Tapas Project

Project History

The TAPAS project grew out of a TEI workshop held at Wheaton College in Massachusetts in 2008, in which a variety of scholars expressed frustration in their inability to present or share their encoded texts. Recognizing a common need, technologists and librarians at Wheaton College, Dickinson College, and Mount Holyoke College came together to form the early concept and design of TAPAS.  In 2009, this group successfully applied for a year-long grant from the IMLS (“Publishing TEI Documents for Small Liberal Arts Colleges: Planning a Service, Building a Community,” $86,770) that proposed the creation of a TEI preservation, publication, and transformation service.  Between 2009 – 2010, this group worked together to design the early phase needs assessment and design of what would become the TAPAS project, including its services, data architecture, and front-end user interface.  In 2010, the group partnered with Brown University, who had offered to support the development of a long-term data repository. In September 2010, the project acquired its official name: the TEI Archiving, Publishing, and Access Service, or TAPAS.

Following this initial planning phase, the project began formal development in 2011, with generous funding from both the IMLS (“National Leadership Grant,” $250,000) and the NEH (“Start-up Grant,” $50,000) to support the early stage implementation of TAPAS. This first development phase involved major work on the user interface, work flows, and initial forms of validation and display of TEI data. During this period TAPAS also created a community of Early Adopters who contributed test data and pilot projects. In 2013, TAPAS moved from Brown University to Northeastern University and secured a long-term commitment from the Northeastern University Library to house and publish TAPAS’s TEI data.

In 2014 TAPAS received a generous  $300,000 “Research and Development Grant” from the NEH (2014–2018)  to overhaul and expand the functionality of TAPAS with a Hydra-Fedora repository and XML database, and to start exploring XML-aware visualization options as part of the TAPAS reading interface. Over the next two years, TAPAS saw a record number of new users and a steady increase of TEI data being added to the repository by both individual users and small to large-scale projects. We also began to see teachers and workshop instructors use TAPAS for pedagogical purposes. Discussion of improved support for teaching and learning of the TEI through TAPAS led to a $50,000 “DH Startup grant” from the NEH (2016–17) to develop materials and tools that support classroom and workshop users of TAPAS, including new display stylesheets, sample files, handouts, and slide sets. TAPAS’s own program of workshops began with the TEI 2014 conference at Northwestern University, where TAPAS held its inaugural TAPAS workshop focused on introducing a group of participants to TAPAS’ services and its platform.

Development & Funding History



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