Encoding letters and other dated material: overview

letter postscript opener closer diary/journal signatures (in letters) date
salute signed dateline opener closer byline

Letters belong to a genre of documents whose structure explicitly use place and time as organizing devices. Similar documents include diaries, travel logs, periodical literature, and also fictionalizations of these (such as epistolary novels). Texts of this sort typically include the date, time, and place of writing, and also the author’s and addressee’s names, grouped together at the start or end of the text. The TEI provides the opener and closer elements to enclose these groupings. Within these two elements, the specific pieces of information are encoded using dateline, salute, signed, byline, and the further elements they enclose.

For details on encoding the various components of letters and similar texts, the following entries are relevant: