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In November, Kevin Hawkins, Paul Schaffner, and I taught the first of–we hope!–many workshops on Digital Publishing and Preservation using XML, specifically, the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines. The first event was targeted for students at UM’s School of Information, and we revised and reprised it a few days later for library staff, including most of the UM Press production team.

The workshop was a condensed version of one that Kevin previously taught, and I took (not at the same time!), through the Digital Humanities Observatory in Dublin, Ireland.  It consisted of a mix of lectures and hands-on exercises, all of which are available online.  Although the materials for the two workshops were very similar, we tailored them slightly to accommodate each audience.  We knew in advance that many of the SI students would have been exposed to other forms of XML already, but that TEI did not figure prominently into the SI curriculum.  So, although we didn’t require any prior experience with XML or TEI, we anticipated a group that knew some of the basics, and attended because they had a specific interest in exploring TEI.

For the library workshop, we took an almost opposite slant: we expected more participants who had not used XML before, and who might not work with TEI directly in the future.  Although we still relied on TEI in our exercises and examples, our goal was to provide a basic foundation that would also serve participants well as they undertook projects using DocBook or other XML schemas.

We plan to re-shape the program yet again in the winter term for students in the English department, who may have less exposure to working with electronic texts, and more specific interest in particular historical texts or digital humanities projects.

TEI workshop

School of Information students working on encoding exercises

Want to hold a workshop in your department?  Contact Kevin.

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