Week 4: TEI in the REEDs

Records of Early English Drama, (REED) is an online “international scholarly project” aimed at “establishing for the first time the context from which the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries grew” (Records of Early English Drama). It brings together resources (namely transcriptions of historical documents related to the topic) from all over the world, including U of T, and makes them open and accessible from one online location.

The project is fairly transparent about the construction of the resource through a document it makes available called the “Fortune White Paper.” It discusses their TEI encoded prototype edition in depth and is accessible from the drop down menu under Online Resources, then Building EREED. It’s quite a lengthy document but if you scroll down to section 3 (Editorial Work: Technology) it starts to discuss their servers as well as their use of Oxygen in their TEI work. They describe their records as beginning in Microsoft Word MS and then converted to TEI-XML. Section 4 details how they chose to work with TEI’s Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange, based on the eXtensible Markup Language. The document continues to give a detailed breakdown of each decision and method employed with regards to the creation of the markup of the REEDs project, and even offers a sample segment of code using a random item. It doesn’t offer a downloadable XML file from within this document, however if one returns to the Building EREED page and clicks the Downloadable Script link, a page is made available with two different downloadable TXT files as well as a schema. The first one is described as “A TXT file of a PERL script, which parses REED document text files, converting REED’s markup into TEI-Lite conformant XML, … [which] populates the REED database”, while the second one notes it was prepared as an experiment and is a “TXT file of a drafted PERL script, which queries the REED database and formats the resulting data as Microsoft Word RTF output” (Records of Early English Drama). I get the sense that these are still examples of how the database works rather than actual samples of XML from the actual records made available online, but it does seem fairly in depth overall. Unlike the Folger Shakespeare example, one cannot download the code directly from the page of the record one is viewing, so the level of transparency is not quite on par, but there is a great deal of information prepared and made accessible about the project online.

Bibliography

Records of Early English Drama. University of Toronto. 2016. Online. February 2016.

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