Peirce Project Newsletter

Volume 1, No. 1,
March 1994

Issue Contents



Research Center

In Memoriam

Coast Survey










Back to Newsletters



The recent months have been a time of change for the Peirce Edition Project. We learned in March 1993 that we would not be funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities for 1993-95, and plans were put in place to absorb an inevitable budget slashing. The result was a reduction of staff to its lowest level since Edward Moore and Max Fisch got the Project up and running in Indianapolis.

In September, Christian Kloesel resigned from the Project to make way for a sweeping reorganization and, on October 1, Nathan Houser was appointed as the Project's third director. Don Cook, emeritus professor of English at Indiana University, resigned as chairman of the advisory board to take a more active role in Project operations as consulting textual editor. Vincent Potter, Ignatius Loyola Professor of Philosophy at Fordham, came on staff as executive consultant and, with Cook, was given an adjunct appointment to the faculty of IUPUI.

Don D. Roberts, professor of philosophy at Waterloo, whose history with the Peirce Project includes service as associate editor and, before that, a long period of organizational work with Max Fisch on the Peirce Papers at Harvard, was appointed as the new chairperson of the advisory board.

At present, the Project's regular editorial staff consists of Nathan Houser, general editor; Jonathan Eller, textual editor; André De Tienne, assistant editor; and Cathy Clark, editorial associate. Eller, a retired Air Force major and professor of English (Naval Academy), was trained as a textual editor and brings a great deal of expertise and enthusiasm to the Project. His appointment with the Project started in June 1993. De Tienne, known to many Peirce scholars through his publications, took up his appointment at the beginning of 1993. He had previously spent long stints at the Project as a student from the Catholic University of Louvain, where he was awarded a Ph.D. for a dissertation on Peirce's phenomenology. In January, Beth Eccles was hired to help with Project administration, management, and development. We also have a temporary half-time secretary, Kyle Barnett.

This is a strong and dedicated team, and much progress is being made, but given the complexity of our work and the need for the faculty-level staff to contribute to the teaching mission of IUPUI, it is a staff inadequate to its task. To reach minimum full production strength we need a copy editor who can also take charge of proofreading, another assistant editor, and a research assistant. As an alternative to a copy editor, we might opt for a computer layout editor who can spearhead a shift to in-house production of camera-ready copy. That would yield certain economies and would give us greater editorial control, but it would require more sophisticated computing equipment and software than we now have. We also need a full-time project secretary.

The editors have given a lot of thought to the plan for our volumes and how to proceed during this period of scarce funds (none from external sources). We have decided to devote as much time as is necessary to finish the critical editing of W6, but to also devote significant time to manuscript reorganization and to develop closer working relations with contributing editors. We will begin serious planning for a few special volumes which can be prepared—up to a point—off premises. By "working ahead" in this way we hope to situate ourselves so that when we again acquire external funds and are able to hire production people, we can move efficiently toward the completion of volumes. We are also working to find better ways to use computing to help edit our volumes and network with our constituency.

On the management side, the main emphasis is on a restructuring of the Project, on integrating more of our functions and resources with IUPUI academic departments and other units, and on fundraising and development needs. The next NEH grant application will be crucial for the continuation of the Project, and it is more important than ever to establish a wider base of external support.

In brief, this is the state of the Project. Other articles in the Newsletter fill out more fully the profile of the Project's reorganization and plans. The next issue will report in some detail on our progress with W6 and later volumes, and will include columns called "Probing the Communal Mind" and "From Our Readers," which will initiate a form of dialog between the Project and our readers. We hope that the Newsletter will strengthen the ties between the Project and the community we serve.


Max Fisch used to wonder what had happened to the manuscripts Peirce had written for the many articles he published in The Monist and The Open Court. Now we know. They were rolled up with everything else that belonged to their issues (galleys, proofs, correspondence, etc.), and were thrown into large baskets in an upstairs room of the old Paul Carus (Open Court) Mansion in La Salle, Illinois.

