The Trinity 2.0 arrangement of Sraffa’s Notes on PCMC is an organic interfaced archive combining the Bharadwaj-Garegnani (BG) and Wren Trinity arrangements. We will have a lot to say about this in upcoming posts, but at this stage it is important to know that the methodology of the arrangement takes as its cue the manner which Sraffa handled archival material of David Ricardo and developed his Ricardo Edition, the masterful eleven volumes of The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo.
Especially insightful is the way Sraffa presents the Ricardo Correspondence, and once we begin to explore this we discover that it is no accident the title to Works includes the Correspondence, because presented here is a truly masterful scholarly treatment of David Ricardo’s correspondence. We are fortunate to have the material of the Ricardo Edition available to us on the web, through the website at the Online Library of Liberty from the Austrian website Liberty Fund. The subtitle to the Online Library of Liberty is ‘A Collection of Scholarly Works about Individual Liberty and Free Markets’. It is ironic that an Austrian free market worshipping website is more open with the scientific literature than heterodox economists have been! But I digresss…
To get a good idea of how we plan to go about the Trinity 2.0 arrangement, it is suggested that interested readers consult all of Sraffa’s various Introductory Notes that appear throughout the 11 volumes of the Works, and especially the Introductory notes that are in Volume VI which begins the Ricardo Correspondence, the subject of volumes VII, VIII, and IX. In Table 1 below we have three of the main excerpts from Sraffa’s arrangement of the letters in Volume VI.
Table 1: Excerpts from Sraffa’s Introductory Notes from Works VI (see below Table 8 for complete Introductory Notes)
|Preface to Volumes VI-IX|
|I. Ricardo’s Correspondence, p. xiii.|
|IV. The Letters in the Present Edition, p. xxxviii|
In these Introductory notes Sraffa tells us how he arranges the letters, and the methodology and rationale behind his manner of exposition. Specifically, what is of interest is how Sraffa numbers each letter and indicates from whom it came and to whom it is going. There is an interesting Table on page xiv of Works VI that breaks down the letters into the various correspondents, data which we can aggregate:
Table 2: Data on the Breakdown of the Ricardo Correspondence (Works VI, p. xiv)
|Total %||Total (to + from)||To||From||to/from|
From these aggregate data, we see that the Ricardo correspondence consists of 555 letters, 30% of which are from correspondence with Malthus, 19% from James Mill, etc. on down the second column. From the last column we see that Ricardo responded more than he received, the exception being the exchange with Say.
Sraffa numbers the letters from 1 to 555 consecutively and arranges them in chronological order. He tells us the rationale for this in the Introductory Notes to Works VI:
“In contrast with previously published collections, the letters to and from the various correspondents have been arranged in single chronological series. The reader is thus placed as it were behind Ricardo’s desk at Gatcomb Park and reads the letters as Ricardo writes them or receives them” (Sraffa, Works VI, p. xiv)
It is this feeling of being ‘placed behind the desk’ that the Trinity 2.0 arrangement attempts to impart on the reader, here of course the desk being that of Sraffa’s at Trinity College, perhaps in his Private Room at Neville’s Court or maybe his office at the Marshall Library. And yes this is a monumental task, because as we will see with the Sraffa papers, complete chronological order is not possible as there is tremendous zig-zagging going on analytically throughout the material. Fortunately for us the new technology allows for us to deal with this, especially in terms of the ability to hyperlink notes, etc.
This is the attempt that is being made with the Trinity 2.0 arrangement of Sraffa’s Notes on PCMC, archived as D3/12 according to Wren Trinity. So that readers of Heretical Sraffa can be as up-to-speed as possible, and for all of us to be on the same page methodologically, below are tables that have the links to Sraffa’s various Introductory comments throughout his Ricardo edition. Readers are encouraged to go through these commentaries to see the manner which we conceive of the handling of Sraffa’s own archival material as being influenced by the way he handled that of Ricardo.
Sraffa’s Various Introductory Notes and Comments in his Ricardo
Table 4: The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Volume II: Notes on Malthus
Table 5: Works Volume III: Pamphlets and Papers, 1809-1811
Table 6: The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Volume IV: Pamphlets and Papers, 1815-1823
Table 7: The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Volume V: Speeches and Evidence
|List of Speeches|
|Introduction to the Speeches in Parliament|
|Notes on the Evidence on the Resumption of Cash Payments|
|Note on Two Papers on Parliamentary Reform|
Table 8: The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Volumes VI-IX (Letters; Sraffa’s Introductory Notes all in Volume VI)
Table 9: The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Volume X: Biographical Miscellany