Blog Post

Willams Poem Transcribed Using TEI

Willams Poem Transcribed Using TEI

Practicum #3 Prompt

What are the main parts of the TEI Header, in general? (This guide will help.)
What do these parts, in your TEI file, tell us about the digital object you encoded (Williams’ poem)?
What is the relationship between these two parts of the file, the Header and the Body?
What do you lose if you leave out the Header? Is it necessary for the Header to be so lengthy? Why or why not?

What remaining questions do you have about the Header, the Body, or TEI, in general?


The main parts of a TEI header must contain a file description, an encoding description, a text profile, a container element, and a revision history. The file description, tagged ‘fileDesc’, contains its bibliographic description which can be used in a citation. An encoding system, tagged ‘encodingDesc’, tells how much the original source was edited during its transcription to a digital mean. Text profile, tagged ‘profileDesc’, contains information like what is it about, in what situation it was produced, who produced it. A container element, tagged ‘xenoData’, allows the inclusion of metadata from non-TEI schemes. A revision history, tagged ‘revisonDesc’ allows the encoder to show a history of changes that were made to the electronic text.


In the poem titled, A Poem on the Bill Lately Passed for Regulating the Slave Trade by Williams, the TEI header elements were used to encode and transcribe poem. The ‘fileDesc’ tag is used to contain the bibliographic information like the title of the poem, the author, the distributor of the poem, where it can be found today and where and when it was originally published. In the XML document the tag ‘encodingDesc’ states that the poem text on this document is from a scanned version of the poem from Google Books. The ‘profileDesc’ tag informs us that this document is in English. The ‘xenoData’ and ‘revisonDesc’ tags were not used in this XML document.


The header of the document contains all of the code that will be used to make an accurate transcription of the original document. It also contains all of the background information about the document that is transcribed in the body. All of the information in the header allow for informative and stylistic coding to take place in the body of the document.


Without the header of the document you lose the ability to accurately transcribe the poem. There are certain aspects of the way that the poem is written that need to be coded for and contained in the header. The header also contains all of the bibliographical information of the poem, and due to TEI encoding often being used for historic documents, it is important for it to be included. The length of a TEI header adds to the document, gives it background information and allows for more precise coding in the body of the document.


Questions: How do you code for the ‘long s’s that occur frequently in old English and in this poem? I was not able to find anything on how to this, so I temporarily converted all of the long s’s to normal s’s.

Additionally, when coding the poem, I was unsure if other parts of the poem body needed to have any special tags.




No comments