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Editorial Introduction to the Sixth Issue

Laura Mandell and Elena Pierazzo

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1The essays in this issue have been selected from among the papers given at the 2012 TEI Conference, TEI in the C{r/l}oud, held in College Station, Texas, at Texas A&M University. These particular essays focus primarily on the Crowd. Except for our most technical contribution by Lou Burnard which really concerns making the language of TEI Schemas more independent of existing schema languages, they all share an interest in how TEI might function off-piste, as it were—that is, not among the TEI experts but among those interested primarily in other things. The essay by Maura Ives, et. al., gives us some insight into how graduate students react when first confronted with the task of learning TEI. The essay by Kathryn Tomasek and Syd Bauman gives us an extension for TEI that will be extremely useful to historians: almost all historians track financial records at some point, whether it be those found in the private diary of a Pepys or the ledgers of a bookseller, and this extension will enable encoding the documents discovered in TEI. The article by James Cummings and Pip Willcox connects to this last contribution as it explores ways for encoding in TEI other types of formulaic records, namely the ones contained in the first four volumes of the Register of the Stationers' Company; in this essay they also report on the experience of dealing with mass digitization by producing first a highly simplified TEI schema for the use of the keying company and then making a second coding pass through the documents in order to create richer semantic markup. Hugh Cayless's essay provides us with a way to use TEI with stand-off markup, allowing users to annotate documents; a better understanding of the TEI XPointer system could make it into a useful part of the social edition movement heralded by Ray Siemens and INKE.

2In general, then, the essays collected here make a gesture outside the TEI community as an attempt to welcome the crowd into its usage. In a small way, this issue may mark a turning point for the TEI organization: originally forced to shore itself up and defend itself against detractors by emphasizing rigor and building a stalwart, self-enclosed community, TEI has now become more mainstream. Due to the tireless efforts of its community, exemplified by Julia Flanders and Syd Bauman's NEH-funded workshops for teaching TEI and by the TEI by Example project developed mainly by Melissa Terras, Ron Van den Branden and Edward Vanhoutte, TEI P5 has become a community standard. Granting agencies and scholarly editions societies now typically require that the TEI be used in encoding a digital resource or that explanations be given as to why not.

3When the managing editors of Romantic Circles Dave Rettenmaier and Michael Quilligan gave a talk depicting Romantic Circles' decision to switch from HTML to TEI as a lingua franca of digital resources, and their efforts to make TEI documents easy to upload in Drupal, an attendee at the panel was heard to mutter, "We have arrived." In fact, TAPAS or the TEI Archiving, Publishing, and Access Service has been developed in order to encourage widespread use of the TEI even further. The public launch of TAPAS will occur in 2014, and Julia Flanders gave a plenary address at the 2012 Conference discussing it. In the public announcement sent out recently on the TEI List, TAPAS is described this way:

TAPAS will provide basic web-based publishing services for TEI projects and for individual researchers developing TEI data. It will also eventually provide a repository for that data. TAPAS will be offered as a benefit of TEI membership, so that all TEI members can upload their TEI data and create projects and publications to make their work publicly visible. In addition, non-members can freely upload TEI data to a "TAPAS Commons" collection for public sharing. 1

4Dr. Flanders spoke at the conference about the research we will be able to do once this repository of TEI-encoded projects is available, research into the meaning and value of semantic tagging. But of course the repository will provide a way for people to publish their TEI documents who might not have had that capacity otherwise. Thus TAPAS brings TEI to the crowd, and participates strenuously in achieving the goal that we hope is presaged by this conference and by this issue of the Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative: an era of popularity and widespread use by those whose only server space exists somewhere in the cloud.

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1 Email from Scott Hamlin to the Text Encoding Initiative Public Discussion List ( on 15 January 2014.

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Electronic reference

Laura Mandell and Elena Pierazzo, « Editorial Introduction to the Sixth Issue »Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative [Online], Issue 6 | December 2013, Online since 26 January 2014, connection on 26 October 2020. URL:; DOI:

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About the authors

Laura Mandell

Laura Mandell is Director of the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture and Professor at the Department of English at Texas A & M University. She is Project Director of the Poetess Archive, an online scholarly edition and database of women poets, 1750-1900, Director of 18thConnect, and Director of ARC, the Advanced Research Consortium overseeing NINES, 18thConnect, and MESA. Her current research involves developing new methods for visualizing poetry, developing software that will allow all scholars to deep-code documents for data-mining, and improving OCR software for early modern and 18th-c. texts via high performance and cluster computing.

Elena Pierazzo

Elena Pierazzo is currently lecturer in Digital Humanities at the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London, and has been lead analyst of a dozen research projects including Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts: A Digital Edition; CHARM: The AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music; and LangScape – The Language of the Landscape: Reading the Anglo-Saxon Countryside). She teaches XML-related technologies at both undergraduate and MA level, has chaired the teaching committee since 2010 and is the programme director for the MA in Digital Humanities. She is the chair of the TEI Manuscripts SIG with Malte Rehbein, has been an elected member of the TEI Council, and is currently chair of the TEI Board of Directors. She is one of the members of the MS-SIG task force that proposed a new TEI module for documentary and genetic editing.

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TEI Consortium 2013 (Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License)

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