This great cache has been moved to the Open Court Archives at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale where the Peirce manuscripts are being steamed open and flattened. Project editors traveled to SIU in the fall of 1993 to examine and photocopy what had been prepared for examination and were astonished at the magnitude of the discovery. To date we have complete printer's copy manuscripts for at least 15 published articles—some of Peirce's key writings—and there are revised galleys and proofs for many of them.

We have acquired over 700 new autograph manuscript pages, nearly all of which will surely end up in copytexts for the Writings.

If all of Peirce's Open Court manuscripts survived, as seems fairly likely given what we have seen so far, at least 500 more manuscript pages will be found. In addition, there is strong evidence that Peirce submitted a collection of his six "Illustrations" articles, with an introduction, to be published as a book. The archivist at SIU is keeping special watch for this manuscript—there is still a massive lot of material to be sorted through in Carbondale.

The Open Court collection, even as it now stands, is second only to that of Harvard in its importance for Peirce research and for our edition. It is our good fortune that Peirce's connection with the Open Court didn't begin until 1890, so all the newly discovered manuscripts can still be used for the critical edition!

(A list of the Open Court Peirce Papers will be published in a future edition of the Newsletter.)


Over the years the Project has attracted many scholars from around the world to make use of our research facilities and to discuss Peirce with our professional staff. In the past two years alone, we received over 60 visitors from 15 different countries. During that time we had eight students stay for extended periods to work on Ph.D. dissertations.

The Project is not an official research center, and we have never promoted it as such, yet it continues to attract scholars. In the coming months we will explore the possibility of establishing an official research center to work in conjunction with the edition (something that was recommended a few years ago by our Board of Advisors). The research center (or institute) will be an independently funded unit, and will provide the base for overall Project development and public relations. We are exploring the possibility of acquiring a start-up grant for such a center.

Although we have a large library that serves our basic research needs (see the article on The Fisch Library), the Project has no book budget and depends on book donations and on the personal libraries of the editors. With the resignation of the Project's former director, Christian Kloesel, we lost our daily access to his large collection of current works on Peirce, American philosophy, and semiotics.

We would like to establish a library endowment for the purchase of books and journals and for the general upkeep of our collection, but in the meantime we appeal to independent scholars to contribute copies of your books, dissertations, and offprints for our research collection. We will record all contributions and will retain thorough records in the Project files. We would be very glad to discuss the contribution of entire private collections of works related in any way to Peirce, American philosophy, or textual theory.


When Max Fisch retired from the Peirce Project in December 1990, he donated his personal library, including his thousands of files and information slips, to the Project. Forty-four large boxes of books from his Indianapolis home at Windridge were placed in storage at IUPUI because of a shortage of shelf space at the Project. This circumstance was undesirable both for the safety of the books and because many of the stored books were needed for historical research.

In October, as part of our general reorganization of the Project's physical space, we decided that it was time to reunite Fisch's library. We succeeded in acquiring (without cost) about 400 linear feet of library shelving from IUPUI's vacated 38th Street library, and the Project staff took a few days off from editing to install the shelves on nearly every empty wall space in our offices.

Fisch's papers and library now provide the core for our general collection of books and papers, which also includes the papers and part of the library of Charles Morris and a number of books that have been donated over the years by friends of the Project. We are working with the university to see if we can establish the Max H. Fisch Library as an official Indiana University nonlending research collection.


In 1986, the Project began replacing its outdated Wang and IBM computers with Macintosh computers. We acquired a few MacPluses, and upgraded our machines as better and faster ones became available. Today, each staff member has his or her own workstation, running (almost all) the gamut from the slower (MacPlus) to the very speedy Quadra 650.
All computers are networked together, which allows for easy sharing of documents and the use of a common laser printer. Most computers are directly wired to the university mainframe and have access to the Internet.

Now nearly all of our business documents (letters, memos, reports, budgets, etc.) are computer-generated. Recently we have begun to explore the possibility of producing our own camera-ready copy—we will probably choose between PageMaker 5.0, QuarkXPress 3.3, and FrameMaker 4.0. This production method is preferred by IU Press, and it will enable us to maintain more control over our edited text.


