The Basic Layer

In developing our encoding schema, the DDHI has adopted a “layered” approach. Each layer of the schema allows a user to encode different categories of data.

The core of our schema is the basic layer, which specifies the encoding of five categories of data entities that are present in almost every interview: places, people, organizations/institutions, dates, and events. These five categories and the particular TEI elements and attributes used to encode them are summarized as follows:

Data categoryTEI Element/AttributeExample
Place<placeName><placeName>Saigon</placeName>
Person<persName><persName>Colin Powell</persName>
Organization<orgName><orgName>Vietnam Veterans Against the War</orgName>
Date<date when=yyyy-mm-dd><date when=1968-01-31>January 31, 1968</date>
Event<name type =”event”><name type=”event”>Vietnam War</name>

In our selection and definitions of the five categories of data in our basic layer, we aimed to include some of the kinds of data that are often of particular interest to oral historians. Insofar as oral historians are interested in questions about people, space, time/chronology, and institutional and social contexts, the DDHI’s basic layer is designed to enable the explorations and analyses they want to undertake.