2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2019 4:59 PM by LOC Manuscript Division

    "Cple" -- Constantinople?


      As I work to transcribe the miscellaneous diaries in the Clara Barton collection, a female diarist on a mission to Turkey, in 1896, records the following in the upper-right hand margin of every entry: Cple.

      At first, I thought perhaps it was "Leple", but her capital C's elsewhere prove that it is, in fact, "Cple". We know that Constantinople was renamed Istanbul in 1930 -- decades until that comes about. We also know from her diary entries that she is doing some sort of mission work in Turkey, and based on the other nationalities she's described in the pages I've transcribed (Armenians, Italians, French, English...) we can assume that she's in a highly urban and centralized area.


      Ergo, is it fair to assume without additional proof that "Cple" is her shorthand for Constantinople? I've seen that other paleographers are also flummoxed by these mysterious four letters.

        • Re: "Cple" -- Constantinople?
          Lauren Algee Tracker

          Great research, Bill. That seems very reasonable to me, but you don't have to take my word for it! We can also ask our LOC Manuscript Division colleagues to weigh in as well as the on-staff Barton experts


          Even if we do assume it is Constantinople, you should still transcribe as "Cple" since we do not expand abbreviations in this project.  More details on that are available in our transcription instructions.


          "Constantinople" would make a great tag, though! Tags allow you to add some additional additional context or researched information, included expanded abbreviations. When we are able to add search functionality for the tags, this will bring folks searching for "Constantinople" to the related page.

          • Re: "Cple" -- Constantinople?
            LOC Manuscript Division Tracker

            Hello Bill, thanks for your interesting question.  If you’re referring to the staff diaries for “1896, Feb. 4-Mar. 4, Armenian-Turkish relief mission” in the Clara Barton papers, then it appears that a likely solution to the question about the abbreviation “Cple.” might be present in the diary itself.  Page 44 of the diary is titled “Image 24 of Clara Barton Papers: Diaries and Journals: Diarists other than Barton; Staff diaries; 1896, Jan. 2-July 16 (no. 4).”  In her entry for Friday, 14 February 1896, the diarist notes “en route Vienna to Constantinople.”  On the next page, preceding the entry for 15 February, the phrase is abbreviated as “En route Vienna to Cple.”  Interested readers of your transcriptions could make the inference about the abbreviation themselves, using this internal evidence.  Hope this helps!