Edward C. Moore, founding director of the Peirce Edition Project, passed away on 4 October 1993. Ed Moore will be remembered as a great contributor to Peirce studies and the advancement of American philosophy. He served as the 10th president of the Charles S. Peirce Society (1964-66) and was the founding editor of the Transactions. Without Ed Moore, there would not be a critical edition of Peirce's writings. He will be greatly missed.

(For a copy of the official IUPUI "Memorial Resolution for Edward Moore," prepared by an Indiana University committee chaired by Paul Nagy, write to Beth Eccles at the Peirce Edition Project.)


Joseph Brent, Professor of History from the University of the District of Columbia and author of the recently published Charles Sanders Peirce: A Life, visited Indiana in November. On Nov. 17th and 18th, Brent delivered the Horizons of Knowledge Lectures in Bloomington where he spoke on Peirce's life and the perplexities of philosophical biography.

On the 19th, Brent came to Indianapolis for a Peirce Project Open House and to give a talk on the relevance of Peirce's thought for the humanities. Interest in Brent's book and in the changes at the Peirce Project attracted a nice gathering.

Although Brent and Max Fisch had once collaborated--in the early 60's—and had corresponded over the years, this was Brent's first visit to the Project.


Last year the Peirce Project lost its NEH funding, which ended our only external support. This forced Indiana University and the Project management to make some dramatic changes, changes that we hope will result in renewed funding in 1995. We have learned a hard lesson from this turn of events: a critical editing project cannot thrive without a broad base of external support. The Peirce Project is now entering a new phase, one that will be distinguished by an effort to extend its mission as well as its advocacy and patronage deeper into the community.

The compelling fact of the matter is that we have to raise money. Even if a new NEH grant is awarded in 1995, as we cautiously anticipate, substantial additional funds will have to be raised. To efficiently carry on our work, we have to rebuild our staff by adding four editorial or support positions and two or three part-time student assistantships.

Our reference and computer resources have to be expanded and updated and our extensive data-files (primarily the legacy of Max Fisch) should be digitized for efficient use. Also, it is past time for us to resume the search for Peirce materials that may still be "hidden" in archives or in private collections. Resources to meet these needs will have to come in large measure from the community we serve.

We have to learn how to raise money (a process which itself costs money). Through Newsletter appeals and separate fund-raising efforts we will encourage you to accept our need for funds as an opportunity to support work you believe in. Besides the edition proper, there are special projects that you may wish to support. We plan to establish an endowment to finance the transformation of the Max H. Fisch Collection into an operating research library and to help us preserve and maintain the many personally annotated books. We also hope to fund a senior scholar position and to establish an endowed research center.

Your gift is very important. If you believe our work is valuable and would like to see it continue, please consider becoming a Project supporter. Send your gift to Indiana University Foundation, P.O. Box 1596, Indianapolis IN 46206-1596, and make your check payable to the Peirce Edition Project (Acct# 32-16620). Contact Nathan Houser or Beth Eccles at the Peirce Project for more information.

Please let us know if there are other ways you can support the Project. You might consider including the Project in your will or making it the beneficiary of an insurance policy. Or you may have other ideas about how we can raise funds. We look forward to hearing from you!


The Coast (and Geodetic) Survey, as it was in Peirce's day, has been gone for a long time—subsumed within the sprawling "scientechnic" NOAA—but it has not been forgotten. Not yet—but soon it may be. NOAA's history division, headed by Peirce Project advisor William A. Stanley, has been shut down. Apparently Washington has decided to lobotomize our federal institutions to save money. Before he retired, after 33 years of dedicated federal service, Deputy Chief Stanley transferred several of the Peirce artifacts and documents from the historical division to the Peirce Project (on indefinite loan). Thanks to Bill Stanley, we now have for use or display several books used by Peirce, an original map of Hoosac Mountain drawn for Peirce's 1873 survey party, a frequently cited—by Peirce—set of brass metric standards of length (centimeter and decimeter), a pendulum used for geodetic operations, a Peirce family dinner plate from his grandfather's China trade (originally donated to NOAA by Joseph Brent), and a number of mounted Peirce photographs. We hope to organize these artifacts into a display to commemorate Peirce's service to the Survey and to science in general.


