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TextLab and TEI

TextLab is a project developed by Performant that utilizes TEI standards.

TextLab and TEI

Performant Software develops tools that take advantage of existing open standards and best practices in the field of Digital Humanities. The Text Encoding Initiative, or TEI for short, is a perfect example. TextLab is a tool that helps editorial teams transcribe manuscripts using TEI XML.

TextLab helps a team of scholars transcribe and publish complex documentary editions of manuscript sources. It was developed for the Melville Electronic Library, an NEH funded critical digital archive of Melville’s works. Melville left us challenging manuscripts to Billy Budd, an unfinished novel. These manuscripts contain a wide variety of editorial marks.

To describe this variety, TextLab features a particularly powerful diplomatic rendering system. It can render super and sub linear marks, marginalia, different writing instruments, and much more. Editors can highlight zones on the manuscript image and link them with elements in the transcription.

TextLab has features which enable fluid-text editing. For any given passage, the editor can propose to the reader a possible series of edits performed by agents acting on the text. Readers can explore these different sequences to get a deeper insight into the production of the work.

TextLab supports team and classroom collaboration. A user’s work is private by default, they may share it with other people on the project or send it just to the project owner. The project owner has page-by-page control over what is published to the public website.

TextLab is open source software, the GitHub repository is linked on the project website (www.textlab.org). Performant Software also offers hosting for TextLab so you can get started right away. If you would like to learn more about TextLab or try out a demo of it, please contact us!