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Examples for Module 7: Critical Editing

1. Emily Dickinson: Faith is a Fine Invention

The following example is a critical edition of Emily Dickinson's poem Faith is a Fine Invention, encoded and made available by the University of Maryland University Libraries.
In this example, 7 different versions of a 4-line poem are encoded using the parallel segmentation method. Each apparatus entry (<app>) contains different <rdg> elements documenting the variants occurring in the different text versions. Note how the choice for equal <rdg> elements (instead of one 'preferred' reading, encoded in a <lem> element), and the use of the parallel segmentation method abolish the notion of a base text.
The location of the <listWit> element as part of the TEI header's <sourceDesc> section implies that this electronic edition has been created from scratch. Each witness definition inside <witness> marks its corresponding sigil in an @xml:id attribute; an alternative identifier is provided in the @n attribute. For three of the text witnesses (A660, CP, and LL) digital facsimiles are provided in the edition, and linked to the corresponding witness definitions with the global @facs attribute.
<TEI xmlns:math="" xmlns:xi="" xmlns="" xmlns:svg="">
<title>"Faith is a fine invention"</title>
<author>by Emily Dickinson</author>
<name>Jarom McDonald</name>
<resp>Text encoding</resp>
<name>Lara Vetter</name>
<p>This poem is available only for demonstration purposes. It was created as part of a research project to experiment with ways of displaying multiple witnesses of a TEI-encoded poem using XML, XSLT and JavaScript.</p>
<witness xml:id="A660" n="va660" facs="images/p1891.jpg">A 660, verse embedded in letter to Samuel Bowles.</witness>
<witness xml:id="H201" n="vh201">H 201, fascicle version of poem.</witness>
<witness xml:id="H72" n="vh72">H 72, fascicle version of poem.</witness>
<witness xml:id="P1891" n="vp1891">Published as poem XXX in the second volume of Todd and Higginson's <title rend="italic">Poems of Emily Dickinson</title>.</witness>
<witness xml:id="L1894" n="vl1894">Letter to Samuel Bowles published in Todd's edition of Dickinson's letters.</witness>
<witness xml:id="CP" n="vcp32" facs="images/cp32.jpg">Published as poem LVI in Martha Dickinson Bianchi's <title rend="italic">Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson</title>.</witness>
<witness xml:id="LL" n="vll227" facs="images/ll227.jpg">Letter to Samuel Bowles published in Bianchi's <title rend="italic">The Life and Letters of Emily Dickinson</title>.</witness>
<p>Test document for versioning machine project. Marked-up collation of three manuscript witnesses: A 660, H 201, and H 72, and four early print witnesses: Poems (1891)--XXX, Letters (1894)--p. 191, Complete Poems (1924)--LVI, and Life and Letters (1926)--p. 227. </p>
<variantEncoding location="internal" method="parallel-segmentation"/>
<l n="1"> <app>
<rdg wit="#A660 #H72">"Faith"</rdg>
<rdg wit="#H201 #L1894 #LL">Faith</rdg>
<rdg wit="#P1891 #CP">FAITH</rdg>
</app> is a fine invention</l>
<l n="2">
<rdg wit="#A660 #LL">When</rdg>
<rdg wit="#H201 #H72 #P1891 #L1894 #CP">For</rdg>
<rdg wit="#A660 #H201 #H72">Gentlemen</rdg>
<rdg wit="#P1891 #L1894 #CP #LL">gentlemen</rdg>
<rdg wit="#A660 #LL">can</rdg>
<rdg wit="#H201 #H72 #P1891 #L1894 #CP">who</rdg>
<rdg wit="#A660 #H201 #H72">
<hi rend="underline">see</hi>
<rdg wit="#P1891 #L1894 #CP #LL">see</rdg>
<rdg wit="#H72 #LL">!</rdg>
<rdg wit="#A660 #H201">-</rdg>
<rdg wit="#P1891 #CP">;</rdg>
<rdg wit="#L1894">,</rdg>
<l n="3"> But <app>
<rdg wit="#H72">Microscopes</rdg>
<rdg wit="#A660 #H201">
<hi rend="underline">Microscopes</hi>
<rdg wit="#P1891 #L1894 #CP #LL">microscopes</rdg>
</app> are prudent</l>
<l n="4"> In an
<rdg wit="#A660 #H201 #H72">Emergency</rdg>
<rdg wit="#P1891 #L1894 #CP #LL">emergency</rdg>
<rdg wit="#A660 #L1894">.</rdg>
<rdg wit="#H201 #H72 #P1891 #CP #LL">!</rdg>


[1] Based on a TEI P4 XML encoding of Dickinson, Emily. Faith is a Fine Invention. Encoded and made available by the University of Maryland University Libraries, as sample for the Versioning Machine. Available online at
[2] Based on a TEI P4 XML encoding of Marlowe, Christopher. Edward II. Encoded and made available by the Perseus Digital Library. Available online at
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