Readings and Resources

Readings on digital humanities topics

  • A Companion to Digital Humanities, ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. A compendious and multifaceted collection of useful articles on a wide range of issues in digital humanities.
  • Neil Fraistat and Elizabeth B. Loiseaux, eds. Textual Studies in the Late Age of Print. Madison: U of Wisconsin Press, 2002. Several of the essays in this collection provide illuminating views on digital textuality.
  • Electronic Textual Editing, ed. Lou Burnard, Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe, and John Unsworth. MLA, 2006. A rough electronic preprint is also available at the TEI web site (best viewed with Firefox or Mozilla). This volume includes a variety of perspectives on using the TEI Guidelines for electronic editions, including several case studies and examinations of particular genres.
  • Jerome McGann, "Information Technology and the Troubled Humanities", Text Technology 2 (2005), 105–121. Strongly worded article lays out the case for digital literacy among scholars, and in particular literacy and involvement in scholarly digital publication technologies.

Readings on text encoding and digital representation

  • Kathryn Sutherland, 'Revised Relations? Material Text, Immaterial Text, and the Electronic Environment.' TEXT 11 (1998), 17–39.
  • James H. Coombs, Allen H. Renear, and Steven J. DeRose. 'Markup systems and the future of scholarly text processing.' Communications of the ACM 30.11 (1987): 933-47. This seminal article on text markup lays the groundwork for theories of descriptive markup that have been foundational to the development of scholarly text encoding languages like the TEI. Written in the year when SGML became an international standard (and also the year of the TEI's inception), this piece provides a fascinating historical perspective on the field's origins and intellectual commitments.

Resources on technical topics

  • The TEI web site: this is the chief source of information on the Text Encoding Initiative. In particular, you can find here the text of the most recent version of the TEI Guidelines, which is still under development, and also the current stable version.
  • W. Scott Means and Elliotte Rusty Harold, XML in a Nutshell. Third edition, O'Reilly, 2004. This lucid, readable, widely recommended book provides a good way for the motivated beginner to learn about XML. The explanations are clear and the book covers all of the major topics needed to get a solid grounding in XML theory and practice. Not aimed at a humanist audience but not unsuitable for this audience either.

Project documentation

These project documentation sites may provide some useful information on how various kinds of digital projects conduct their work, but they also offer a revealing look in some cases at how the text encoding process is envisioned and theorized.

  • Documentation of the Newton Project at Imperial College, London. These materials cover a number of topics including the use of text encoding at the Newton Project, discussion of the nature of electronic editions, and information on the project's editorial policies.
  • Documentation of the Walt Whitman Archive at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. These materials provide detailed guidelines for encoding manuscripts using TEI, and also include other materials that are instructive for other projects, such as templates and reference sources.
  • Documentation of the Digital Archive of Letters in Flanders (DALF) at the Centrum voor Teksteditie en Bronnenstudie (KANTL) in Belgium, and in particular their Guidelines for the Description and Encoding of Modern Correspondence, which describes the TEI customization this project has created specifically for this domain.