Susan Schreibman’s article, ‘Digital Scholarly Editing’, posits the evolution of text encoding systems in the field of digital editing as an open, dynamic and crucial element in digitization projects. Early efforts created digital facsimiles but as the medium was explored, new problems, decisions and opportunities arose, creating the need for a standardized and transferable system that didn’t just reproduce primary materials, but allowed for customized study and analysis, mainly within thematic research collections.
In viewing Thematic Research Collections such as Blake’s manuscripts and Emily Dickinson’s poetry, one can see how the application of TEI can enhance the digital editions for scholarly exploration and how the use of The Versioning Machine tool or framework can compare existing versions of texts for analysis.
While McKenzie defines text as “verbal, visual, oral, and numeric data, in the form of maps, prints, and music, of archives of recorded sound, of films, videos, and any computer-stored information”, it seems a lot of the works mentioned in the article are of the literary kind. How does one apply TEI or other encoding frameworks to the non-literary works and also resolves the issue of encoding being “subjective, theoretical and interpretative”? Currently it may apply only to the metadata associated with these non-literary texts, which effectively separates the content from the display. As these objects, born-digital or otherwise, migrate to different platforms or are remediated, refashioned and repurposed, it is necessary to have an attached set of searchable data to ensure provenance, copyright, etc. Editors must be aware of changes in accepted standards and systems to ensure the durability of texts. Crowdsourcing and mass digitisation projects can take the process of encoding out of the scholarly field and into a wider participatory engagement with the material.
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<heading2>What are the English language needs of recent immigrants to Cork city and are those needs being met?</heading2>
<body>As a teacher of ESL (English as a second language) and a digital humanities student, I am interested in researching an area that will combine previously learned skills with the tools and methodologies that I am currently studying, and applying that research to create a valuable digital artifact.
English language proficiency is generally viewed as necessary and desirable for integration into Irish culture. The number of immigrants moving to and settling in Cork is composed of returning Irish nationals, migrants from EU member states and refugees and asylum seekers. The last 2 groups are the most vulnerable and according to the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner, there was an increase of 126% in refugee status applications in 2015 with some 3,276 applications received compared to 1,448 applications in 2014.
I intend to research and review the English language resources available to refugees and asylum seekers and establish relationships with bodies such as NASC and The Welcome English Centre with a view to carrying out a survey aimed at establishing the needs of asylum seekers and refugees. Finally, I would like to create an artifact, possible a website which shall be informed by the results of my research.
Display the XML File
I have recently started learning about and using HTML and XML code. HTML is, of course, the language for structuring and displaying content on the internet and some knowledge of it is very useful when customising websites such as WordPress. It is a fixed format, pre-defined language and is not extensible or machine-readable. XML is similar to HTML in that they are both mark-up languages but it is not fixed format and thus is very adaptable, accurate and flexible and is both human and machine readable. It is also free and non-proprietary and much easier to manage than SGML.
XML has a myriad of uses, not only in the academic world, where it is used to for machine learning, information extraction, data mining and textual analysis. In a business environment, it can be used to transfer data though different software or move it through upgrades without fear of it being incompatible. If proprietary software is used to collect data, then the user can become locked out when trying to use the data differently. As XML is now the industry standard, it is easier to move data if it is already in XML format rather than trying to rewrite the entire portfolio. Also, if the data needs to be used in multiple formats eg web publishing, apps, pdfs or print, XML can readily translate the data.