TEI 2017 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada November 11 - 15

XML Tues Nov 14, 11:00–12:30

Mistakes Were Made: A TEI project after sixteen years (paper)

Claire Carlin* Claire Carlin is Professor Emerita of French at the University of Victoria. She has published two monographs and four edited volumes along with numerous articles on seventeenth-century French theatre and on marriage in Early Modern France. Her forays into scholarly editing include both print and digital editions.

1In 2001, my research on representations of marriage in Early Modern France led to the creation of the digital anthology Le Mariage sous l’Ancien Régime, a project made possible with the support of the Humanities Computing and Media Centre at UVic. Collaborating principally with Martin Holmes of the HCMC, I began to develop the anthology after taking the Digital Humanities Summer Institute course in XML encoding using the TEI Guidelines, followed by the course in project management.
2Best practices in project management tell us that endings need to be planned, ideally from a project’s inception. All too often, however, DH projects are simply abandoned for lack of time or lack of resources. In a desire to contribute solutions to this widespread problem (and to avoid becoming an example of it), I joined with nine UVic colleagues (researchers, developers, and librarians) on a grant application entitled Endings: Concluding, Archiving, and Preserving Digital Projects for Long-Term Usability. Since obtaining five years of funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in 2016, our team has reflected with renewed intensity on issues in ending and archiving, using four TEI-based projects as our case studies.
3The opportunity and the obligation to look back the evolution of Le Mariage sous l’Ancien Régime brings to the forefront lessons learned, such as
  • the need for systematic updating (of work plans, of technical knowledge);
  • the implications of changes in TEI Guideline schemas;
  • the need to document all processes, including errors, failures, changes of mind—and successes;
  • how to navigate the move from training and supervision of research assistants to deeper collaboration with them.
4A list of suggestions will conclude the paper, along with a progress report on digital preservation strategies being developed by the Endings project. May others benefit from what I wish I’d done better!