How to "read" this essay

I hope that readers approach this essay in several ways, exploring the different ways that they might read about and understand the past.  Hans Gumbrecht's, In 1926, though published as a book, guides his readers in his aptly titled introduction, ``User's Manual,''

Do not try 'to start from the beginning,' for this book has no beginning in the sense that narratives or arguments have beginnings. ... Simply start with an entry[of fifty-one] that particularly interests you. From each entry a web of cross-references will take you to other related entries. Read as far as your interest carries you. ... You'll thus establish your individual reading path.

I could not have stated this any better.  Gumbrecht's work, thus strikes me as an interesting move in how we practice history.  This essay is similar, but turns to the electronic medium as an opportunity to ``write'' a non-linear history.  It is an amalgam of data, stories, and interpretation. The stories provided here do not necessarily fit together; they are not consistent and contradictions exist; moreover, occasionally, they lead to nowhere. This is how change happens; it recalls Serres' notion of human progress as a ``shuffle, like an invalid'' that includes those--- ``small children, women, old people, the sick, the simpleminded, and the poorest" ---whose experiences are too often deemed of lesser historical significance.

There are four principal organizational forms and three entry points.  Hypertext allows the presentation of history in some of its elementary forms: conceptual framework, raw data (chronicle), data patterns (redundancies), and histories.  In a printed essay, the first three would be integrated into the text of the interpretive essay, the historical essay.  I do hope that the reader takes Gumbrecht's advice.
The interpretive apparati of a historical narrative are located here.  The essays in this section provide the reader with the scholarly apparatus---my framing of the issues and an explanation of my choices.   They include introduction, conclusion, and theoretical discussion.

The heart of this essay is an archives of events that occurred in 1884. I have taken most of these events from newspapers.  The annals form is one of two modes of organizing this archives; the other is Repetition. The annals organize the archives linearly, by date, but there is usually little connection between entries and indeed, they are not of similar significance.

Repetitive moments form groupings that are not necessarily the categories that we use today.  In both of these sections, the reader can click on any entry to bring up text that describes the event, usually a paraphrase of a newspaper article.  From this entry, the reader can look for similar events, for events occurring around the same moment, or seek explanation in the section called histories

The interpretation of these events, placing them within the categories with which we are familiar as well as giving them meaning (including removal), are in the essays here.  There will be two levels of historical interpretation: the interpretation that takes them from the repetitions to the interpretive categories of history, and second, how these relate to more common interpretations of transformation or modernization.  If readers choose to enter the essay here, they can move to links to archival material, the data listed in Annals and Repetition.  This is the more normative way of reading and writing history, but if one pursued the links in the individual entries, one would quickly find oneself in other categories