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Looking through the list of TEI projects, I noticed eZISS: Scholarly Digital Editions of Slovenian Literature. This project is hosted by the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I was interested in eZISS because the material was unfamiliar and the project is extensively documented. Although the texts are only in Slovenian, the entire website is available in English.

eZISS offers “selected Slovenian texts with integrated facsimiles, transcription and scholarly commentary, in some cases including audiovisual recordings” (eZISS). The project is described as existing at the intersection of Slovenian literature, ecdotics (philological study of texts and their presentations), and modern information technology (eZISS).

There is a large focus on encoding, which is likely because information technology is part of this intersection. Encoding isn’t just a vehicle for showcasing texts but a fundamental aspect of the project. On the main page of the site, they write:

The complex digital encoding of texts with facsimiles, transcriptions, critical apparatus and audiovisual recordings is achived with the help of open standards of textual markup: Unicode, XML, and the TEI Guidelines. This foundation helps the editions to be better resistant to technological change, software independent and compatible with other standardised digital resources. From the source XML, an HTML version is created with XSLT stylesheets; to read the HTML, only a standard browser is required (eZISS).

The researchers are also very open with their sources and code. The texts are all licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. As an example, I looked at the Freising Manuscripts, the first document of Slovenian culture.

Screenshot (22)From here, you can view all of the components online or save them to your computer. Interestingly, the website states that you will “also get the XML/TEI files, suitable for further processing” (Freising Manuscripts).

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The downloaded edition provides everything from the icons used on the webpage to the facsimiles (gif folder) to the TEI files.

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What impressed me most about this project is the emphasis on openness, either through the CC license or through explicit mentions of further processing.

Lastly, the project is very well documented. There are three English publications on the development of the eZISS editions (and several more in Slovenian). According to the article, “E-Slomšek: A TEI Encoding of a Critical Edition of 19th Century Slovenian Rhetoric Prose” by Erjavec, Ogrin, and Faganel, in small nations such as Slovenia, “publishing critical editions with facsimile, transcriptions and apparatus in traditional print form faces great economic barriers, primarily due to the very small book market” (Erjavec et al., 2004, p. 31). Digital editions of this work, thus, have a “much better chance… of preserving, interpreting and making available Slovenian cultural heritage” (p. 31). In this case, the availability of open standards allowed for projects that the researchers saw as contributing to national identity and preservation of culture.



Erjavec, T., et al. (2004) E-slomšek: A TEI encoding of a critical edition of 19th century Slovenian rhetoric prose. Pregled NCD 5: 31-41.

eZISS (2011). About. eZISS: Scholarly digital editions of Slovenian literature. Assessed February 2, 2015

TEI (2007). Scholarly digital editions of Slovenian literature. Accessed February 2, 2015

TEI for the Divine Comedy Soul: The World of Dante

Through the TEI projects portal, I came across The World of Dante created by the Institute for Advanced Technologies in the Humanities, University of Virginia. The site is dedicated to the study of the Divine Comedy through multimedia research tools such as interactive maps, diagrams, music, and a timeline. The project uses a combination of SGML and XML and states that translators had to make compromises but their hope is that any loss in translation can be made up by the other data available on the site that is not found elsewhere online (Parker, The World of Dante).

The site offers a variety of viewpoints into Dante’s World but some aspects seem odd and hard to maneuver. For example, Interactive view of Botticelli’s Chart of Hell  is at first unclear as there are no instructions on how manipulate the map nor what you are seeing (or that could just be me). The timeline is an interesting feature that uses XML and gives documentation and source code for those wishing to build their own timelines. Each book is edited in XML that is indexed and searchable throughout the site. The layout of each canto is Italian on the left and English translation on the right. XML tags are visible in a column on the right and are divided into: people, places, creature, etc. Selecting an option brings up a new window with the tag used displayed in the header and a description of that selection. For example, in Canto 2 of Inferno under the People tag, if Enea is selected, a window opens with the header “Person”, a “Name” tag, “Description” tag, and “more information” link. Clicking on the link will show more tags associated with the person such as, gender, nature, etc.

Inferno, Canto 2
The World of Dante: Inferno, Canto 2

The site offers a detailed description of the editorial process and some of the challenges with translating poetry. It gives some editorial guidelines for tagging and what decisions were made about relevant data such as persons, mythical creatures, etc. It mentions the use of software for the project, but does not name it. Consequently, it does not make its code available for others to use or view. Overall, the site is a good resource for those looking to engage with The World of Dante, offers open access to literary texts, and makes good use of XML for presentation and searchability of material.


The World of Dante. University of Virginia. Accessed February 2, 2016. http://www.worldofdante.org/

Week 4: TEI in the Wild – Voices of the Holocaust

Through the TEI projects page, I came across a project at the Illinois Institute of Technology called “Voices of the Holocaust” which is an “online collection of interviews with Holocaust survivors conducted in the immediate aftermath of World War II.” The project relies on TEI encoding to “provide a structured data model for the transcriptions, which allows various manifestations of the interviews (text, audio)–as well as other types of content (metadata, GIS, scholarly criticism)–to be integrated into a dynamic, robust presentation for the user.” (http://www.tei-c.org/Activities/Projects/vo02.xml).

On the “Voices of the Holocaust” website, there is a more in-depth description of its use of TEI (version P5), “which is used to encode not only the text itself, but also the biographical, historical, and geographical metadata related to the transcriptions, interviewees, and content; scholarly commentary and footnotes; and time-code information from the audio files to facilitate text-audio synchronization […] The Glossary of Terms, Glossary of Camps & Ghettos, and GIS data are also stored in TEI XML format; information from these files is included within the interview files using XInclude.” It also states that <oXygen/> XML Editor was used for text encoding, and mentions that built-in support for the TEI schema is included in the program (http://voices.iit.edu/project_notes).

Lastly, the “Voices” website offers a link to a sample TEI XML interview file, which can be found at this URL: http://voices.iit.edu/xml/voth_project_tei_example.xml

All in all, the project is fairly out front regarding its methods of TEI encoding.