This article considers the possibilities and challenges in using TEI-based XML markup for curation of objects mentioned in historical documents such as catalogues and inventories, but also in unstructured forms such as diaries and personal correspondence. It takes as a case study documents related to early modern collections of curiosities. It first considers how far the current guidelines for manuscript description can be generalized for encoding other kinds of material objects and their contexts. It then examines what more is required for treating mentions and descriptions of objects in historical documents. It argues that the core affordance of curation for such materials is the ability to identify and select what constitutes a mention of an object and to relate that mention to its immediate context, including its relationships to object groupings.On the occasion of this publication, it seems a good time to draw together some documentation from this and our project Guidelines for preparing transcriptions to give a fuller account of how we are processing our documents in the Digital Ark. So, we have started a new page (a work in progress) where we will gather documentation for the project, starting first with transcription preparation, and then adding other relevant technical features. Over the next few months (with the benefit of a sabbatical leave), I hope to continue to update this document and provide other project updates.
Thursday, 28 December 2017
New publication and project documentation
The project has a new publication, on "Curating Object-Oriented Collections Using the TEI," recently appearing in the Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative. In it, I provide a framework for tagging material objects in documents using the TEI guidelines, which forms the basis for our own approach in the Digital Ark. Here is the abstract: