Blog Post

"Introduction to Manuscript Encoding with TEI" at Brown University

I attended the "Introduction to Manuscript Encoding with TEI" through Brown University's Women Writers Project (http://www.wwp.brown.edu/encoding/workshops/) at the beginning of December. It was great.

First of all, thank you very much to Syd Bauman and Julia Flanders who co-lead the workshop. They were professional, pleasant, and extremely helpful to all, having to frequently think on their feet due to all the questions we had.

I realize that there are a couple of international events that happen each year, but the size and cost of smaller workshops like the ones being held at Brown University are invaluable. Especially since there are not many books on the TEI. Yes, the TEI org's website has had a tutorial for a while, but frankly, it wasn't very good. However, the recently released updated site is much much better than the previous version and that team deserves major kudos for its effort. But having played with the tutorial during last summer, I ran into the problem that has been my general experience of learning a number of programming languages:  easy things are easy to teach/learn (especially for online tutorials), however, it is the not-so-easy things that most of us want to do (and that such tutorials lack)--and it is in that place where workshops like the ones that Brown University provide a excellent service. At first, I was nervous that it would be too "simple" (I've had a lot of programming experience in a former life), but the ability to ask the instructors questions directly related to my own interests (as well as hearing the other students' questions about their projects) did more for me in two days to fill in my knowledge gaps than the using the online tutorial. I would like to see more universities in other parts of the country follow Brown's lead (as well as events like the "One Week, One Tool" effort (http://oneweekonetool.org/)).

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