Ctown Tagging

Encoding Explanation and Sample

For the proposed project, encoding will follow the guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI, version P5) and and expressed using an XML schema for several reasons. First, the documents selected for this project represent a wide range of formats and content. Some documents, for example, are typewritten government documents, while others are photographs taken of individuals and locations. Still others may be handwritten notes that require transcription. In addition, some documents include a combination of different components (e.g., image, text, and handwriting). Altogether, it is important to ensure that the selected standard provides the capacity for the broadest and richest information capture. Based on our knowledge of current professional practices, TEI will provide an excellent structural framework for the specific and heterogeneous needs of the documents in this project. Secondly, since XML is a web-ready, machine-readable language, TEI-XML will permit the integration of encoding data with secondary mobile and internet applications. Thirdly, another major consideration is the continued compatibility of encoded documents across platforms and time. TEI has been widely adopted by a variety of institutional and individual users for a range of purposes and fields. Furthermore, XML schemas such as the one selected for this project, RELAX NG (REgular LAnguage for XML Next Generation) have been developed as relatively simplified and durable languages, and has also found widespread adoption. A final consideration is longterm structural flexibility that may be needed as institutional policies about the usefulness of types of information change over time. Having hundreds of different elements, TEI has an inherent capacity for such after-the-fact changes.

The project will employ a large number of types of encoded elements to encompass data about such things as format, source, time, geospatial location, identity, and transcripted text (see below). Because of the multi-platform and integrated nature of this project, encoding will include elements that link documents together, especially as related to individual subjects of selected historical cases, but also as related to community and social contexts.

[in progress]

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