prefatory advertisement advert front back

Encoding of two different kinds of advertisements: advertisements for other books, and preliminary addresses to the reader

In early printed books the term advertisement may mean one of at least two things. The text may contain conventional advertisements for other books, which usually appear at the back of the book but may sometimes appear on the title page or within the front matter. In addition, brief prefatory addresses to the reader are sometimes titled something like Advertisement to the reader, usually written by the author or publisher of the book. It is useful to distinguish between the two, since they serve very different discursive functions and the significance of references (e.g. bibliographic citations, names) within each one is also different.

We recommend encoding the prefatory address to the reader with div type="prefatory". This recommendation is in keeping with our general treatment of prose front matter: we prefer not to attempt to make fine distinctions between genres of prefatory prose in cases where the terminology (preface, foreword, advertisement, etc.) is fluid and cannot be used as the basis for a firm classification over time. Since advertisements of this sort serve the same basic function as prefaces and forewords (as an address from one of the document’s creators or sponsors to the reader), they can be usefully grouped under the same rubric. If your project deals with texts in which a finer distinction is possible to make consistently, then you should do so. In this case, we recommend using div type="prefatory_advertisement" to distinguish it from true advertisements, whose encoding is described below.

Conventional advertisements for other books take several forms. In some cases, they appear as brief notes in places where div is not allowed, such as on the title page. In other cases, they may appear grouped together in a section of their own, in places where div is allowed. The TEI does not provide an advertisement element and thus advertisements on the title page are difficult to capture using unmodified TEI. The TEI extensions which accompany this guide include an advertisement element which is permitted within titleBlock and within div. If you are using these extensions, then the individual advertisement should be encoded with advertisement and groupings of advertisements should be gathered together inside a div type="advertisements". If you are using unmodified TEI, then you should encode individual advertisements on the title page using p; within div they can be encoded with ab type="advertisement".

We do not recommend using the list element to group advertisements; if advertisements within the group are numbered, the number should be encoded using label within the ab or advertisement element. Note that an individual advertisement may refer to more than one book: the choice of where one advertisement ends and another begins should be based on the natural groupings evident in the text (for instance, the placement of headings or price information) rather than on references to individual books.

Within the advertisement, there may appear a number of components which resemble a bibliographic citation or title page, such as publication information, author and title, and the price. These should all be encoded in the same way as a bibliographic reference, using author, title, and imprint, nested within a bibl element. If your project is likely to use the pricing information (for instance, if your texts contain many advertisements and they are of analytical interest), then you could also encode the price using measure (see entry on measure for more information). Otherwise this level of detail is probably unnecessary.


Example 1: an advertisement on title page:

<titleBlock>[contents of title page...]
   <p>&rfing; A New Comedy, call’d, <title>The 
   Mock-Marriage</title>. Written by <persName>Mr. 

Example 2: advertisements in a separate div:

<div type="advert">
   <head>Just Published by <publisher>Taylor and Hessey</publisher>,
    93 Fleet-Street</head>
    <bibl><title>Display. A Tale.</title>By <author><persName>Jane
    Taylor</persName></author>.</bibl> Author of <title>Essays in
    Rhyme</title>, and one of the Authors of <title>Original Poems for
    Infant Minds</title>. Fourth Edition. Handsomely printed in foolscap
    8vo, with a beautiful frontispiece, price <measure>6s</measure>
      <quote>We never met with any composition...[praise for
           the book]
      <bibl><title>Eclectic Review</title>
            <date value="1815-08">August,1815</date>

    <title>The Naiad: a Tale. With other poems.</title> 8vo. price 
    <measure>4s.</measure> sewed.</p>