TEI 2019

What is text, really? TEI and beyond

All PapersTEI

Recreating history through events

Christiane Fritze

Keywords: tei:event, tei:listEvent, historical events, eventSearch, data modelling
Permalink: https://gams.uni-graz.at/o:tei2019.141

Recreating history through events

Events are a feature of life in space and time and hence are frequently encountered in witnesses of the human culture.

Coming from diverse backgrounds within the TEI based realm of scholarly editing, the authors identified a common practice in digital editions for encoding events: dateable events are commonly recorded and marked up using e.g. simple date when="*" structures. To date, there is no easy single solution to model events that include basic other event features, mainly referring back to the questions of what happened when and with whom/what as subjects and objects of any given event.

There are numerous examples from generically and disciplinarily varying editions where a unified way of describing events could provide added value. Our showcase examples feature material as diverse as

  • a medieval itinerary and medieval calendars,
  • b)
  • an Austrian author’s diary from the 1950s,
  • c)
  • a corpus of governmental minutes from the Habsburg empire and
  • d)
  • 16th century political correspondence.
We will propose a common strategy on how to encode events in a way that can be easily parsed and extracted from TEI source files.

After careful consideration, we propose minor changes to the event and listEvent elements. To allow for multiple levels of reporting on events, we will discuss a nested and typed way of distinguishing between describing and described events.

Merging data on historical events from various sources will provide for a closer linking of text editions. It will also provide data for an enriched historical background by linking events across editions. We hope to enable the TEI community to generalize what has lately been successfully adopted for correspondences under the correspSearch label – including a web service –, while staying in line with the generic norms and the specific needs that arise from other types of sources.