Epigraphs

div epigraph front body q quote cit

Encoding of epigraphs with either epigraph or div type="epigraph" depending on their structural location.

The TEI provides the epigraph element to encode epigraphs, and except in rare cases this element will prove sufficient. If the epigraph occurs in a place where epigraph is not permitted, or if it contains associated material that requires a more generic encoding, then it can be encoded with div type="epigraph" (with epigraph nested inside).

An epigraph is a quotation or passage of text which is intended to illuminate, comment on, or otherwise adorn the text with which it is associated. It may be either verse, drama, or prose, and it may or may not be accompanied by a citation indicating its identity. It may appear either at the beginning or ending of a section of the document, or on a title page.

If the text inside an epigraph is a quotation, it should be encoded with quote. Within the quote you should include internal tagging as appropriate: if the quotation is poetry, you should encode it as you do poetry in other contexts. If the quotation contains multiple paragraphs of prose, you should encode it with p elements. If the quotation is prose without paragraphing, you need not embed any further markup. Any accompanying bibliographical citation should be encoded with bibl. The TEI provides the cit element to group a quote and a bibl, to make it clear that the two are associated. If you plan any kind of analysis in which this association would be useful, then you should use cit. See example 2.

If the text inside the epigraph is known for certain not to be a quotation from another source, —that is, it originates with this epigraph—then it should be encoded with p or lg alone, without a quote element.

The epigraph should be considered part of the section which it prefaces, and the epigraph element should thus fall within the larger element (div, front, body, etc.) with which it is associated.

If an epigraph is associated with a poem, it should appear within the enclosing div type="poem.xxx", not nested inside the first interior lg element, since the epigraph is not part of the verse structure of the poem itself, but is part of the conceptual unit of the poem.

If an epigraph falls on a title page, it should be encoded as epigraph within titlePage (or titleBlock if you are using the WWP extensions). If it is separated from the main text by some section of the front matter, it should be encoded within front. If it falls at the beginning of some div within body, it should be encoded as epigraph within that div.

To determine whether an epigraph applies to the entire text or simply to the first div (and hence whether it should be encoded as a separate div within body or as a div embedded within the first main textual division) the encoder will need to use clues such as whether other sections of the body also have epigraphs, and whether the epigraph falls on a page by itself or at the top of the first page of text.

Examples

Example 1.

<epigraph>
  <quote>
    <p>Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich...</p>
  </quote>
  <bibl><author><persName key="JAusten.foo">Jane Austen</persName>
        </author> 
        <title><persName>Emma</persName></title>
  </bibl>
</epigraph>

Example 2. Quotation with cit element

<epigraph>
  <cit>
    <quote>
      <p>Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich...</p>
    </quote>
    <bibl><author><persName key="JAusten.foo">Jane Austen</persName>
         </author>
         <title><persName>Emma</persName></title>
    </bibl>
  </cit>
</epigraph>