DEMMR - March 2018 University of Pennsylvania Workshop

A Digital Editing Workshop with University of Pennsylvania MS Roll 1563

Category: Homework

mark up homework

1. Decorated Initials: These seem to function as clear markers in the roll. The one in my section seems fairly standard. I like Carley’s suggestion to use <figureDesc>. At the same time, I wonder if there might already be an agreed upon convention as to how to mark these as they seem like a recurring feature in many mss.

2. Colored initials: Red and blue colored initials with distinct shapes. We could use <hi rend=“color”> to indicate the color, and <figureDesc> to show that the initials are slightly larger and in a different font than the adjacent scripts.

3. Short red lines across words: I’m not entirely sure what these are (corrections? sentence breaks?), but some words are crossed out with red strokes either horizontally or vertically. The orientation of the strokes might be indicated?

4. Colors of scripts: Latin and Middle English passages that are in red. <hi rend=“red”>

5. Damaged section: A smudge that straddles two lines. <damage> to indicate the location of the smudge. <unclear> for the parts of the words that are illegible.

Suggested tags: Color, Damage, Abbreviations, Expansion, Errors

COLOR – My text has some partial red highlighting of letters and what might be a punctuation marker.  However, since the highlight is only partial, rather than making the entire letter or words red, there should probably be an attribute indicating its partial status.  The <hi> tag would be useful here, with added attributes: rend. I suggest, based on the TEI format, for my own purpose but possibly others, <hi rend = “color(red) length(partial)”.  The TEI info says you can double value an attribute, but I don’t know if this is good practice. Also I don’t know if “length” is the ideal word for the other value.

DAMAGE – There is some smudging on my section, which although not completely hiding the letters that it spans, does obscure it just a touch.  This seems to be a common element suggested by others as well, and given that there is an existing tag for it, I just recommend we use <damage> but also include the attribute “type.”  In my case, the damage looks like a smudge so <damage type=”smudge”>.

ABBREVIATIONS – This text has many abbreviations, so we should definitely use the <abbr> tag.  However, if the purpose of the markup exercise is to make explicit the things that are implicit, I suggest we see if we can find a way to formalize the type of the abbreviation, as it may be useful to other future scholars.  As someone who does not work in the high and late medieval ages, the abbreviated forms themselves are foreign to me and having a regularized way of identifying similar abbreviations would assist in my learning them, as well as being categorized for future scholars in my predicament, or just wanting to track the frequency of abbreviations.  If we need a classification scheme, I think handout five already organizes the abbrevations in a particular way. We could simply follow their format, especially if the book is considered a basic textbook of the field.

EXPANSION – I treat this entirely separate from abbreviations.  I view the markup of abbreviations as an attempt to identify the abbreviated forms as their own symbols.  The expansion of their meaning however, is something else, so my suggestion is we separate the two practices.  There are provided tags for this in <expan> and <ex>.

ERRORS – I think the <orig> tag would work best here, followed by <reg> for any corrections, rather than using the sic tag.  I notice however that <orig> does not have a “type” attribute although it has a “rend” attribute. I imagine it’d be useful to indicate what exactly is wrong with the original in the event that it is beyond a spelling error, but then again I don’t know what other types of errors would exist.  I’d be interested in if people have suggestions as to what other kinds of mistakes might exist.

  1. Rubrication — important to represent the highlighted text.  tag: <hi> (<hi rend=red>)
  2. Initials — want to flag initials done in color. tag: <hi>
  3. Sections — delineate the sections of prayer, etc. tag: <div> (<div type= “prayer?”>)
  4. Expansions — important to note where we have expanded. tag: <expan>
  5. Languages — mark the ME and Latin. tag: <div xml:lang=”latin”>

Homework 03/30/18

MIDDLE ENGLISH – I would like the Middle English portions of this MS Roll to be individually searchable. I think we should use the xml:lang attribute in a div tag for these portions. As well as the <hi> tag for the red color. Something like this:

<div xml:lang=“enm”>
           <hi rend=“red”>
                    And also the uertuys of thys<lb/> oryson kan no man telle. For
                    Seynt paule ma<lb/>te hyt by inspiracion of the holy gost.
                   <!– text until end of ME portion –>



Not all of the red text is ME, though, and I wonder if there is a more specific, unique, and compact tag for the ME portions. Also are we using <lb/> or <l> </l> more frequently?


PEOPLE – From my selection, at least, this text seems to allude to the origins of these prayers and legitimates them by attaching them to religious figures (e.g. St. Paul above). I think we should use the <rs> for this (e.g. <rs type=”person”> Seynt paule</rs>) but I would like to be more specific for those looking for actions attributed to important figures.


DECORATED INITIALS – The decorated initials are pretty regular in their design, but are of two different sizes, so we should maybe use <hi rend=”d1”>D</hi> as well as <hi rend=”d2”>d</hi>

And <hi rend=”a1”>A</hi> with the <desc type=“initial”> tag appended to it. 


