Tapas Project

TAPAS provides sample and template files to give beginning encoders concrete examples that they can modify and emulate. (A wider range of sample encoding can be found at TEI by Example [http://teibyexample.org] and in the examples that are included in the TEI Guidelines [http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/index.html]) All sample and template files can be downloaded to your own computer so that you can modify them.

There are several ways to use these materials in learning TEI encoding.

  • Find a sample file in a genre that interests you, download it, and open it in an XML-aware editor like Oxygen. Try making changes to the encoding, to get a feel for what elements are allowed where. Try adding more content (encode your favorite poem or a sample letter) to get more practice. You can also try adding more detailed markup: identifying personal names and places, for instance.
  • Download one of the template files in a genre that interests you, and open it in an XML-aware editor. Choose a short text in that genre, and try fitting the individual pieces of the text into the appropriate places in the template. If there are parts of the text that don't fit, don't worry--you can leave them out. Once you have the basic structure of the text in place, try to find out where the missing pieces might fit: for instance, you can use the content completion feature in your editor to see what TEI elements are available and valid at each place in your text: take a look at the options and see whether any of them sounds right. You can look specific elements up in the Guidelines, or in TEI by Example, to find out more about how they are used.
  • If you are working on a collection of documents in the same genre (such as a collection of poems), you can make a modified copy of the TAPAS template to match your own encoding practices. Treat the template as a kind of framework that you fill in, and try to anticipate the features that all of the documents will have. You can delete the parts of the template that aren't necessary for your project.

The process of learning and working with the TEI—even for mature projects—is often a slow and methodical activity of analysis, testing, revision, and more analysis. Documents are complex things and the TEI language is designed to be able to represent that complexity. But when you’re first learning it can be helpful to have a starting point for experimentation. The sample files illustrate concretely how to encode various kinds of documents in a simple way, showing how the encoding of specific features fits into the overall TEI document structure. The template files show the same structures, but with the content omitted so that students can use them as a starting point.

We’ve tried to demonstrate a variety of different encoding features that may be useful. But no template can anticipate the details of an actual document, so you should expect that you’ll find places where the template doesn’t match what you’re trying to encode. You may also find you disagree with the encoding approach we demonstrate, and that is a good thing! Your encoding should reflect your own theory of the document, and your own project’s needs. Part of the adventure is discovering what is distinctive about your documents, your methods, and your project, and developing an encoding practice to match.

These templates aren’t intended for use in real-world project contexts. However, it can be very helpful to have a template (or several) to help ensure consistency in the recurring features of your documents, such as the TEI header. If you’re starting a new project, you might use a TAPAS template as a starting point, make modifications, and save your own template for use by your project team. If you develop a template you’d like to share with the community, let us know and we’ll add it to the collection.

All of the TAPAS templates and sample files are freely available for use by anyone.

Sign In Search