Module 2: The TEI Header

3. Christopher Marlowe: The Tragedie of Doctor Faustus (B text)

This example contains the TEI header of the digital edition of Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragedie of Doctor Faustus (B text), encoded and made available by the Perseus Digital Library.

This TEI header provides decent descriptions of the publication details of the electronic text (<publicationStmt>), and the languages occurring in the text (<langUsage>). A reference system is declared in the <encodingDesc> section of the header, using <refState> elements (see section Milestone Method of the TEI Guidelines).

The revision description is interesting both in a positive and a negative way. It clearly contains a detailed list of the changes. The list seems to be generated by an automated versioning system, which allows one to keep complete track of a file’s historical states, and document changes with log messages. Integrating automated revision control in the <revisionDesc> section of the TEI header is an interesting idea, as it combines processability and expressiveness. However, on the encoding level, this integration could be improved. In this case, a single <change> element is (ab)used to record the complete revision history. If the output of the automated version control system would be formatted to distinct <change> elements per revision (either directly, or via a post-processing step), this would make the information much more compliant with the semantics of the TEI header.

One essential point of critique concerns the lacking description of the source document in <sourceDesc>. In this case, the title and author of the source work (that can be recollected from the information in the <titleStmt> subsection) still provide cues to its origin, but this could be much harder for less known texts. It is reasonable to suppose that the source texts of the files in the Perseus Digital Library are documented externally, but then the TEI header sections of these files should at least contain a pointer to these resources.

<teiHeader xmlns="" type="text">
<title>The Tragedie of Doctor Faustus (B text)</title>
<author>Christopher Marlowe</author>
<editor role="editor">Hilary Binda</editor>
<sponsor>Perseus Project, Tufts University</sponsor>
<principal xml:id="GC">Gregory Crane</principal>
<resp>Prepared under the supervision of</resp>
<name xml:id="LC">Lisa Cerrato</name>
<name xml:id="WM">William Merrill</name>
<name xml:id="EM">Elli Mylonas</name>
<name xml:id="DS">David Smith</name>
<funder n="org​:Tufts">Tufts University</funder>
<publisher>Trustees of Tufts University</publisher>
<pubPlace>Medford, MA</pubPlace>
<authority>Perseus Project</authority>
<availability status="free">
<p>This text may be freely distributed, subject to the following restrictions:
<item>You credit Perseus, as follows, whenever you use the document:
<quote>Text provided by Perseus Digital Library, with funding from Tufts University. Original version available for viewing and download at http​://www​.perseus​.tufts​.edu​/hopper/.</quote>
<item>You leave this availability statement intact.</item>
<item>You use it for non​-commercial purposes only.</item>
<item>You offer Perseus any modifications you make.</item>
<refState unit="line"/>
<refState unit="scene" delim="."/>
<refState unit="line"/>
<language ident="en">English</language>
<language ident="la">Latin</language>
<language ident="greek">Greek</language>
<language ident="it">Italian</language>
<change when="1997​-06​-25" who="#DS"> $​Log: marl​.faustb​.xml​,v $ Revision 1​.2 2004​/04​/22 14​:24​:57 cwulfman *** empty log message *** Revision 1​.1 2004​/04​/22 13​:55​:24 cwulfman Making xml files the canonical ones. Revision 1​.11 2003​/07​/01 22​:14​:53 yorkc Updated texts to T​EI P4 and Perseus P4 extensions; minor cleanup (esp. character encodings and typos.) Revision 1​.10 2000​/04​/27 23​:22​:22 dasmith Hopperized T​EI header. Fixed typos. Revision 1​.9 1999​/09​/01 17​:15​:34 dasmith Fixed preamble and added encoding​Desc. Revision 1​.8 1997​/09​/11 16​:00​:37 textgod Updated for nsgmls. Revision 1​.7 1997​/07​/02 21​:57​:11 textgod Added C​ASTLIST H​EAD Revision 1​.6 1997​/06​/30 21​:57​:09 textgod Added group for the prologue. Revision 1​.5 1997​/06​/25 14​:51​:39 textgod Fixed broken N​AME tag. Revision 1​.4 1997​/06​/25 14​:40​:00 textgod Added log messages to file. </change>
Example 3. Adapted from a TEI P4 XML encoding of Christopher Marlowe’s play The Tragedie of Doctor Faustus (Marlowe 1616). TEI XML source available from