Humanities hosts WWW expert


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”L.Burnard (centre) with workshop participants”]The Faculty of Humanities recently played host to Oxford University's Lou Burnard, whose work with the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) makes him a world leader in developing scholarly applications for extensible markup language (XML).

Burnard was on campus to lead a five-day workshop on the TEI, organized by Ron Gabor, McMaster Modern Languages graduate and president of the Ontario Library Information Technology Association (OLITA).

The TEI, of which Lou Burnard is European editor, is an international co-operative research effort to define a set of guidelines for the preparation and interchange of electronic texts for scholarly research, and to satisfy a broad range of uses by the language industries generally.

Using a process called markup or encoding, TEI allows certain features of a text to be explicitly described on the Web, and so paves the way for the online posting of annotated and searchable editions, works and scholarly collections, including those which would be far too large for traditional publication methods. TEI is also of enormous interest to research librarians, as it is an essential tool for describing digital library collections.

After the success of this year's workshop, it is hoped that Burnard will return to McMaster for another next year, along with fellow TEI developer, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

More information on the Text Encoding Initiative can be found at