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Government Documents, Interlibrary Loan, and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries are pleased to announce the release of a World Wide Web site, entitled The power of names: A Levenshtein analysis of the text of the 1620 Mayflower Compact and of its signatory list, in conjunction with the Conference and Agreement Between Plymouth Colony and Massasoit, Wampanoag Sachem, 1621.

Variants of the 1620 Mayflower Compact frequently excluded the names of the forty-one signatories of that accord, yet for those instruments that furnished this list, the spellings were anything but consistent. This variance was also evident in the few references to the appellations of the Mayflower participants found in the 1621 Conference and Agreement Between Plymouth Colony and Massasoit, Wampanoag Sachem. In particular, Levenshtein edit distance analyses assessed these Compact name disparities and the texts of that manifesto, and examined the provenance of its later renditions. A strong correlation between observed pairs of text and signatory list errors was also found.

We welcome your comments, as well as your error reports. The URL for this resource is

Attached below, as Additional Files, are 6 tables (Excel files) presenting the data characteristics and correlation data for the Mayflower Compact text and signatories.