No doubt you’ve noticed the new section by now. Hopefully it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s a directory of pages each devoted to a specific topic. These pages can then be annotated with information or links to other sites. The information should stay rather more “current” than that posted to diary entries which tend to “fade away” as we move through the diary. The People and Places pages are now integrated into this section.

There are links next to each diary entry to all the top-level categories in the directory, and if there is anything mentioned in the entries that correlates closely with a Background Info page, I’ll link to it from there. But this probably won’t happen often other than with people and places.

The directory will need more categories and annotatable pages. So if you have something to add and you don’t think there’s a suitable place, let me know. It’s easier to add a new category than move an annotation that’s been added to an innapropriate category!

If you find any broken links or other strange behaviour, or if you think the implementation could be better in some way then feel free to email me.


First Reading

Phil  •  Link

Oh yes, and I'll probably split the "Places" category up into more manageable sub-categories at some point, like "public houses, "government buildings", etc.

And this is all just in time for St Valentine's Day... :)…

qB  •  Link

Perfect! Thank you very much.

F Milligan  •  Link

Yes, I like the new set up very much. Hopefully we'll keep the 'how many pennies in a shilling' type questions to a minimum.
PS Love this site, really fascinating! But aren't we a day behind? I'm posting this on the 14th Feb but can only see the entry for the 13th.

Phil  •  Link

How is Pepys supposed to write about a day that hasn't finished yet....? :)

Glyn  •  Link

I think it's a terrific idea!

One suggestion about the People and Places section: after the name "Jane Birch" could you add "(Pepys' maid)" since it's confusing trying to find her otherwise if you don't remember her surname (which is never used in the diary). But that's a minor quibble - this is great.

Phil  •  Link

Good idea Glyn - it's done. I also changed or added similar notes to the names of Pepys' immediate relatives, if only to stop me getting them confused!

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Great work, Phil!

Now, to take some pressure off our esteemed moderator, my suggestion is that those of us with the time and inclination should "populate" the categories with appropriate information, whether we supply it or not (of course, if it's not from us, then we should give proper attribution). I've just kicked in by giving Grahamt's good overview of currency units, which he originally added to the annotations back on Feb. 4, and will look through the annotations and add more to the categories as I get the time and opportunity.

It being Valentine's Day, let's show our regard for Phil and pitch in!

John Seal  •  Link


Thank you for this wonderful process; the Diary and (almost) all the commentary!

Beware of Mission Creep. Keep it simple. Avoid burn out.

AS  •  Link

The Background Information section should prove to be very useful. My only suggestion is that it include a "Language" section? Issues of language used in the diary do come up frequently and a section devoted to this topic seems in order.

Mary  •  Link

Language Section

I heartily endorse this suggestion

Davod Quidnunc  •  Link

I'd love a language section too.

Just set up the pages by letter. One for "A," one for "B," etc.

Derek  •  Link

Phil, I think you've done tremendous job on the new background information section and it's great to have links to top-level categories alongside each day's diary. Thanks again.

I endorse the requests for a Language section, structured on a 'dictionary' basis as David suggests.

Phil  •  Link

I didn't create a Language section at first because it's obviously going to be slightly different to the other sections. And I prefer to do one thing at a time, as it's easier to tell what is and isn't working. I'll get on to it at some point.

Grahamt  •  Link

Thanks Phil. This whole project is something that could only be done on the web. The fact that it is done so well is a real bonus.

Andrea  •  Link

It's fabulous having a backround section now, but I am having real problems with the annotations now. - Maybe I'm just stupid.

I seem to miss lots of comments which are made in the 'background section'. Or are you all reading through all the categories every day???? For example, someone was annotating the diary regarding water and someone else comments on water in the 'water category'. i can just about get this one, but sometimes the comments are not that obvious...

Is there a way to let the readers of the diary section know that someone is adding to the background section - or am I missing something really obvious?

Andrea  •  Link

sorry - knew I must have missed something essential

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