A description of the process of editing the journals

Basically what I did was work with original materials, mostly on microfilm and some printed materials the holding depositories sent me or loaned me. I transcribed those, trying to be as accurate as possible bringing the written word to print. In the early days we did it with an IBM electric typewriter. I got into computers very early and used an old-fashioned dedicated word processor first, so I was able to bring everything over into computers and then we would update it from time to time and kept it up so it's compatible with modern machines. I would transcribe the materials and had clerical help, and go to Philadelphia or St. Louis where the journals were kept; and check my transcriptions. Not every word. It took 20 years as it was, but those parts that were questionable or difficult to read on the microfilm. It was a real thrill working with the original journals because they would pull these diaries out that Lewis and Clark had kept and the enlisted men kept over the years of the expedition, and I got to work right there with the originals. For a historian or someone interested in Lewis and Clark to touch the original materials is a real thrill.