Sandbox for Genetic Editing

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The purpose of this page is to discuss any issues of the with chapter 11 of version 2 of TEI P5, especially the elements and attributes which have been newly introduced in this version in the wake of the draft proposal “An Encoding Model for Genetic Editions”:

A selection of the TEI proposed elements and attributes for the genetic encoding of genetic material (Sichani 2012, Fig. 29, p. 70)
  • <line>
  • <listChange>
  • <metamark>
  • <mod>
  • <redo>
  • <retrace>
  • <sourceDoc>
  • <substJoin>
  • <surfaceGrp>
  • <transpose>
  • <undo>
  • @change
  • @instant

The page is not confined to issues of ‘genetic’ editing. Any problems of ‘diplomatic’ or ‘documentary’ transcriptions of manuscripts, be they modern, medieval or ancient, may be addressed here.

Also, the well-established elements and attributes may need to be discussed as their use is in many ways affected by the new ones.


General discussion

For a general discussion, see the thread “Embedded transcription and text structure“ on TEI-L—„a great discussion“ (Matthew Davis).

Child elements of <line>

Some elements from other modules are not allowed as child elements of <line>, e.g. <subst>, <rs>, <date>, or <stamp>. This can cause problems when one would like to encode the corresponding phenomena. Two types of workaround are possible:

  • substitute the problematic element for a legal one, e.g. use <mod type="subst"> instead of <subst>;
  • wrap the problematic element in <seg>, e.g. <seg><rs>...</rs></seg>. --Martin de la Iglesia 05:55, 4 November 2013 (EST)

See the following discussions on TEI-L:

See the feature request

Digital facsimiles and the <surface> tag

See the identically named topic on TEI-L [1].


See the topic “Retrace borderline cases” on TEI-L [2]


See the topic “Catchword in ms.?” on TEI-L [3].

Ditto marks

See the topic “How to handle "ditto"” on TEI-L [4].


See the same named thread on TEI-L [5].

Transformation of letters without deletion

See the thread “scribal correction detail“ on TEI-L (May 2014) [6].


See the same named thread on TEI-L (June 2014) [7].


Barney, Brett, Ed Folsom, and Kenneth M. Price. n.d. “The Changing Shape of ‘The Sleepers,’ with special attention to the ‘Lucifer’ passage.” URL:

Brüning, Gerrit, Katrin Henzel, and Dietmar Pravida. 2013. “Multiple Encoding in Genetic Editions: The Case of ‘Faust’.” In Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative [Online] 4. URL:; DOI: 10.4000/jtei.697.

Muñoz, Trevor, Raffaele Viglianti, Neil Fraistat. 2013. “Texts and Documents: new challenges for TEI interchange and the possibilities for participatory archives.” In The Linked TEI: Text Encoding in the Web. Abstracts of the TEI Conference and Members Meeting 2013: October 2–5, Rome, edited by Fabio Ciotti and Arianna Ciula, 99–104. Rome: Digilab Sapienza University & TEI Consortium.

Robinson, Peter. 2013. “Towards a Theory of Digital Editions.” In Variants 10: 105–31.

Sichani, Anna-Maria. 2012. "'Authorial pirouettes'. Authorial alterations in literary drafts: genetic criticism and electronic practices." MA Dissertation UCL

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