The texts in the present edition are based on those published during Scott’s lifetime or, in the case of essays that were not so published, on the manuscripts and typescripts in the Scott / Aylen Papers in the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, as well as those in the Queen’s University archives in Kingston, Ontario. The specific copy text of each address, essay and review is described, and if necessary, discussed in the headnotes that precede the annotations in the Editorial Notes.
In (re-)printing Scott’s prose, the text as originally published or written has been allowed to stand with as little alteration as possible. When grammar or sense has demanded the addition of a syllable, a word, or punctuation, it has been set off in square brackets. Scott’s characteristic capitalizations (such as “United Empire loyalists”) and idiosyncratic spellings (such as “Sanscrit” and “Chrysler’s farm”) have been retained. Where Scott’s variant spellings and capitalizations of names might have caused confusion (“MacDonald” for “Macdonald”; “Susanna Gesner” for “Susannah Gesner”), however, such variants have been silently corrected. The names of First Nations peoples are given as Scott knew and spelled them, though his spellings often vary from essay to essay (for example, “Piegan” / “Peigan”). Titles, which Scott uniformly enclosed in quotation marks, have been regularized to facilitate genre distinctions. Thus, the titles of newspapers, periodicals, plays, books, and long poems published in book form have been italicized, while titles of articles and short poems have been enclosed in double quotation marks. Where Scott quotes the writing of others, the source of the quotation and any divergence from that source in matters of spelling, punctuation, lineation, and so on are discussed in the Editorial Notes. The standard sources consulted for the biographical information in the Editorial Notes are the Dictionary of Canadian [page xli] Biography (Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1966-), and the Dictionary National Biography (London: Oxford UP, 1917-90).
These texts have been arranged in chronological order. Published sources are placed in order by their date of publication; previously unpublished sources are ordered by their date of composition, as determined by reference to Scott’s correspondence, internal evidence, and archival dating and documentation. [page xlii]