Text encoding is a pervasive but mostly unrecognized facet of early 21st-Century digital life. Every Web page consists of text marked with tags designating structure and style. Documents used for research requires a more rigorous set of encoding practices than ordinary Web pages. Adding semantic and structural meaning to digital texts produces and enables digital scholarship. The practice of scholarly text encoding represents a variety of texts, including handwritten manuscripts or early printed books, in a sustainable, non-proprietary form that attempts to convey the full essence of the original artifact.
This course explores the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), a standardized markup language for humanities texts. In wide use for more than twenty years, TEI describes attributes such as marginalia, annotations, textual variants, and other features as well as structure such as chapters, acts, and scenes. The course also situates TEI within the context of the humanities by examining digital editions from a variety of disciplines. Students will produce their own encoded text and contribute to the scholarly community by creating content for the W&L TEI Web site.