Meeting 1 at Wheaton College

On November 18th, 2009, representatives from Wheaton, Mt Holyoke, Dickinson, UVA, and Brown met at Wheaton College for the first face-to-face TEI project meeting.   After everyone was welcomed and given a brief history and overview of the grant and project, the group began to discuss its mission and scope, and this began with an acknowledgement that digital scholars need more than just mark-up standards.   The group intends to repair a breakdown in workflow. Scholars using TEI need a place to store their texts and need technological support so that they and their readers can take full advantage of these richly structured documents. In addition, there needs to be some sort of takeaway for those who are working with these texts in order to encourage further projects, a service that can transform these texts immediately, much like a Google Earth for text documents.   With this IMLS grant, the group proposes to gather a community of scholars to create a technological and socio-organizational service for digital scholars utilizing TEI.   Feedback from scholars at a number of institutions will be needed, and though this project will be aimed at scholars from small liberal arts colleges, scholars from other kinds of institutions will also be welcome.   The group intends to design and deliver a survey that will be sent to several, targeted institutions and to several listservs. From this survey the group hopes to learn exactly what kinds of TEI projects exist, what resources are needed, and where workflows break down.   A call for participation will also be issued to begin building this new community of practice. The feedback received will be used to plan a service that allows scholars to display their work and make their texts easily viewable, searchable, and transformable. The service should also allow readers to choose how texts are visualized in order to aid in interpretation.   To be sustainable, this service will most likely have to be subscription-based, but the texts should be openly accessible to the academic community. Several subscription models are possible, and these will be discussed in further meetings.   Before concluding, several tasks were assigned to group members to be completed before the next meeting at Mt. Holyoke College in March, including creating and distributing the survey and call for participation, the creation of a web site, and identifying consultants to assist with programming and hosting as the plans proceed.