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1With this inaugural issue of the Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative, we are happy to present selected papers from TEI Conference and Members’ Meetings held in 2008 and 2009.

2In 2007, the TEI Consortium expanded its members’ meetings to a full conference format. At the 2008 and 2009 conferences there was great variety in the topics presented and discussed among approximately 100 participants from around the world at each event, reflecting the broad range of the TEI community. While a single issue of a scholarly journal can document only a selection of the papers, posters, and demonstrations from these conferences, we believe that this selection illustrates the broad community that the TEI now represents.

3In his contribution “Computational Work with Very Large Text Collections: Interoperability, Sustainability, and the TEI,” John Unsworth, one of the keynote speakers for the 2009 conference, directly addresses that year’s theme: text encoding in the era of mass digitization. He discusses how the “I” of “TEI” stands for both “Initiative” and “Interchange” yet argues that we need to move towards “Interoperability” as well. Analyzing large-scale digitization enterprises, Unsworth sums up with a plea for greater engagement of the TEI in the development of the Semantic Web.

4While Unsworth is interested in a role for TEI in large text collections, Tanya Clement’s article approaches the TEI from the opposite perspective: that of a scholarly edition of a small-scale corpus of texts. In “Knowledge Representation and Digital Scholarly Editions in Theory and Practice,” she discusses the textual features and variations of a modern manuscript using selected poems by the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, a German-born Dadaist artist and poet, as a case-study. Clement’s article argues for new frameworks of knowledge representation and scholarly editing to theorize the way TEI encoding and the Guidelines are used.

5Thomas Schmidt’s article can be seen as a bridge between Unsworth’s and Clement’s approaches. “A TEI-based Approach to Standardizing Spoken Language Transcription” discusses both interoperability and scholarly practice in using the TEI Guidelines to formulate a standard for the transcription of corpora of spoken languages. Schmidt’s “route to standardization” combines conformance to existing principles and conventions on the one hand with interoperable encoding based on the Guidelines on the other. Schmidt also adds a third dimension to his argument and sums up with a discussion of tool development and transformation workflows.

6One might argue that for such an endeavor to succeed, a community needs to agree on shared standards, approaches, and tools to facilitate interoperability. “The Apex of Hipster XML GeekDOM’: TEI-Encoded Dylan and Understanding the Scope of an Evolving Community of Practice,” co-authored by Lynne Siemens, Ray Siemens, and Hefeng Wen, describes the Text Encoding Initiative as it is meant in its core: as a community of practice. The viral marketing experiment described in their article not only gives insight into the diversity of TEI practitioners and practice, but also illustrates the TEI’s engagement and potential engagement with new communities.


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Electronic reference

Malte Rehbein and Kevin Hawkins, “Guest Editors’ Note”Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative [Online], Issue 1 | June 2011, Online since 08 June 2011, connection on 10 June 2023. URL:; DOI:

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About the authors

Malte Rehbein

Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany

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Kevin Hawkins

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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TEI Consortium 2011 (Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License)

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