Trinity 2.0 Update & INET Conference in Scotland

We are marking the beginning of the upload of the Trinity 2.0 arrangement of the Sraffa Papers. You can find the most recent iteration of my paper here.  Look especially at the Appendix, as there can be found (i) the hyperlinks for D2/4 Sraffa’s Lecture Notes on the Advanced Theory of Value (T2 here and WT here), and (ii) the first 13 files of D3/12; these latter are the files from Sraffa’s constructive activity in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Recall that D3/12 are Sraffa’s Notes on Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (PCMC) and consist of 115 files and over 7,000 mostly handwritten pages written over a 30 year period in three distinct phases: (i) 1928-32, (ii) 1940-46, and (iii) 1955-60; what is included as an appendix to the attached are hyperlinks to the material in (i). For a color-coded breakdown of the material in D3/12 click here; note this table appears in the Appendix of the linked essay.

Sraffa in the Preface to PCMC calls the material in D3/12 Notes on Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities a “mass of old notes”. The Trinity 2.0 Arrangement of this “mass” represents an organic interface between (i) the original arrangement by Krishna Bharadwaj and Pierangelo Garegnani (the BG arrangement; a version of the catalogue is archived as J14 and can be found here) and (ii) the Wren Trinity arrangement (WT) completed by Jonathan Smith of the Wren Library in the early 1990s.  You can see a visual mapping between the BG and WT arrangements here; note this figure is also in the linked essay.

Trinity 2.0 (T2) interfaces the two and provides a complementary co-convention to the material.  It is an organic interface of (i) BG whose primary focus is that of the inner-file content conceived as a collection of note-sets or documents with (ii) WT whose primary focus is the macro-ordering of the 115 files in D3/12 according to chronological and conceptual order.  The details are in the linked essay from which we have the following figure here illustrating the T2 interface.

The conclusion I hope people will draw is that in order to get the most robust and deep understanding of the material as possible, the archive should be understood in terms of all three conventions, as well as Sraffa’s own pagination which is sporadic but at times thorough on several important documents.

Also I will be at the INET Festival for New Economic Thinking in Edinburgh Scotland later this this week on October 19-20 at the Young Scholars Initiative (YSI) to discuss this as part of the History of Economic Thought Working Group (a list of all YSI Working Groups is here).

In the HoT group we have all come up with quotes from figures in the history of economic thought and we will expound on them as the Festival. The quote I chose is of course from the Sraffa Archive. It is a short note that Sraffa wrote on January 22, 1957 that reads:

“Just enough to hand it over before going down”

January 1957 would begin the final push to publish PCMC. For the next three years until 1960 Sraffa would tie up loose ends theoretically and otherwise get his manuscript that had been in the works conceptually since the late 1920s finally into published form. A timeline of this period, including the prominence of the above quote, is here.

The note is archived according to Wren Trinity as D3/12/58/2:(e3); clicking on the ‘e3’ in the citation takes you to the electronic Wren Trinity (eWT) numeration for the image, which is different from the ‘official’ WT designation. The reason for the discrepancy is that the numeration of images for purposes of website construction necessarily became at odds with the WT convention; this effectively created but another archival schema and in the Trinity 2.0 arrangement the interface between all these different ways to categorize and account for the same material is meticulously laid out. Making this very clear from the outset at this dawn of a new plane altogether of Sraffa archival scholarship is crucial in order to avoid any further muddling of matters and thereby streamlines the interface between the scholar and the text and allows for Sraffa to finally speak for himself. At least that is the goal.

The Festival precedes the INET Conference on October 21-23.  It is appropriate to be discussing and introducing all of this to scholars “younger and better equipped for the task” as Sraffa writes at the end of the Preface of PCMC.

So if anyone is going to the INET Conference this weekend then let’s try to meet.  I will be there to talk to anyone that wishes to converse all about Sraffa’s archive and the exciting new potential of Sraffa scholarship; send email to or

A video on this has been posted on the Heretical Sraffa You Tube Channel here.

In general I will be video recording more  including lectures on PCMC and introductory videos to each of the files in the archive. Also we will be moving shortly to a more proper website as opposed to the scroll down word press blog.  I plan to post some videos in Scotland too, so see you there!

Scott Carter@HereticalSraffa

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Scott Carter

Associate Professor of Economics The University of Tulsa Oklahoma USA

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