The Linked TEI: Text Encoding in the Web

TEI Conference and Members Meeting 2013: October 2-5, Rome (Italy)


As in previous years, the meeting will be accomponied by pre-conference tutorials on TEI and DH related topics. This will give delegates the opportunity to learn from experienced practitioners in the field. Tutorials are free but please make sure to register for participation in tutorials as early as possible as places are limited. Registration to pre-conference Workshops and Tutorials is on the same page of conference registration: so please if you are interested in one or more of this events please register for them as well.

Use of EpiDoc markup and tools: publishing ancient source texts in TEI

Tutorials date: Monday, 30 September 2013, 10-17Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 9-17

EpiDoc is a set of guidelines for encoding ancient source texts in TEI (originally developed for Greek and Roman epigraphy, but now much more diverse, see list of projects, below), including a recommended schema and ODD, a lively community of practice and an ecosystem of projects, tools and stylesheets for the interchange and exploitation of such texts. This tutorial will introduce participants to the principles and practices of EpiDoc encoding, which are largely based on the practice of encoding single-source documents and the ancient objects on which they are written, as well as some of the tools and other methods made available by the community for transforming, publishing, querying, exchanging and linking of encoded materials.

We expect participants to have basic familiarity with the principles of XML and TEI, and some understanding of epigraphic practice and the Leiden Conventions would be an advantage, but so long as there is willingness to learn fast the programme should be of interest to beginners as well. Students are welcome to bring their own texts to work with, but examples will be provided by the tutors.


Day 1: Getting data into EpiDoc

  • Morning: Introduction to EpiDoc encoding, Leiden Conventions, and object description/history. Example texts will be offered, with opportunity to practice encoding in EpiDoc. Most examples will be in Greek or Latin, but knowledge of these languages is not essential to participation.
  • Afternoon: Introduction to Papyrological Editor (papyri.info/editor), the principles of the Leiden+ shorthand and the SoSOL workflow management tool behind it. Opportunity to use “tags-free” editing interface and further encoding practice. Discussion of applicability of SoSOL to other projects (e.g. annotation functions added by Perseus Project) and other methods and principles for converting digital texts to EpiDoc. Discussion of ways to convert legacy data in databases or text documents to EpiDoc. Participants who have documents in other formats that they would like to convert to EpiDoc are invited to bring them.

Day 2: Exploiting and converting EpiDoc texts

  • Morning: Searching EpiDoc. We shall provide a walkthrough of setting up the eXist XML database, loading texts into it, and searching with XQuery, including setting up Apache Solr and indexing documents via XSLT. Students will have an opportunity to try setting up a webservice to access and search datasets.
  • Afternoon: Publishing EpiDoc as Linked Data. Discussion of Linked Data principles and how these apply to setting up an infrastructure for publishing EpiDoc. Linking EpiDoc to geographic data with Pelagios and Pleiades.


  • Ryan Baumann (Duke) is a digital humanities researcher and programmer. He was a lead developer on the Son of Suda On-Line (SoSOL), Papyrological Editor, and Leiden+, to deliver scholarly editing workflow for an EpiDoc-based text corpus.
  • Gabriel Bodard (King’s College London) is a researcher in digital epigraphy in the Department of Digital Humanities, a member of the TEI Technical Council, and has been working on projects publishing inscriptions and papyri in EpiDoc for over ten years (including Inscriptions of Aphrodisias, Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania, Ancient Inscriptions of the Northern Black Sea, Papyri.info). He is one of the lead authors of the EpiDoc Guidelines and developers of the Example XSLT, and has taught regular EpiDoc training workshops in London, Rome, and elsewhere since 2005.
  • Hugh Cayless (NYU) works for the Digital Library Technology Services group at NYU on projects at the intersection of ancient studies and technology. He was the lead developer on the Papyrological Navigator (papyri.info) and is currently working on standards for linked data supporting digital critical editions. He is one of the creators of EpiDoc and is a member of the TEI Technical Council.
  • Henriette Roued-Cunliffe (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) is a digital humanities researcher and programmer on the Buddhist Manuscripts from Gandhara project where she is using EpiDoc to create a new version of the online publication of manuscripts as well as tools for interacting with the dataset. Previously, she used a similar approach on the new Vindolanda Tablets Online II publication as a part of her PhD at University of Oxford. This involved developing the word search web service, APPELLO, which enabled the same dataset to be used in two separate applications.

Using and Customizing TEI Boilerplate

Tutorial date: Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 9-13

Instructor: John A. Walsh, Indiana University

TEI Boilerplate is an open source, lightweight and simple solution for publishing styled P5 content directly in modern browsers. With TEI Boilerplate, TEI XML files can be served directly to the web without server-side processing or translation to HTML. TEI Boilerplate performs a very simple XSLT 1.0 translation that embeds the TEI document inside an HTML shell. This embedding largely preserves the integrity of the TEI document while also allowing TEI users to use CSS and JavaScript to style the TEI content directly, manipulate TEI data, build and design interfaces, and add functionality. CSS and JavaScript skills are relatively common and widely known, and one goal of TEI Boilerplate is to provide a simple TEI publishing framework that can be used and customized by TEI users who have basic web development skills but who lack advanced XSLT knowledge. Much more detail about TEI Boilerplate—including demos, documentation, and downloads—may be found at <http://teiboilerplate.org/>.

The tutorial will cover basic use and configuration of TEI Boilerplate and also customization of TEI Boilerplate with CSS and JavaScript. The tutorial will include example data, and participants will also have an opportunity to work with their own data.

TEI Boilerplate was released about a year ago and remain in active development. A new 1.1 version with support for facsimile page images was just released in April, 2013. TEI Boilerplate has been adopted for TEI training, classroom use, and in a variety TEI projects.

oXygen XML Editor for TEI (sponsored by Syncro Soft)

Tutorial date: Wednesday, 2 October 2013, 9-13

Instructor: George Bina, Syncro Soft / oXygen XML Editor

Join the oXygen XML editor team to discover how the specific TEI support in oXygen is defined and how you can change that to match your particular needs.
oXygen allows creating user-friendly interfaces to capture XML encoding from people that are not necessarily familiar with XML. Learn how you can create such interfaces allowing non-technical users to just select from a drop down or to just press a button directly in the user interface to trigger your custom action, which can be scripted in XSLT or XQuery.
If you take your laptop with you we invite you to follow us to create yourself such new interfaces and custom actions.