The Harriot Online Project aims not only to publish Harriot’s surviving papers but to organize them in such a way that readers can find their way more easily through the disordered raw material. We have therefore classified the papers into several main topics: navigation, mechanics, optics, algebra, geometry, astronomy, and so on. Within each topic, there are further subdivisions, down to small related groups of manuscript pages. This structure can be navigated through sequences of clickable maps.
Within a group, folios can sometimes be ordered or related according to Harriot’s own numbering. More often, the relationships can be determined only from the content: where one calculation feeds in to another, for example, or where similar calculations are repeated on different pages. Sometimes it is possible to detect a linear sequence, at other times it is only possible to say that the folios in a group in some sense ‘belong together’.
The conventions used in linking folios within a group are as follows:
At the level of individual folios the project offers transcripts, translations, and commentary. Calculations have not been transcribed except where essential for clarity. In general, Harriot’s calculations are clearly written and straightforward to read in the original, so that little would be gained by reproducing them. It would also be difficult, if not impossible, to capture Harriot’s personal conventions, and his versatile use of the space on the page, in modern linear typesetting.