After a morning of assigning meta-data, I made my way down to the GC to attend Jeff Binder’s workshop on Structured Data. Jeff manages to explain these structures with amazing clarity even as he critiques their uses and their potential to obscure. While my computer continues to resist Gephi (yet another lesson in the finicky interplay of disparately yet rapidly evolving softwares), I did very much appreciate his descriptions of the uses and abuses of XML. For the purposes of my edition of letters, the XML has advantages, but as ever it seems to entail the learning of another set of programs and syntax.
Following that workshop, I made my way to the library with Ashleigh C-S for a couple hours’ mired in more meta-data (well, the same, really). As much as I would love to be playing with the information I am marking up in the letters I have transcribed, I feel quite strongly that I need a solid structure to support these markings. Without a sense that I’m looking at remotely concurrent communication, I had to be sure of what files I had available. So I’ve made it through labelling the 578 files I have stored on my computer so far. They seem primarily to be my grandfather’s letters. I need to check back to get more of my grandmother’s letter documented. For now, though, I have at least a few days in which I have letters for each of them.
At 5, Ashleigh and I met with Virginia Kinniburgh, sister of the marvelous Mary Catherine. Another young UVA TEI-lytizer, Virginia had lots of helpful information about what tags would be most important for my project. She, like MCK, recommended using Oxygen as an editing environment. I finally installed it and I still have 24 days on my free trial. Most helpful, Virginia gave me a few tips on which tags (<sic><corr><seg>) would offer the best indications of marks on the page and would provide for the most flexibility in eventual transformation.
In exchange for her excellent knowledge and enthusiasm, I had only my equal enthusiasm and a number of invitations to the various DH events in the city. The more people on these projects talking, the better, I feel.
All in all, I worked from 7am-12:45am and still feel wretchedly behind.
Perhaps sleep and the morning will bring a better sense of feasibility.