an international, collaborative effort that provides guidelines and tools for encoding scholarly and educational editions of ancient documents. It uses a subset of the Text Encoding Initiative’s standard for the representation of texts in digital form, which focuses on the history and materiality of the texts. EpiDoc was developed for the publication of digital editions of ancient inscriptions, but its domain has expanded to include the publication of papyri and manuscripts (new EpiDoc wiki).
I used it for my PhD research and I use it now for my work on the Buddhist Manuscripts from Gandhara project and I just wanted to give it a mention today as the new (and improved) home/website for EpiDoc has gone live through Sourceforge this week.
TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) is a wonderfully huge standard and for those (such as myself) who work mainly with ancient documents, EpiDoc is a great way of cutting down the standard a bit to fit the use for these documents. The most recent version of the EpiDoc guidelines can be found here and it is currently being updated.
On the mailing list Tom Elliott presents the new website and asks for feedback. So here is mine. The motivation behind the website changes was “to foreground up-to-date content and getting started materials (persuasive rhetoric being less immediately important than it was 10 years ago!)”. For me this hit’s the spot. I think that developments such as EpiDoc which are continually added too by those who use, it have one major failing. This is, that the people who use it in the beginning are the same people who have been a part of developing it. Therefore, the documentation that grows out of this hardly ever covers any of the more basic “but how to I actually get started” questions.
I would love to see more of this sort of documentation allowing people who are only just learning about xml, schemas and EpiDoc to jump right in. I know for me how frustrating it was in the beginning and this would make that learning curve just a little less steep. So this new website and the new guidelines are really a step in that direction I think and that gets a big thumbs up from me.