Contextual Encoding Primer

This primer focuses on the encoding of metadata and other contextual information about texts. The tutorials within this section discuss: metadata categories provided in the TEI header, as well as other mechanisms for creating metadata that the TEI header does not provide; “ographies,” which are the TEI’s mechanisms for encoding structured information about people, places, organizations, and other entities; and further interpretive categories and classifications that you can define for your texts.

The tutorials in this section are designed for those who have already completed either the TEI Primer or the Manuscripts and the TEI Primer (or for those who already have a background in XML and TEI).

Set-up for Tutorials

Before you begin, see our tutorial set-up page. This provides instructions on working in oXygen XML Editor, downloading the files for hands-on exercises, and using the tutorials.

Encoding Contextual Information

This tutorial outlines the TEI’s mechanism for contextual encoding, providing information on how to create structured data about certain things contained within your texts—persons, places, organizations, etc.—using TEI elements. Also covered is the encoding of various interpretations of a text through the creation of thematic or interpretive keywords. Similarly, this section will discuss how to encode more structured or taxonomic information, such as genre. Finally, this tutorial provides recommendations for where to store the contextual and interpretive information you create.

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Contextual Nuances

This tutorial covers the more nuanced aspects of contextual encoding. For example: How do you record changes in a person’s identity or status over time? How do you record relationships between people, places, and things? How might one handle indirect references or references to groups? This section builds upon the material from the “Encoding Contextual Information” tutorial.

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What next?

If you have finished this primer, you might be wondering where to go next. Listed below are brief descriptions of the other primers that also assume basic knowledge of XML/TEI. You can also return to the Tutorial Curriculum Page for full descriptions of all the primers.