Text Encoding Fundamentals and their Application
Advanced Encoding Exercise

Once you've completed the basic exercises and mastered the essentials of text encoding, you need a more substantial project to work on. For most of this workshop, you will be focusing on transcribing a set of actual documents, taken either from publicly available collections or from materials of your own. By the end of the workshop, you should have completed the encoding of several sample documents, transformed them with a simple stylesheet, and created a simple TEI customization to help you represent their structure.

If you have brought materials of your own to work with, by all means use them. If you haven't, then choose one of the following publicly available collections to work with (or another that suits you better). In each case, you should select from the collection a small set of documents to work with, preferably short ones so that you have a manageable task!

Document Analysis

The first stage of any encoding project is document analysis, and for this we will take some time for thought and discussion, using a form that provides questions to guide your analysis.

Document Skeleton

Once you have done an initial analysis of your chosen documents and know what they contain, the next step is to create a simple encoded skeleton showing the basic structure of the document and the essential components of the encoding. This process allows you to model the document in a preliminary way before you actually start typing much of the content.

To produce your skeleton, we suggest the following:

Sample TEI header

Once we have gone over the details of the TEI header, the next step is for you to add detailed TEI headers to each of your sample documents. First think about the kinds of information it will be natural to include in your header, based on the choices you expressed in your document analysis and the needs revealed by your document skeletons: do you need information about foreign languages? do you have complex bibliographic information to represent? details of editorial and transcription practice? Then:

Schema Customization

The TEI schema customization exercise has its own instructions. We will be going over these in detail during class, and then giving you an opportunity to create a simple customized TEI schema that can be used to validate and constrain your sample documents.


In a short, intensive course like this one there is not time to do justice to stylesheets and other publication tools; our treatment of XSLT and CSS is intended just to show you the kinds of things these tools can do. For this exercise, we will provide a few simple XSLT stylesheets that do some very basic things. We'll go over how to invoke them and how to make simple modifications, so that you can experiment on your own.