To read this content please select one of the options below:

The McGill library chapbook project: a case study in TEI encoding

Sharon Rankin (Library, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Casey Lees (Library, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Article publication date: 10 August 2015




The purpose of this case study is to describe a multi-year text encoding initiative (TEI) project that took place in the McGill University Library, Rare Books and Special Collections.


Early nineteenth century English language chapbooks from the collection were digitized, and the proofed text files were encoded in TEI, following Best Practices for TEI in Libraries (2011).


The project coordinator describes the TEI file structure and customizations for the project to support a distinct subject classification of the chapbooks and the encoding of the woodcut illustrations using the Iconclass classification.

Research limitations/implications

The authors focus on procedures, use of TEI data elements and encoding challenges.

Practical implications

This paper documents the project workflow and provides a possible model for future digital humanities projects.

Social implications

The graduate students who participated in the TEI encoding learned a new suite of skills involving extensible markup language (XML) file structure and the application of a markup language that requires interpretation.


The McGill Library Chapbook Project Web site, launched in 2013 now provides access to 933 full-text works.



Rankin, S. and Lees, C. (2015), "The McGill library chapbook project: a case study in TEI encoding", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 134-143.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles