When preparing the on-line publication, ropslettres.be, the Félicien Rops Museum (Province of Namur) called upon scientists specialised in the publishing of texts and in particular letters: the “Centre for the publishing of texts and the study of sources” at the Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature (KANTL – CTB) in Ghent. Thanks to this collaboration, precise transcription rules — among other things — were drawn up in order to produce a critical publication accessible to various groups, without aiming to be philological. The publishing principles adopted were validated by the scientific committee that has been assisting with the on-line publication project since 2009.
Each letter has been given a publication number, allocated on the basis of the order in which it appears on the website ropslettres.be.
If the date of writing and/or the place are not mentioned, we have endeavoured to reconstruct them. In this case, they are given between square brackets. Where this has not proved possible, the convention “s.l.” has been used to denote the lack of place and the indication 0000/00/00 to indicate the lack of date.
The transcriptions have been established as faithfully and meticulously as possible. The spelling, the written forms of the time, the abbreviations and the punctuation have been retained. Similarly, capitals and lower-case characters are given as they appear in the originals. The spelling of names and places has been retained.
Word underlinings are indicated. Where words have been underlined three times or more, wavy underlining has been used.
Additions in the margins are transcribed between chevrons < > exactly where they should have been inserted in the text. If this place is not indicated, then they are included at the end of the transcription, again between chevrons < >. As far as possible, text that has been crossed out has been reproduced as it was.
The figures are indicated, between square brackets, using the term “fig.” followed by a number. E.g.: [fig. 1].
Any text included in figures is given afterwards: [fig. 1 xxxx].
If this text is divided into various autonomous parts, the division is marked by a slash. E.g.: [fig. 1 xxxx / xxxx].
To facilitate reading, certain modifications have been made when establishing the text:
All publishing interventions are indicated between square brackets [ ].
In cases where the text is based on conjecture, the presumed word or words is or are given between square brackets and followed by a question mark: e.g. [word ?].
Where the text is illegible, this is indicated, again using square brackets, and the reason is given: [illegible: crossed out], [illegible: indecipherable], [illegible: erased].