Encoding the Edge: Manuscript Marginalia and the TEI


  • Laura Estill Texas A&M University




<additions>, <label>, <head>, <note>: with over five hundred elements, why can't I find the one I need? By tracing the different TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) elements and attributes available to describe and record marginalia, this paper reveals how the placement and purpose of early modern marginalia require careful consideration by digital editors. Each element that an encoder might consider using for in-text marginalia, and the customization that proscribes that use, carries different semantic weight. This essay considers the options for encoding marginalia using TEI, details practices of existing projects, and then turns to manuscripts written by Archbishop William Sancroft (1617-1693) as test cases. Ultimately, encoding marginalia is a data-modeling question that asks us to rethink the nature and function of our texts and paratexts, questioning where one ends and the other begins.

Author Biography

Laura Estill, Texas A&M University

Laura Estill is an Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University, where she edits the World Shakespeare Bibliography. Her book, Watching, Reading, Changing Plays: Dramatic Extracts in Seventeenth-Century English Manuscripts appeared in 2015.  Her research has appeared in, among other places, Shakespeare Quarterly, Huntington Library Quarterly, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, Early Theatre, Shakespeare, New Ways of Looking at Old Texts, and the The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare. She is currently working on DEx: A Database of Dramatic Extracts.






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