The Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange (TEI),
first published in 1994, quickly became the standard for encoding literary texts. The TEI
was widely adopted by libraries for its promise of discoverability, interoperability, and
preservation of electronic texts, but the TEI's complexity and flexibility, oriented towards
the needs of scholars, inspired the codification of library-specific practice. Since 1999,
libraries have relied on the "TEI Text Encoding in Libraries: Guidelines for Best Encoding
Practices" (currently in version 2.1) to steer their work with encoded texts. In April 2008,
the TEI special interest group (SIG) on Libraries and the DLF-sponsored TEI Task Force
partnered to update this document. The revision was prompted by the release of P5, the
latest version of the TEI, and the desire to create a true library-centric customization not
constrained by the TEI Lite schema, as was the case with version 2.1.
The revised "TEI Text Encoding in Libraries: Guidelines for Best Encoding Practices,"
currently in draft form, contain updated versions of the widely adopted encoding 'levels' -
from fully automated conversion to content analysis and scholarly encoding. They also
contain a substantially revised section on the TEI Header, designed to support
interoperability between text collections and the use of complementary metadata
schemas such as MARC and METS. The new Guidelines also reflect an organizational shift.
Originally authored by the DLF-sponsored TEI Task Force, the current revision work is a
partnership between members of the Task Force and the TEI Libraries SIG. As a result of
this partnership, responsibility for the Guidelines will migrate to the SIG, allowing closer
work with the TEI Consortium as a whole and a stronger basis for advocating for the
needs of libraries in future TEI releases.
The draft of the revised Guidelines for Best Encoding Practices (version 3.0) are open for
public comment from April 22, 2009 to May 6, 2009:
Comments can be collected several ways:
--Online feedback form:
--Posting your comments to the TEILIB-L list:
-- Emailing the SIG conveners directly: Kevin
Hawkins([log in to unmask]) and Michelle Dalmau
([log in to unmask])
--Participating in the birds of a feather feedback session at the Digital Library Federation
Spring Forum 2009 in Raleigh, N.C. on May 5, 2009
We appreciate your feedback.
Michelle Dalmau and Kevin Hawkins
Conveners of the TEI Special Interest Group on Libraries