Module 2: The TEI Header

5. Walt Whitman: “After the Argument”

This example contains the TEI header of the digital edition of a manuscript draft of “After the Argument,” a poem by Walt Whitman. It was encoded and made available by the Walt Whitman Archive.

This TEI header contains a detailed description of the electronic text in <fileDesc>. Apart from the required subsections, the edition of the electronic text is identified briefly in <editionStmt>. The <notesStmt> element contains a general remark about the dating of the manuscript.

Besides the file description, the header contains a detailed account of the file’s history in <revisionDesc>.

Functioning as the header of a manuscript transcription, however, one would have expected at least an <encodingDesc>, documenting how the electronic version relates to the source text. When this text is seen in isolation, this header falls short in explaining the editorial choices (that are referred to, however, in the <revisionDesc>). Of course, this text probably features in the wider context of the Walt Whitman Archive, where uniform encoding practices were used for all texts. Still, without repeating boilerplate information in each text of the archive, it would have made sense to provide an <editorialDecl> section with at least pointers to the external documentation of these practices available at and Furthermore, as the transcription is fairly detailed in the recording of editorial phenomena (additions, deletions, substitutions), identification of the different document hands in <profileDesc> could have made sense.

(Of course, these are only minor remarks, relative to the quality of the surrounding documentation of the archive in which this text is embedded. Yet, even if such external documentation exists, it makes sense to provide pointers in the document.)

<teiHeader xmlns="">
<title level="m" type="main">After the Argument</title>
<title level="m" type="sub">a machine readable transcription</title>
<author>Walt Whitman</author>
<editor>Ken Price</editor>
<editor>Ed Folsom</editor>
<resp>Transcription and encoding</resp>
<persName xml:id="nhg">Nicole Gray</persName>
<persName xml:id="aj">Andrew Jewell</persName>
<persName xml:id="kmp">Kenneth M. Price</persName>
<persName xml:id="bb">Brett Barney</persName>
<persName xml:id="zb">Zach Bajaber</persName>
<persName xml:id="nk">Nick Krauter</persName>
<persName xml:id="ms">Melissa Sinner</persName>
<persName xml:id="jsc">Justin St. Clair</persName>
<sponsor>The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities</sponsor>
<sponsor>University of Iowa</sponsor>
<sponsor>University of Nebraska-Lincoln</sponsor>
<funder>The National Endowment for the Humanities</funder>
<funder>The United States Department of Education</funder>
<distributor>The Walt Whitman Archive</distributor>
<addrLine>The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities</addrLine>
<addrLine>Alderman Library</addrLine>
<addrLine>University of Virginia</addrLine>
<addrLine>P.O. Box 400115</addrLine>
<addrLine>Charlottesville, VA 22904-4115</addrLine>
<p>The text of the original item is in the public domain. The text encoding and editorial notes were created and/or prepared by the
<hi rend="italic">Walt Whitman Archive</hi>
and are licensed under a
<ref target="">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</ref>
(CC BY 4.0). Any reuse of the material should credit the
<hi rend="italic">Walt Whitman Archive</hi>
<note type="project" target="#dat1">"After the Argument" was published first in
<hi rend="italic">Lippincott's Magazine</hi>
<date when="1891-03">March, 1891</date>
. This manuscript was likely written in
<date notBefore="1890" notAfter="1891">1890 or early 1891</date>
, shortly before the poem's publication.</note>
<author>Walt Whitman</author>
<title>After the Argument</title>
<date xml:id="dat1" cert="high" notBefore="1890" notAfter="1891-03">1890 or 1891</date>
<orgName xml:id="loc">The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.</orgName>
<note type="project">Transcribed from
<hi rend="italic">The Walt Whitman Archive I: Whitman Manuscripts at the Library of Congress</hi>
, ed. Joel Myerson (New York: Garland, 1993), 1:121;
<hi rend="italic">Major American Authors on CD-Rom: Walt Whitman</hi>
(Westport, CT: Primary Source Media, 1997). The transcription was then checked against digital images of the original.</note>
<change when="2015-05-07" who="#nhg">corrected</change>
<change when="2015-05-06" who="#nhg">converted, added schematron declaration</change>
<change when="2006-08-02" who="#nk">Added third digit to leaf numbers</change>
<change when="2004-11-18" who="#kmp">Addition of Date and Work Markup</change>
<change when="2004-11-18" who="#aj">Addition of Date and Work Markup</change>
<change when="2004-07-20" who="#bb">Updated closer/signature</change>
<change when="2003-10-02" who="#bb">Conversion to camel-case</change>
<change when="2002-09-09" who="#bb">Blessed</change>
<change when="2002-08-01" who="#zb">Updated to current practice</change>
<change when="2002-01-01" who="#kmp">Checked by editor</change>
<change when="2002-01-01" who="#bb">Revised</change>
<change when="2001-01-01" who="#ms">Encoded</change>
<change when="2000-01-01" who="#jsc">Transcribed</change>
Example 5. Encoding of a manuscript of Walt Whitman’s poem “After the Argument ” (1890). TEI XML source available from