Text Encoding Seminar and Workshop at UC Santa Barbara

Wednesday, September 19

8:30 Coffee and pastries

9:00-10:30 Session 1: What is Text Encoding? (South Hall 2635)

This introductory session will involve presentations and discussion on the basic concepts of text encoding and its use for scholarship, considering the following topics:

  • What is markup? what is its function? why is it important?
  • What is the role of standards and the TEI? why do we need markup languages?

10:30-11:00 Break

11:00-12:30 Session 2: What and Why is the TEI? (South Hall 2635)

This session will provide an overview of the TEI as an organization and as a text encoding standard through presentations and group discussion, addressing the following topics and issues:

  • The TEI's situation within the landscape of digital humanities scholarship: what are its intellectual affiliations and commitments?
  • How does the TEI function to support the creation of digital humanities texts? what is its role in defining how texts should be represented?
  • How is the TEI currently used, and how is it evolving?
  • What are the alternatives to the TEI? what are the advantages and risks of using a detailed encoding system like the TEI?
  • What is the role of standards such as the TEI? why do we need markup languages?
  • Basic concepts of XML: elements, attributes, document structure, and schemas. (source, slides, and notes)

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:00 Session 3: Basics of XML Encoding with the TEI (South Hall 2635)

This session will introduce participants to the basic TEI elements and describe their use, using examples of primary sources that pose editorial or transcriptional challenges.

3:00-3:30 Break

3:30-5:30 Session 4: Hands-on practice and discussion (South Hall 2509 and 2510)

In this hands-on session, participants will work alone or in small groups (according to their preference and level of confidence) to encode a set of sample documents, using templates that provide an essential framework (such as the TEI header). By the end of the session, all participants will have completed at least one sample (and probably more). The session will conclude with a discussion of any concepts that need extra attention, and specific discussion of the following issues:

  • What features did all participants encode in the same way?
  • How did their encoding differ? what differences of approach or basic assumptions do the differences reveal?

Thursday, September 20

8:30 Coffee

9:00-10:30 Session 5: More TEI Encoding (South Hall 2635)

This session will introduce new encoding problems and samples.

10:30-11:00 Break

11:00-12:30 Session 6: Hands-on practice (South Hall 2509 and 2510)

Hands-on practice in small groups or individually

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:00 Session 7: Encoding as Disciplinary practice (South Hall 2635)

This session will engage participants in a discussion of the encoding process and the issues it raised, considering the following issues:

  • How does one decide which textual features are important?
  • How much detail is appropriate, useful, necessary? what are the strategic tradeoffs with a more detailed encoding?
  • What disciplinary assumptions does the encoding reflect? Is it possible to have a discipline-free representation of the text? if so, what would it look like?

The second half of the session will focus on the larger impact of text encoding on scholarship and teaching, and in particular on the following questions:

  • How might participants use text encoding methods as part of their teaching?
  • How will scholarly communication be affected by these technologies? what are the positive and negative impacts?
  • How is scholarly research being changed by the use of digital resources? How do we see it developing in the future?
  • What are the next steps? How can participants learn more?

3:00-3:30 Break

3:30-4:30 Session 8: Designing a Custom Encoding System with TEI (South Hall 2635)

This session will introduce participants to the TEI's underlying design, which allows for (and indeed encourages) customization to suit specific disciplinary and project-based encoding needs. The presentation will give some background on the practical details, but will also focus discussion on the following issues:

  • Why is it important to define local or disciplinary practice?
  • What is the relation between a customization and the TEI Guidelines as a whole?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of different types of customization?