DAMAGE TYPES – Damage and type of damage, I think, will be an important descriptor for this roll. We can use the <damage agent=”*type of damage*”> tag to be more descriptive of the types of damage on the manuscript (triangle at the beginning, red blob, dark abrasions). How extensive should we be with these, though?

<P> and <AB> – There are paragraph rubrications in this text and we should reserve <p> for those rubrications and not for the ME portions, which are of a different textual register in the context of this roll.

Elements for Markup

Ink color

My portion of the manuscript features a section of text written in black and another section written almost entirely in red ink.  The red sections should be tagged <hi rend=”red”>text</hi>.


Since this manuscript features a number of abbreviations, I think we should expand them. Using the <choice> tag is an additional labor but would provide the most information for future readers of this edition and would preserve the original language. One example would be the language used for “Jesus” which appears to be frequently abbreviated with an abbreviation marker throughout the manuscript. That could be written using the <abbr> and/or <expan> tags, though it might be more clear to audiences to use <orig> and <reg> tags with <am> and <em> tags for what/where the marker occurs, so that the original abbreviation of Jesus with a variant spelling and marker is preserved while we simultaneously regularize it to something machine readable and recognizable to future scholars.


<!– Either Ihesu or Jesus would be fine in the regularized version since we would preserve the original in the <orig> tags.  Another thing we could do would be to include the <am> language for the abbreviation marker</am> in <orig> and provide <ex>es</ex> in the <reg> tag to indicate what has been expanded and regularized (see below). –>



Much like abbreviations, I think it would be worthwhile to preserve the paleography, particularly in letter forms dissimilar to modern writing. The forms that stand out to me in my section of text are the long [s] , the rounded [r], and the biting [b] and [d]. I’m uncertain if our text includes thorns and yoghs, but I would want to encode those as well. I am used to encoding the dotted [y]  so that it is discernible from other visually similar letters. These components are an added labor and, while I have not found them to be an extra hassle during encoding, it would be something to watch for while working. In the past, I have used MUFI to get the language for the entities that correspond to specific glyphs (e.g. &thorn; for a thorn). Using the <g> tag on every glyph not available in modern English scripts would be an immense labor since we would then have to know and mark all of the brevigraphs (e.g. <g ref=”#per-glyph“>per</g>).


My section of the manuscript features text in both Latin and Middle English, so those segments should be noted using either the <language> or <langUsage> tags. I recommend <langUsage> rather than <lang> because the TEI description of <langUsage> is for “describ[ing] the languages, sublanguages, registers, dialects, etc. represented within a text.”

Unclear text

In my section, there are some stained, faded, and rubbed areas of text that are difficult to read. I would want to encode these with the <unclear> tags, using attributes like @reason for why it’s difficult to read (e.g. reason=”faded”), @resp for who made the editorial choice on what the letters are, and @cert for how certain we are with the result (e.g. “low”, “medium”, “high”).

Homework for DEMMR

1. DECORATED INITIALS – I have an “A” and “D” in my section, both decorated in multiple colors

<figureDesc> Red and Blue “A” initial with marginal head doodle</figureDesc>

2. COLORS OF SCRIPT – there are several words in my section in red ink

<hi rend=“red”>…</hi>

3. BREAK IN MEMBRANES – the break between the two membranes occurs in the second line of my section

<milestone unit=“Membrane”>

4. ABBREVIATED WORDS – these occur throughout my section


5. PARAGRAPH MARKS –  I have a few paragraph marks (or other minor rubrication) in my section


3/30 HW – Text Markup

Potential Markups

1) Damage to parchment with minor loss of text. Indicating placement of damage may add to our understanding of the physical history of the roll, particularly patterns of interaction between reader and text in the handling of the scroll. <damage>

2) Decorated initial with drawing of a face. This is an interesting decorative element that is both connected to  the text of the prayer, and part is of the margin. <figure> <additions>

3) Brief description of contents of this section of text. Pulling out key themes would help people navigate quickly through the text, and also help to connect this scroll to related texts in other sources. <summary>

4) The insertion of a single line of Latin into a section in English. There is a change of ink color near the end of one line that continues into the following line and ends in the center. Color changes like this that do not neatly line up with the start and end of a line occur infrequently in this scroll. <hi>

5) Abbreviations vs. expanded text. Noting which kinds of abbreviations are used could be useful to people interested in the way the words of the prayer are communicated in text, and could add to our knowledge of the early provenance of the scroll. <abbr>

Five Things for Markup

  1. MISSING TEXT – my section has several spots where the words are illegible that it would be useful to mark
    • I think instances like these can be tagged with <unclear>
  2. RED INITIALS – my section has three red touched initials that should be marked
    • I think these can be tagged with <hi rend=“touched red”>
  3. TIRONIAN ET – my section has a number of Tironian et characters that need to be flagged
    • I think this can be tagged with <g>7</g>
  4. ABBREVIATIONS – there are plenty of abbreviations that need to be clarified
    • I think <expan> would be the best way to tag this
  5. LATIN – my section is in Latin, and because this roll also contains Middle English I think it would be useful to flag which sections are which
    • I think this can be tagged with <lang>
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