The DDHI Encoding Schema

The DDHI is developing a encoding schema specifically for use with oral history transcripts. This schema is based on the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), an XML-based encoding standard.

DDHI users will apply our schema by placing TEI tags on particular categories of data (entities) contained in an oral history interview. Once the entities in an interview have been tagged, a user can employ a DDHI-developed software component to link each tagged entity to descriptive data about that entity. (For example, an interview reference to a place such as a city or a street address can be linked to latitude and longitude coordinates.) The resulting datasets (known as authority lists) are then written back into the XML version of the interview file. When the encoding of an interview is complete, the data contained in the interview file can be visualized using the DDHI data visualization toolkit.

In adopting TEI as the foundation for the DDHI interview encoding schema, we are drawing and building upon the pioneering work of other TEI-based digital humanities projects. We are also contributing to the TEI’s core objective of enabling scholars and others to apply digital methods to the study and analysis of humanities texts.