A few weeks ago, I attended a workshop at University of Illinois which was an introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative. It was taught by Julia Flanders and Syd Bauman from the Women Writers Project at Brown University. Julia and Syd are excellent teachers and are very funny. The first day was an optional two-hour crash course on XML for those os us who had no background in XML. It helped me alot to understand the foundation. Then the next day, we started from the beginning of TEI and learned the basic elements and how to build a TEI document. We were each asked to bring our own text to use during the hands-on portions of the class, so I brought one of my blog posts from Hack Library School, my Hack Your Program: The University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences post. We had lots of time to work with TEI on a program called Oxygen XML Editor.
The second day we got deeper into TEI and the more advanced features it provides. This day got over my head pretty quickly. We also had more time on the second day to do more hands-on encoding of our text. But since my text was pretty basic, I had exhausted all I could do with it the first day, so on day two, I didn’t have anything else to do. I decided to leave early that day to begin the journey back to Knoxville.
In all, I am very glad I went to this workshop. It opened my mind to another area of digital curation that I didn’t have any experience with — digital humanities. I hope to get the opportunity to use TEI. In fact, I’m looking for an opportunity to use it in some way in my classes now.