In May 1992, after nearly 30 years of service, the NOAA Ship PEIRCE was decommissioned. In a letter to Lee H. Hamilton, U. S. Representative from Indiana, Rear Admiral Sigmund R. Petersen explained that "the decision to decommission the PEIRCE was a long and involved process which was not taken lightly" but that because of "budget constraints and a long-term Fleet Replacement and Modernization Plan, retaining the PEIRCE was not a viable option."

Friends of Peirce, through the intercession of William A. Stanley at NOAA, explored several options for saving the PEIRCE from the scrap heap. On 7 February 1994, Carl Hausman received a letter from Rear Admiral Petersen with the news that the PEIRCE had been transferred to the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum in New York "where it will be repaired and outfitted for use as a classroom for science, technology, and environmental programs, and for underwater archeology research." Great news! But Admiral Petersen continued:

"Mr. Larry Sowinski, Executive Director, Intrepid Museum (212-245-2533), has informed me the ship will be renamed the ELIZABETH M. FISHER, after the wife of Zachary Fisher, the founder of the Intrepid Museum. Mr. Sowinski was aware of the Peirce Society's desire to retain the name PEIRCE, but felt [that] renaming the ship after the wife of the Museum's founder was more appropriate." Susan Haack, president of the Charles S. Peirce Society, and Nathan Houser have written letters urging that the Peirce connection be retained in some way. On March 9, Sowinski wrote to Houser: "It was solely my decision to rename PEIRCE in honor of Mrs. Fisher because of that ship's new mission at the Intrepid, which is to carry on with Elizabeth Fisher's life-long commitment to the children of the nation. With regard to your concern about the Intrepid possibly ignoring Charles Peirce and the Coast Survey, please remember that this is a Museum which preserves history, not omits or distorts it."


For many years, PEP did not have a single computer database. We relied mainly on Max Fisch's many files and slips to support the bulk of our research. It became evident after a while that there had to be a better way to keep track of the mountain of data about Peirce and his writings.

André De Tienne, who has some programming experience, built a few HyperCard database stacks to keep track of Peirce's correspondence and of our working notes. Those stacks come with multiple search-and-retrieval features. HyperCard is convenient because it is very easy to program, intuitive to handle, and immensely flexible—its only drawback is its slowness. To date, the following stacks have been created: family correspondence (between Peirce and his father Benjamin, his brothers Jem and Herbert, his wife Juliette); professional correspondence; Ladd-Franklin collection (correspondence and manuscripts), and Open Court correspondence (with Paul Carus, Francis Russell, and Thomas McCormack).

Other HyperCard catalogues include one designed to keep track of all the loose pages found in the Harvard folders for future relocation and reorganization, and several card indexes, in which we keep miscellaneous notes about Peirce's writings. De Tienne also designed a back-of-the- book indexing program, called Hyper-Index 3.0, which we use to index the Writings—this program was developed to index the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society. HyperIndex is a very sophisticated program with plenty of useful bells and whistles that make book indexing on a Macintosh almost a breeze.

FileMaker Pro is another program we have recently acquired, initially to build an efficient mailing list for this newsletter, and more recently to build a special database to keep a record of the page-by-page content of each manuscript as it is being reorganized. Other projected databases, not begun yet, include one for all the proper names referred to or mentioned in Peirce's texts, and another to keep track of his quotations and citations.

Finally, we use Endnote Plus to keep track of Peirce's bibliographical references, and we may use it to create a catalogue for the Max Fisch Library.


1994 finds us using computers at every level of the production process. Even at the earliest stage of volume preparation—the reorganization of manuscripts into their original compositional units—we have developed a computerized leaf-by-leaf inventory that helps us account for the many unattributed leaves that must still be identified. But the large-scale use of computers to establish the text and apparatus for the new edition begins during the collation process.

