., 297c/102, 297c/112, 297b/160), while portions of some notes look and read like diary pages (297c/133, 297b/157, and 297b/163). Those notes with dates reinforce the argument advanced in the Composition section, namely that Livingstone did not write the pages of the Nyangwe Diary in sequential order.
Diary entries typically begin in one of two ways. The first diary entry on a given page usually includes the day, month, and year. Subsequent entries begin with the day only. On the first of each month, Livingstone always gives the day, month, and day of the week, and maintains this practice throughout the 1871 Field Diary. On three occasions, Livingstone also notes the last Sunday of the month (28 Apr. 1871, 26 May 1871, 29 July 1871), and on two occasions records that a particular day is a Saturday (19 Aug. 1871, 3 Nov. 1871). In addition, Livingstone breaks down the entries for 16 July 1871, the day immediately following the Nyangwe massacre, by time of day so that there are entries for "12 AM [sic]," "1 PM," "2 PM," and "4 PM." Finally, in an apparently random manner Livingstone sometimes separates individual diary entries or notes with one to two (and, in one instance, three, 297b/153) horizontal lines drawn across the page.
Figures 6, 7, 8. Livingstone, 1871 Field Diary, 297c/125, 297c/115,
297b/146, details, spectral ratio. Examples of, respectively, a header
diary entry with day, month, and year; a diary entry recording the
day of the week; and a diary entry beginning with a time. In addition,
the latter two images show Livingstone's tendency to separate
entries with one or two lines drawn across the page.
In nearly all cases, page entries run to the bottom of the page. The exceptions consist of two pages that end with an unusually large space at the bottom (297c/110 and 297b/142), one page (297c/120) where Livingstone has left the bottom quarter of the page blank, and 297c/131 of the first copy-book, where Livingstone ends with a unique line of text in the lower right-hand corner of the page. The text reads: "Turn to other sheet CXXXII."
Figure 9. Livingstone, 1871 Field Diary, 297c/131, detail, spectral
ratio. The text directs the reader away from the pages that
follows in Livingstone's first copy book (297c/132-33) to the
opening page of the next copy book (297b/132).
The two pages that follow in this copy-book, 297c/132-33, consist of notes, so this line of text clearly serves to connect 297c/131 to 297b/132, which comprises the first page of the second copy-book.
Manuscript Structure (cont)