Computers and the Humanities

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 137–148 | Cite as

Speaking with one voice: Encoding standards and the prospects for an integrated approach to computing in history

  • Daniel Greenstein
  • Lou Burnard
Part III: Encoding Specific Text Types


This paper focusses on the types of questions that are raised in the encoding of historical documents. Using the example of a 17th century Scottish Sasine, the authors show how TEI-based encoding can produce a text which will be of major value to a variety of future historical researchers. Firstly, they show how to produce a machine-readable transcription which would be comprehensible to a word-processor as a text stream filled with print and formatting instructions; to a text analysis package as compilation of named text segments of some known structure; and to a statistical package as a set of observations each of which comprises a number of defined and named variables. Secondly, they make provision for a machine-readable transcription where the encoder's research agenda and assumptions are reversible or alterable by secondary analysts who will have access to a maximum amount of information contained in the original source.

Key words

SGML TEI text encoding history historical documents Sasines 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Greenstein
    • 1
  • Lou Burnard
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HistoryGlasgow UniversityScotland, UK
  2. 2.Oxford University Computing ServiceOxfordEngland

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