Transcription of primary sources

transcription manuscript paleography

Probably most projects using this Guide are engaged in transcribing primary source documents in some way or another. In a sense, one of the fundamental aims of the TEI Guidelines is to support this kind of transcription: to provide ways of encoding historical and cultural source materials. The essential tag sets of the TEI—those that form its default, vanilla vocabulary—are all suited to this kind of transcription and provide a solid basis for a straightforward encoding of primary sources.

The TEI also provides a special tag set for Transcription of Primary Sources. This module is intended in particular for the transcription of manuscripts, but its provisions are more generally useful. It provides additional encoding for the specialized needs of any project in which the local details of the source (revisions, damage, illegibility, typographical errors and anomalies, and so forth) are of particular importance. These tags make it possible to capture explicitly features and details which might otherwise be silently regularized or elided. We recommend including this module in any TEI tag set that is to be used for a scholarly transcription of source material.

In brief, this module includes provisions for encoding:

Each of these is covered in more detail elsewhere in this Guide.