Technical Information

Editorial Principles


The Winnifred Eaton Archive attempts to publish authoritative electronic versions of Winnifred Eaton Babcock Reeve’s complete oeuvre, which comprises many forms, including scrapbooks, letters, manuscripts, periodical publications, books, screenplays, and films. Release 1.0 focuses on finalizing transcriptions of texts from the first two phases of her career: “Early Experiments” and “Playing Japanese.” The long-term goal of this Archive is to provide a single site for access to the complete works of Winnifred Eaton Babcock Reeve, including her unpublished works.
All transcriptions were based on high-resolution digital images of published sources obtained from research libraries or, for unpublished materials, verified manuscripts from the Winnifred Eaton Reeve fonds at the University of Calgary. For her manuscripts, periodical publications, and books, we provide facsimile page images and transcriptions. Transcriptions do not include illustrations. Where more than one version of a text exists, we provide facsimile page images and transcriptions for at least one version, typically the most complete; in the future, we may digitize additional versions. For films, we commit to providing both facsimile page images and transcriptions of her manuscripts (including scenarios, treatments, and screenplays) and are working to locate electronic copies of her films.

Organizing Principles

Written under different pseudonyms, in multiple genres, on numerous themes, and from different geographical locations, Winnifred Eaton’s works are extremely difficult to categorize. Some works were written in one location but not published until she had moved elsewhere. Some Japanese-themed work was published over a decade after she had abandoned the ethnic masquerade. Some non-Japanese works were published under her Japanese pseudonym to capitalize on the name recognition of “Onoto Watanna.” We decided to organize the Winnifred Eaton Archive around what we identify as 5 distinct phases of Eaton’s career, based loosely on a combination of chronology, geography, and thematic. These phases overlap chronologically somewhat: “Early Experiments” features fairly derivative poems and short stories written in the 1890s and early 1900s during Eaton’s writing apprenticeship in Montreal and Jamaica, and/or before she had taken up her identity as Onoto Watanna. “Playing Japanese” collects texts on Japanese topics written from 1897 until 1922, by Eaton but signed “Onoto Watanna”: short fiction, novels, poetry, non-fiction including ethnography, and even a cookbook. “New York Years” collects short fiction, novels, and fictionalized autobiography and biography written by Eaton from 1901-1916, during her marriage to Bertrand Babcock, while she was living in New York with her young family. These texts mark a period of reinvention for Eaton, after the novelty of her Japanese romances had faded and she was attempting to re-position herself as an author of popular dialect fiction and works on themes beyond Japan. “Alberta” collects texts written about ranch country, after Eaton has divorced Babcock, remarried Frank Reeve and moved to western Canada, where she lived off and on from 1917 until her death in 1954. Finally, “In Hollywood” collects Eaton’s screenplays, treatments, extant films, as well as fiction about the movie business written from 1916 when she won a screenplay-writing contest through the 20s and 30s when she was working in the scenario departments of Universal Studios and MGM, writing original scripts, adapting literary works for the screen, and revising other screenwriters’ drafts, as well as writing fiction and autobiographical works about the movie business and doing interviews with Hollywood celebrities.
The Winnifred Eaton Archive attempts to establish documentary texts of all of Eaton’s works rather than imagine we can know her authorial intention. We have, however, had to make some judgment calls, especially when encountering multiple undated manuscripts for one text.


Using high-resolution digital images, microfilm facsimiles, or bound volumes, research assistants transcribe, encode, proofread, and supply metadata for each text using a subset of the TEI P5 guidelines and validating the markup against our project guidelines. A second research assistant reviews, corrects, and verifies the encoding by proofreading the transcription against the facsimile. They flag uncertain code for the Technical Director. For texts for which volunteers have written headnotes, two Eaton scholars peer-review headnotes before they are encoded and added to the site. The director reviews the display of each transcription and metadata and approves each updated file for publication.
Any typographical, printing or spelling errors are corrected and marked after data capture using tags. All end-of-line or “soft” hyphens except end-of-page hyphens are silently deleted. Dialect forms and sometimes inconsistent and idiosyncratic spellings of foreign words, most notably romanizations (and pseudo-romanizations) of Japanese terms, are not normalized and both English and American spellings are retained. All foreign terms are tagged.
Gaps in transcriptions due to illegibility or damage are tagged and rendered with ellipses and notes indicating possible transcriptions and our degree of certainty.
Original punctuation is retained. If additional punctuation is needed for clarity, it is inserted and marked with a note. All quotation marks are replaced by markup.
Stylistic choices made by original publications (i.e. drop caps, font sizes, styles, and colors, titles in all-caps) are not retained to keep all textual transcriptions on the site consistent in style. We attempt to replicate the original formatting, including indentation and line breaks, of poetry (except where run-on lines are truncated by newspaper columns). Section breaks in fiction are indicated with a standard milestone icon rather than with the ornamentation used by particular periodicals. We use Eaton’s titles wherever they are provided in the original. We indicate page breaks where they appear in the original.
Where one title applied to several texts, we add subtitles in square brackets to distinguish, for example, between parts of a serial or between a novel and Eaton’s commentary about it.
Where a publication date (or composition date, in terms of manuscripts) is unknown, a possible date range is offered based on a number of details including the pseudonym used, the address indicated, and the topic addressed.
Paratextual material written by an editor or anyone other than Winnifred Eaton is transcribed and tagged in order to be distinguished from Eaton’s writing.

Technical Feedback

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People Mentioned

Mary Chapman

Mary Chapman is the Director of The Winnifred Eaton Archive, a Professor of English, and Academic Director of the Public Humanities Hub at University of British Columbia. She is the author of the award-winning monograph Making Noise, Making News: Suffrage Print Culture and US Modernism (Oxford UP) and of numerous articles about American literature and women writers. She has also edited Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism and Travel Writing by Edith Maude Eaton (McGill-Queen’s UP) and published essays on the Eaton sisters in American Quarterly, MELUS, Legacy, Canadian Literature, and American Periodicals. Her current research project is a microhistory of the Eaton family. For more information, see

Joey Takeda

Joey Takeda is the Technical Director of The Winnifred Eaton Archive and a Developer at Simon Fraser University’s Digital Humanities Innovation Lab (DHIL). He is a graduate of the M.A. program in English at the University of British Columbia where he specialized in Indigenous and diasporic literature, science and technology studies, and the digital humanities.