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Thanks for asking, Sarah! Response from our Hockley curator about what the numbers are:
"This is another great question! The four-digit numbers are Hockley’s way of recording the number of the answer/response he is receiving (presumably so he is better able to recall and reference them later in his writings on the subject). In the first digitized notebook (volume #4), the first number I find is 3118, so we can assume that Hockley’s volumes 1-3 contained just over 3000 answers. Volume 4 seems to end with #4371 and the first number I see in volume 5 is 4400, so I cannot be sure if there is a reason several numbers in between are missing, but I think roughly the numbers continue relatively consistently through the volumes."
Regarding how to transcribe, I would consider these an insertion. Our instructions for insertions are: "When text has been inserted over a line or otherwise added later, but should be read as part of a sentence, bring it down into the original text and type it in the order you would read it aloud. Do not use caret symbols or brackets to indicate that the text has been inserted." So in this case, I would probably transcribe the number on a line and then the text following on the line below.
Thank you so much for your time and the helpful tips on how to transcribe!
I believe those 4 digit numbers are index numbers. The journals contain some pages that are indices and each 4 digit number is associated with a topic on those pages. Each 4 digit number refers to a statement made by one of the spiritual inhabitants of the mirrors and crystals.
I suspect Hockley must have revised the indexing at some point, because there are two sets of numbers. The index pages that I have transcribed only refer to the larger numbers.
I can only say how I am transcribing them. I place them at the top of the spirit's comments, and I put the lesser, or earlier, number above the larger one. Although this may not exactly represent the page, it makes sense to me to keep the readability intact, and it is consistent.
The thing I wish people would figure out is that Hockley signals new paragraphs by indenting. Why do transcribers omit the indentations?