The Aquarian Gospel Society has produced an exact digital master transcription of the gospel portion of the 1911 edition of “The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ”, claimed to have been transcribed from the Akashic Records by Levi H. Dowling (1844-1911) and published by his wife Eva S. Dowling (1844-1923).
The first edition of The Aquarian Gospel was published in 1908 and the gospel portion appears to be identical between the 1908 and 1911 editions, although this remains to be verified by digital transcription comparison. (We recently purchased a copy of the 1908 first edition and notice the same printing plates were used for the gospel portions of both editions — it is possible that a small number of copyedit-type of corrections were made to some of the plates so it is important to independently transcribe the 1908 first edition and then compare to the 1911 digital master edition transcription.)
The paper source copy of the 1911 edition used to produce our digital text transcription is stored at the Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF) in Richmond, California, a facility owned and operated by the University of California, located on the grounds of UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station. The call number of the book is BT520 .D75 1911. The Internet Archive scanned this copy in June 2007 and freely distributes the high-resolution page scan images.
The pedigree of our highly-accurate proofed transcription started from the OCR text generated by the Internet Archive from the 1911 edition page scan images. A number of OCR errors were located by digital textual analysis and fixed by consulting the original page scan images. The text was then digitally compared, character-by-character, to two online versions of The Aquarian Gospel:
Although these two sources textually differ from the 1911 edition in a number of ways, the extent of the textual differences is minor enough that they were useful for locating and fixing errors in this text transcription. Again, each transcription error was fixed by consulting the original 1911 edition page scans.
Subsequent to this, our text was further checked and corrected by character-to-character comparison to the independently-generated “Round 2” transcription of the same 1911 edition by Distributed Proofreaders (DP). Discreprencies between the two texts were, again, resolved by consulting the original 1911 edition. DP’s version will eventually be added to Project Gutenberg’s public text collection; we have reported to DP the errors we uncovered in their transcription. When DP completes their text version, we will again compare our version to theirs.
Because of this multiple comparison of independent sources, our digital text transcription is now believed to be perfectly accurate to the original 1911 edition. This includes exactly reproducing the manuscript/printing errors in the original 1911 print edition. The importance of this to those who produce updated editions, and who use, study and teach The Aquarian Gospel, should be immediately obvious and will not be further discussed here.
Note that the online edition includes links to reduced-size JPEG copies of the original 1911 edition page scans allowing the reader to confirm the authenticity and accuracy of our digital text transcription. We urge others to download our text and the set of original page scan images produced by The Internet Archive for preservation. (Beware: This downloadable ZIP file containing JPEG 2000 images is about 270 megs in size. The high quality, highly efficient JPEG 2000 compressed images, “.jp2”, may be viewed, and converted to other image formats, such as regular JPEG, using a graphics application.)
Importantly note that the 1911 edition is Public Domain and no longer covered by copyright, both in the U.S. and world-wide. So disseminate widely and wisely — we are certain Levi H. Dowling and Eva S. Dowling would approve.
For further information on this transcription, contact The Aquarian Gospel Society.