Computers and the Humanities

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 17–39 | Cite as

The design of the TEI encoding scheme

  • C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
  • Lou Burnard
Part I: General Topics


This paper discusses the basic design of the encoding scheme described by the Text Encoding Initiative'sGuidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange (TEI document number TEI P3, hereafter simplyP3 orthe Guidelines). It first reviews the basic design goals of the TEI project and their development during the course of the project. Next, it outlines some basic notions relevant for the design of any markup language and uses those notions to describe the basic structure of the TEI encoding scheme. It also describes briefly the “core” tag set defined in chapter 6 of P3, and the “default text structure” defined in chapter 7 of that work. The final section of the paper attempts an evaluation of P3 in the light of its original design goals, and outlines areas in which further work is still needed.

Key words

TEI text encoding encoding schemes electronic text markup language tagging SGML 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
    • 1
  • Lou Burnard
    • 2
  1. 1.Computer CenterUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Oxford University Computing ServicesOxfordUK

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