About these transcriptions
There are somewhere between 200 and 225 separate letters in this collection. The majority of the letters are written on pages of about 8-1/2 by 11 inches, on very light weight paper. Most are written in pencil and are faint to read.
Most letters are dated, however there are several undated portions (probably separate letters to other family members, which had been included in the same mailing of other letters of the same dates) which have become separated.
There are also several fragmented pages that have become separated. Some of these can be reunited with the main portion of the letters from which they are separated, by their content, and/or matching similar paper and writing, when possible.
The letters were removed from their envelopes years ago. Only two detached envelopes remain in the collection.
The letters are now stored, in order of date, in archival plastic sleeves and in binders to minimize handling and allow reading.
All letters are being scanned one at a time at a medium-high resolution of 300 dpi, and stored digitally. This resolution adequately captures all details, and allows for good print reproductions.
From those scans, the visual contrast is enhanced (in Adobe PhotoShop) to make them easier to read, and those are also saved digitally.
The transcriptions are being read from those enhanced scans, and can be enlarged on an illuminated computer screen, which greatly eases reading the documents.
Reductions of 20% of the original scans are also made, in the interest of saving space, and those are the facsimiles that are posted on the web pages under the text transcriptions.
The letters are being transcribed verbatim. For example, misspellings are left, upper and lower cases used as in the letters, periods and commas also as in the letters. Stacey often used commas in the place of periods, and also employed commas in abundance in non-grammatical usage, but these indicate where he may have paused in writing down his thoughts, and can therefore enhance our insight while reading these letters.
There are many individual words, or letter portions that are difficult or impossible to make out. In a few instances, this is because of extreme fading or damage to portions of the document. When a word cannot be read, a blank space is left inside brackets [ ]. When a word or phrase is guessed at, it will be written inside brackets “[guessed phrase]”. “[sic]” is used to show a misspelling or such is not a transcription error. The letters mostly lack paragraphing, probably to save space on the paper, so to make them easier to read here I have created paragraphs where it seems they should be. I have also added periods where they are missing at the obvious ends of sentences.