16.077 TEI P4 in print

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty (w.mccarty@btinternet.com)
Date: Tue Jun 18 2002 - 01:45:27 EDT

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                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 77.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 06:41:32 +0100
             From: John Unsworth <jmu2m@virginia.edu>
             Subject: TEI P4 press release


    The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Consortium (www.tei-c.org) announces
    publication of a new, updated version of their Guidelines for Electronic
    Text Encoding and Interchange, known as P4. The Consortium, now in its
    second year, is an international non-profit corporation set up to maintain
    and develop the TEI system, which has become the de facto standard for
    scholarly work with digital text since its first publication in 1994.

    The launch of a fully XML-compliant version of the TEI Guidelines is a
    significant advance, placing the TEI firmly in the mainstream of current
    digital library and World Wide Web developments. The new edition has been
    available online for a few months, and will continue to be so, but the
    print edition now available from the University of Virginia Press
    (http://www.upress.virginia.edu/) marks a new milestone in the history of
    this long standing exercise in scholarly communication and international

    In simple terms, the TEI Guidelines define a language for describing how
    texts are constructed and propose names for their components. By defining a
    standard set of names the Guidelines make it possible for different
    computer representations of texts to be combined into vast databases, and
    they also provide a common language for scholars wishing to work
    collaboratively. There are many such standard vocabularies in the
    industrial world -- in banking, in aircraft maintenance, or in chemical
    modelling, for example. The TEI's achievement has been to try to do the
    same thing for textual and linguistic data -- both for those working with
    the written culture of the past and for those studying the development of
    language itself.

    Membership in the TEI Consortium has climbed steadily during its first year
    of operation, standing at 56 members worldwide in May 2002, ranging from
    small university research projects to major academic libraries and
    institutions. The consortium offers a range of membership benefits
    including participation in TEI elections, special access to training,
    consultation on grant proposals, and free or discounted copies of the TEI
    Guidelines. The Consortium is actively recruiting and welcomes inquiries at

    The Consortium is now planning its second annual members' meeting, to be
    held at the Newberry Library in Chicago on October 11 and 12, 2002. At the
    annual meeting members have the opportunity to learn about new developments
    and future plans for the TEI Guidelines, share research with other TEI
    members, and attend special training sessions. The annual meeting is also
    the venue for elections to the TEI Board of Directors, which oversees the
    TEI's strategic and fiscal planning, and the TEI Council, which governs the
    technical work of the TEI. Members attend the meeting at no charge;
    non-members pay a nominal fee of $US50.

    Detailed information on P4 and the TEI Consortium is available from the web
    site at http://www.tei-c.org. The Editors of the Guidelines are Lou Burnard
    (University of Oxford, lou.burnard@oucs.ox.ac.uk, tel +44 1865 273 221) and
    Syd Bauman (Brown University, syd_bauman@brown.edu, +1 401 863 3835).


    1. Copies of P4 may be ordered from the University of Virginia Press
    (or via the TEI website at http://www.tei-c.org/Services/) at a cost
    of $US90. Consortium members will receive a free copy, and may order
    additional copies at the discounted members' price of
    $US60. Subscribers may also order discounted copies. Individual
    chapters of the Guidelines are available free of charge in PDF format
    to members and subscribers from the TEI web site.

    2. The TEI Consortium has executive offices in Bergen, Norway, and is
    hosted at four university sites worldwide: the University of Bergen,
    Brown University, Oxford University, and the University of
    Virginia. The Consortium is managed by a Board of Directors, and its
    technical work is overseen by an elected Council. Work is typically
    carried out by small groups of interested experts worldwide, and there
    are two editors, one based in North America, and one in Europe.

    3. The TEI began work in 1988, under the sponsorship of three leading
          professional associations in the field of literary and linguistic
          applications of computing, and with the aid of substantial funding
          from the US National Endowment for the Humanities, the European
          Union's Language Engineering Directorate, the Canadian Social
          Science and Humanities Research Council, and the Mellon

    4. With the assistance of nearly 200 technical and academic experts
          worldwide, the TEI has formulated recommendations for the
          efficient representation in computer readable form of almost every
          kind of textual resource, independently of language, culture, or
          computer system. Originally these recommendations were expressed
          using a computer standard called SGML; more recently, the TEI has
          converted to using XML, the new language of the web.

    4. The TEI has had a major impact in several areas: in the development
          of the digital library, in the development of language engineering,
          and in the development of the web. Many of those responsible for
          the development of XML, including one of the editors of that
          standard, are also closely identified with the development of the

    5. As digital communication becomes the norm, there is a growing need
          for standards which are less ephemeral than today's computer
          systems. By defining standards for interchange of textual data
          independent of today's computer systems, the TEI guarantees a
          future for the digital heritage we are building up all around
          us. Hence its slogan: "yesterday's information tomorrow".

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