CIRCA:TEI by Example


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Project Overview

The TEI by Example (TBE) is an initiative to spread the TEI recommendations creating online tutorials. The project was imagined by the Centre for Scholarly Editing and Document Studies (CTB) of the Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature, the Centre for Computing in the Humanities (CCH) of King’s College London, and the Department of Information Studies of University College London.


The TEI by Example (TBE) started developing tutorials in 2006 guiding individuals through different stages of markup of documents following TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) recommendations. An important point to start of the project was the status of the TEI model. The TEI has created a complex system to support scholarly text encoding. However, the lack of teaching materials discourages the adoption of TEI guidelines, making it difficult to meet the expansion plan traced by the TEI consortium. Also, it was noticed that there’s no room for feedback or an easy channel to communicate with TEI Consortium, making difficult to the learner solve issues related to these materials.

Until recently most part of the educational materials available on the TEI website came from these workshops. However, the information inside these materials is poorly designed and incomplete since it often needs a presenter to explain the context in the slides, leading to interest lost by the user.

The huge demand for introductory material makes urgent the necessity for an online TEI courses in order to promote the TEI markup framework as a legitimate tool for digital humanities, or humanities computing, and to expand it use. Currently, Learn the TEI section on the TEI website has generic tutorials and documents available to introduce parts of XML used in TEI such as TEI by Example, A Gentle Introduction to XML, and TEI Lite: Encoding for Interchange; an Introduction to the TEI.


The TEI by Example (TBE) project is focused on filling an empty spot in Text Encoding Initiative training. It is an efficient initiative to address problems based learning in a useful way to develop or improve markup skills for those new to the TEI. In order to develop the TBE tutorials the team had to understand technical possibilities and limitations afforded by the online environment, and decide how best to integrate these into the tutorial materials.

Producing example-based, step-by-step training modules, simulating real-life encoding issues for diverse text types, TEI by example can be a helpful way to promotes the TEI markup framework. TBE developers created a range of freely available online tutorials using the TEI guidelines. These tutorial modules covers eight different areas of electronic text encoding in order to encourage new humanists to develop their projects.

The aims of the project

  • The creation and on-line delivery of a TEI by example course for teaching TEI in higher education and workshops.
  • The creation and on-line delivery of a software toolkit for teaching text encoding
  • The documentation of the methodology, workflow and findings of the project in a project report
  • The deliverables of the project are:
  • On-line tutorials TEI by example
  • A printable PDF version of the tutorials TEI by example
  • An on-line software toolkit for text encoding
  • A downloadable CD-ROM image for burning off-line toolkits for use by course participants
  • A project report which could be published in the project reports section of LLC or DHQ, and on the ALLC website
  • The deliverables will be published and hosted by CCH (King's College London) under endorsement by the ALLC.


The project provides tutorials in eight different areas of text encoding following the guidelines developed by TEI.

0. Introduction to Text Encoding and TEI

1. Common structures and elements

2. The TEI header

3. Prose

4. Poetry

5. Drama

6. Primary Sources

7. Critical Editing

8. Customising TEI, ODD, Roma

International Advisor Committee

Syd Bauman - Editor TEI Guidelines - Programmer/Analyst - Brown University Women Writers Project - US

Dr Alejandro Bia-Plata - Department of Statistics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Miguel Hernández University - ES

Tone Merete Bruvik - Aksis, Department of Culture, Language and Information Technology, UNIFOB AS - NO

Lou Burnard - Editor TEI Guidelines - Assistant Director Oxford University Computing Services - UK

Prof dr Dino Buzzetti - Department of Philosophy, University of Bologna - IT

Dr James Cummings - Oxford Text Archive, Oxford University Computing Services - UK

Dr Matthew James Driscoll - Den Arnamagnæanske Samling, Nordisk Forskningsinstitut, Københavns Universitet - DK

Dr Julia Flanders - past-Chair TEI-Consortium - Women Writers Project, Brown University - US

Em Prof Susan Hockey - Emeritus Professor of Library and Information Studies, School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College London - GB

Dr John Lavagnino - Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London - UK

Prof David Nicholas - Director School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College London - GB

Espen S. Ore - National Library of Norway - NO

Dr Susan Schreibman - Director. Digital Humanities Observatory. Royal Academy of Ireland - IE

Dr Raymond Siemens - Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing - Associate Professor of English, Department of English, Faculty of Humanities, University of Victoria - CA

Dr Adriaan Van der Weel - Book and Publishing / Engelse taal en cultuur, Leiden University - NL

Prof John Unsworth - Dean and Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign - US

Dr Claire Warwick - School of Library Archive and Information Studies, University College London - UK

Dr Christian Wittern - past-Chair TEI Technical Council - Associate Professor, Documentation and Information Center for Chinese Studies, Institute for Research in Humanities Kyoto University - JP

Matthew Zimmerman - Past-Chair TEI Consortium - Faculty Technology Services, New York University - US


Terras, M., Van den Branden, R. & Vanhoutte, E. (2009). Teaching TEI: The Need for TEI by Example. LLC. The Journal of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 24 (3), 297- 306, Oxford University Press.

TEI by Example. (n.d). Retrieved from

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