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Drupal, TEI and XML: How to prototype a digital humanities tool?

Lauren Di Monte (University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA)
Mike Serafin (University of Toronto, Mississauga, Canada)

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




This paper aims to take seriously the import accorded to the interface within the digital humanities. It will probe some of the possibilities and limits of the computer interface as a reading and research tool by unpacking theoretical and practical aspects of interface design.


The authors wanted to see if they could design a tool that would meet three interrelated goals: the first was to develop a digital tool that would enable scholarship rather than mere publishing. Next, they wanted to build an interface that would acknowledge the situatedness of reading and meaning-making practices.


The research-oriented design approach to interface design has shown us how valuable it is to combine research and practice when thinking through issues in the digital humanities. Engaging in such a design project provides the unique opportunity to bring together theoretical concepts relating interface design with robust tools like XML mark-up and Drupal modules.


There is literature on the subject of transformation of print documents to electronic text (Hayles, 2003) and the representation of text within a computer (Sperberg-McQueen, 1991); this project attempts to build a prototype of what these theories might look like.



Di Monte, L. and Serafin, M. (2017), "Drupal, TEI and XML: How to prototype a digital humanities tool?", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 9-15.



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