Function over Form: understanding the TCP encoding philosophy

In my previous blog post “Meet a TCP Editor: Sarah Wingo” I noted that one of my favorite things about being a TCP editor is the way in which each text is like a puzzle in need of solving.

This post will outline one of TCP’s basic rules for marking up text, and how that rule affects what readers will see when using TCP texts. The basic idea behind this rule is function over form. In other words, TCP aims to capture structural information which will be useful for intelligible display, informed searching, and intelligent navigation. In this way we capture the content of each book, and the meaning/purpose of any special formatting, but do not exactly reproduce the look or specific style presented in the original printed work.  One slight exception to this rule is how we capture the information for title pages. The information contained in a title page tends to receive the highest frequency of searches, so we try to avoid cluttering it with markup and as such leave title pages relatively markup free, sometimes even removing unnecessary markup. Readmore »

Call for Papers: “Early Modern Texts: Digital Methods and Methodologies”

The Text Creation Partnership is delighted to once again be hosting a conference September 16-17, 2013, at the University of Oxford. We are currently seeking submissions related to this year’s theme, “Early Modern Texts: Digital Methods and Methodologies.” From the conference website:

The Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership, based at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, invites proposals for conference papers. All papers that focus on early modern texts will be considered, but we particularly encourage proposals on digital research and editing methods and methodologies in early modern studies. Possible topics could include:

  • Editing philosophies and practicalities
  • Digital citation
  • Hidden or developing research methodologies in the Humanities
  • Bridging traditional and digital methods
  • Comparative studies of different digital resources
  • Research based on EEBO-TCP
  • Digital tools to support early modern research
  • Approaches to teaching methodology

The deadline for submissions is Friday 5 April 2013.

The conference is intended as an opportunity to explore the current state of early modern textual studies and editing, and to consider possibilities for the future. There will be a particular focus on developing potential for collaborative work through scheduled networking sessions. Proposals including project demonstrations or ideas are encouraged, as are submissions from postgraduate and early career researchers.

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words, together with a brief biography (100 words maximum), to Acceptances will be notified by Monday 29 April 2013.

You can download a digital copy of this Call for Papers.

We hope to see you in Oxford in September!

Meet a TCP Editor: Sarah Wingo

My name is Sarah Wingo. I am in my second and final year at the University of Michigan’s School of Information (UM-SI) working on my master of science in information, and recently completed my third week as a part-time editor for the Text Creation Partnership (TCP).

TCP is tucked away in a strip of the Hatcher Graduate library‘s third floor north stacks, in what is known as “the cage.” Even if you stumbled across the cage in your search for a book or journal housed in the Asia Library stacks, which share the third floor with TCP, it’s likely you wouldn’t know what we were all up to hard at work over our computers.  I first learned about the University of Michigan’s branch of TCP last summer while doing an internship funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), dealing with digital preservation for MLibrary. My supervisor at the time wanted me to have the opportunity to see the variety of work being done at the library, and on a visit to MPublishing I happened to meet the Text Creation Partnership Project Outreach Librarian Rebecca Welzenbach, who explained the project to me.

My personal interest in TCP stems from my educational background prior to coming to UM-SI. I did an MA in English at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute, where I specialized in Shakespeare and other early modern English dramatists.  I then chose to pursue a library science degree because while working towards my MA, I frequently used special collections and became increasingly interested in the stewardship of rare books and manuscripts and in using technology and digital media to create new ways of accessing and interacting with these materials. The TCP is an interesting fit for me because it combines my interest in early English texts with the technological aspects of creating access for the scholarly community that first sparked my interest in librarianship.

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