More than 60 distinct texts by Peirce will appear in W6, and many exist in more than one form. Once all the distinct manuscript stages and publication forms of a text have been identified, we begin to record all differences between those forms over which Peirce exercised authority. As we work (generally chronologically) through each form of the text, we record the ever expanding list of variants in a computer chart. Initially, the chart speeds our work in a very elementary yet important way—with the computer, we can build consecutive collations into the same chart as we go along. If a new variant appears in the third or fourth version of a text, we simply add a new row to accommodate it.

This comparative database is an important analytical tool. By recording and studying the often complex variations between forms of a Peirce item, we are able to make informed and consistent decisions about the evolution and authority of changes in the surviving texts. We are also able to use these lists as the basis for the textual apparatus—the end matter in each volume that allows the reader to reconstruct the stages of development (and, for the previously published pieces, the stages of editorial corruption) for any of Peirce's texts.

Scholars familiar with Peirce's complex writing process will wonder how radically different forms of the same text can be collated. We've developed paragraph-by-paragraph collations to meet this need. We compare whole paragraphs and, where even the paragraphing cannot be followed in the parallel text, keywords or concepts to produce a "macro collation" of such discrete versions. In this way, we are still able to get a sense of the compositional order of even the most widely divergent forms of the same item, and make consistent decisions on how to edit and publish them in a chronological sequence.


Transcribing Peirce's manuscripts requires a notation system to describe his alterations, marginalia, and other extra- or post-text inscriptions. Our principal transcriber, Cathy Clark, has developed a transcription language that expands on a PEP pre-computer system. For instance, if Peirce interlined the words "phrases containing" above the deleted word "expression," the transcriber places the following notation after the interlined words: {intl-ab del expression}.

The transcription annotations in braces can be suppressed in printing to yield a clear reading text. The marked transcriptions are read at Harvard (or at other archives) against Peirce originals. The PEP system alerts Harvard readers that an alteration, or other inscription anomaly, occurred at a specific point and that close examination and verification is called for. This is a preliminary step for creating an alterations list. At the end, the Project will have a record of how the manuscript appeared at different stages of composition, most importantly in its final state before critical editing begins.

Within the last three years, the Project has received, via "the information highway," transcriptions of Peirce's Cambridge Conference Lectures and his How to Reason (Grand Logic) from Kenneth L. Ketner and Don D. Roberts, respectively. Although such text files arrive in formats that require translation and careful proofreading, they are very useful and save a lot of transcription time.

We encourage readers who have carefully transcribed manuscript text files to contribute copies to the Project. The acquisition of text files for manuscripts after 1890 will be especially helpful. Send your files to Cathy Clark at IMSD100 @INDYCMS.IUPUI.EDU


The Peirce Edition Project and Indiana University Press have decided to issue an electronic version of the Writings. The electronic edition will be delivered on-line, possibly through the facilities of IUPUI's new high-tech University Library. Details remain to be worked out. The electronic Peirce will be a hypertext product which will include everything in the printed version and, perhaps, more. We have not decided whether to produce the electronic Peirce in a CD-ROM format in addition to an online product. More information will be given in a future issue of the Newsletter.


Careful readers of W5: item 36 ("Measurement Scales and the Absolute") may have noticed that the example Peirce discusses on p. 250 doesn't seem to apply to either of the diagrams in the item. That's because we slipped up. The fact is, Peirce's discussion on p. 250 is about the diagram on p. 249. Our copy editor prepared a nice piece of line art for p. 249 with letters carefully pasted in, but in production the glossy diagram was reversed by the layout people at the Press and was photographed from the back, which nicely shows the lines but without the pasted-on letters. Before the proof pages came back, the Project had lost its copy editor (one of the positions eliminated when the Project lost its NEH grant) and probably as a result the mistake was overlooked. Even though the diagram as printed in W5 is left-right reversed, it will serve perfectly well for Peirce's discussion if it is labeled as in the following way. First label the intersecting point of the vertical and horizontal lines "E". Next, label the intersecting point of the boldface diagonal lines "X". Then label the endpoints of the boldface lines as follows: make the upper left "A"; the lower right "B"; the lower left "C"; and the upper right "D".