The Baroness Digital Library is presented through the Versioning Machine (VM), a software tool designed by the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) that allows for displaying and comparing multiple versions of texts which is freely available for download. Encoding in the VM is done using a pre-compiled DTD from the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) which includes the poetry base with tagsets for linking, figures, analysis, trancr, textcrit. Encoders may wish to use jEdit, an open source free text editor which parses or checks the text you are encoding against a DTD, which helps to prevent encoding mistakes. Before installing jEdit, it is suggested you follow installation instructions which are part of the documentation of The Thomas MacGreevy Archive.
The Baroness' poems can either be encoded in parallel segmentation or as individual or discrete texts. Detailed documentation for encoding texts both ways are available through the TEI Guidelines, particularly chapter 19, "Critical Apparatus." Additional documentation is provided by the developers of the VM. The encoder should use personal judgment when deciding which option to choose. Poems of roughly equal length and some degree of similarity are best served by parallel encoding, which, in the Versioning Machine interface, allows for synchronized scrolling and highlighting of lines across versions. Other poems, however, do not lend themselves well to this option; poems with versions that vary dramatically in length and/or content are best encoded discretely.
Another encoding decision that must be made is the appearance of deletions and additions common to manuscript material. The VM presents additions in green and deletions in red with strikethrough. Changes to the stylesheets (download the new engine.xsl for parallel segmentation and the new discrete.xsl for separate texts) make it possible to render corrections in superscript or subscript in the hopes of matching the author's original intention. The encoder should be aware, however, that a multitude of superscripts and subscripts will make the poem close to unreadable. Again, this decision is left to the encoder's judgement on a poem-by-poem basis.
This project also makes available its header template which other projects might find useful. For poems encoded in parallel segmentation, only one header is necessary for the witness set. For poems encoded individually, it must be used in each XML file. The header information is displayed via the "Bibliographic Info" tab in the VM's interface. For header examples, see the "Bibliographic Info" tabs for "Coronation" (parallel segmentation) and "Buddha" (discrete texts) from the Browse page.
System Requirements: Many of these tools work best in Internet Explorer for PC. XML versions of texts can only be viewed in Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher on a PC compatible computer. This project currently includes scanned images of the original hand-written poems; to view manuscript images, Java Run Time 1.3.1+, must be installed on your machine. HTML versions may be viewed on a Macintosh with Firefox or any PC compatible computer with IE 5.5+, Mozilla 1.3+, or Netscape 7.0+ browser. Currently, not all components of the Versioning Machine reliably work on Macintosh Computers.