TEI in Large Projects

A Digital Salon Workshop


Preparation and Materials

  • If you have a textual project in mind (for instance, one that draws on historical documents or literary texts), bring a photocopy or transcription printout of a few pages of the projects’ central texts with you to both days of the workshop. We will be  adding marginalia and generally scribbling all over the pages you bring with you, so be sure to bring disposable copies of your documents, rather than the actual documents themselves.
  • Bring a laptop with you (if you don’t have a laptop, the library can loan you one).
  • Read through the Document Analysis and Project Considerations pdfs.
  • We won’t be writing any TEI files as part of this workshop, but you will have the opportunity to read a few.  While you can open and edit TEI files in any text editor (such as Note Pad, which comes for free with the Windows operating system, or TextEdit, which comes for free with the Mac operating system), the Oxygen Editor, a text editor specially designed for XML files, makes TEI easier to read and manipulate.  Feel free to install a trial version of Oxygen on you computer before the workshop.


August 27th 9:00-1:00

Slides Day 1 (Updated)

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Hands On: Textual Scholarship
  • Introduction to XML
  • When Is TEI Knowledge Useful (and how much do you need)?


  • Introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative
  • How the TEI Represents Texts
  • Customizing the TEI
  • TEI-based Project Examples

Answer the questions in the “Preliminary Encoding Questions” Document Analysis pdf overnight.

August 28th 9:00-1:00

Slides Day 2 (Updated)
A Simple Sample TEI Document: simple_tei_all (a letter from Martha Washington from George Washington)
A Set of TEI Documents with beautiful robust teiHeaders: Siemens_Devonshire_Manuscript_poems (encoded poems from Ray Siemens’ encoded version of The Devonshire Manuscript)

  • Welcome Back!
  • TEI-based Projects Revisited
  • Case Study: TEI in the LGLC


  • Project Planning 101
  • Discussion: Participant Projects
  • Turning Planning into a Grant Application & Work Plan
  • Further Resources


Recommended (but not obligatory) Readings

Flanders, Julia and Matt Jockers. “A Matter of Scale”
Flanders, Julia. “What is TEI?”
Digital Humanities at Oxford. “Chapter 1 – Getting Started Using the TEI: What is TEI.”
Birnbaum, David. “What is XML and why should humanists care?”

Further Reading

Burnard, Lou. What is the Text Encoding Initiative?
Buzetti, Dino & McGann, Jerome. “Electronic Textual Editing: Critical Editing in a Digital Horizon.” Electronic Textual Editing. Ed. John Unsworth, Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe, and Lou Burnard.
Cummings, James. (2008). “The Text Encoding Initiative and the Study of Literature.” A Companion to Digital Literary Studies, ed. Susan Schreibman and Ray Siemens. Oxford: Blackwell.
Flanders, Julia et al. (1997). “Names Proper and Improper: Applying the TEI to the Classification of Proper Nouns.” Computers and the Humanities 31(4), 285–300.
Singer, Kate. “Digital Close Reading: TEI for Teaching Poetic Vocabularies.” JiSP 3.
Sperberg-McQueen, C.M. “A Gentle Introduction to XML.” P5: Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange.


TEI-Encoded Projects Discussed in the Workshop

(This list is by no means exhaustive)


Reference Websites

The TEI Guidelines
The TEI Guidelines, Element list
oXygen Editor Forum
TEI Archiving Publishing and Access Service (TAPAS)
TEI By Example
Women Writers Project. “Readings and Resources.”