Monday, March 13, 2006

Exploring Working Documents

I anticipate some difficulty with articulating the differences between working- and techne-documents. One approach--most fully articulated by David McGee--lies in the archives of the Royal Navy. A study comparing extant ship plans to handbooks could be quite illuminating. In particular, I imagine a study that compares the working drawings of the 30-meter Royal Transport with plates of similar designs from Hendrik Chapman's Architectura Navalis Mercatoria (see also VM142.C5A7). The Royal Transport is interesting only because it has some history: it was given to Peter the Great during his visit to England and it sported raked masts and a schooner rig. A model of it still exists at the Central Naval Museum in St. Petersburg. It also gets some commentary in Marquardt's The Global Schooner (UoT has it). Unfortunately, I'm not sure if the National Maritime Museum still has the working drawings. I may be able to glean some information from Colledge's Ships of the Royal Navy.

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