#3 Letters/memos module

Nick Finke

The elements currently available to encode
correspondence are insufficient and require workarounds
that make the encoding of a simple postscript a major

The ways in which letters are written vary fairly
significantly over time and across cultures. Modern
business letters require the ability to encode letterhead,
addresses, attention lines, subjects, reference lines,
persons copied, and enclosures (this list come off the
top of my head, if it were developed systematically it
might be quite a bit longer).

I am currently working on a 19th century book of
anecdotes that incorporates letters quite frequently as
part of an ongoing narrative. I would appreciate
elements that would isolate the addressee in an opening
<salute> and that would indicate the sender in the
closing one. I would like a way to indicate the position
held by either of these parties, without getting involved
in the depths of names&dates.

Memoranda are also rather difficult to encode. I used to
work with United Nations human rights documents that
included large amounts of memoranda in the immense
bureaucratic morasses they called reports.


  • Lou Burnard

    Lou Burnard - 2004-08-24

    Logged In: YES

    Edward Vanhoutte's DALF project at Ghent has developed a set
    of TEI extensions which includes some (but not all) of these
    features. It might be worth getting together with them to
    flesh this proposal out a bit. I will suggest it to them at
    any rate!


  • Edward Vanhoutte

    Logged In: YES

    Please have a look at the DALF project which Lou mentioned
    and which is Ron Van den Branden's as much as it is 'my'
    project, and which is entirely financed by the Royal Academy
    of Dutch Language and Literature's Centre for Scholarly Editing
    and Document Studies: <http://www.kantl.be/project/dalf/>.
    The guidelines we wrote for this extension and modification of
    the TEI are quite extensive and illustrative. We're open for
    suggestions on how to develop this into a possible new module
    for TEI P5/P6.

    At the moment we're preparing our first DALF edition which is a
    carpus of 1800+ letters between a Flemish author and his
    publishers from end 19th-beginning 20th century. A small
    corpus of 80+ letters between the South African authors
    Lynne Bryer and Daphne Rooke has been prepared by my
    students and will be published shortly.

    I hope you'll find something useful in our suggestions and I'm
    looking forward to work together to 'flesh this proposal out a
    bit' as Lou put it.



    Edward Vanhoutte
    Centrum voor Teksteditie en Bronnenstudie - CTB (KANTL)
    Centre for Scholarly Editing and Document Studies
    Reviews Editor, Literary and Linguistic Computing
    Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde
    Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature
    Koningstraat 18 / b-9000 Gent / Belgium
    tel: +32 9 265 93 51 / fax: +32 9 265 93 49

  • Edward Vanhoutte

    Logged In: YES


    URI for the Dalf Project is: http://www.kantl.


  • Nick Finke

    Nick Finke - 2004-08-26

    Logged In: YES

    I was vaguely aware of the DALF project, but I am starting to
    study it more closely. It seems to add a lot of good stuff,
    but doesn't do quite all that I need. I'll be back soon with
    specific comments/questions.



  • Syd Bauman

    Syd Bauman - 2006-09-25
    • priority: 5 --> 8
  • Syd Bauman

    Syd Bauman - 2006-09-25
    • assigned_to: nobody --> sbauman
  • Lou Burnard

    Lou Burnard - 2007-02-18

    Logged In: YES
    Originator: NO

    There's no specific feature request here yet, so I think this ticket can be closed.

  • Syd Bauman

    Syd Bauman - 2007-03-02
    • status: open --> closed
  • Syd Bauman

    Syd Bauman - 2007-03-02

    Logged In: YES
    Originator: NO

    I no longer think it is feasable to get a letters/memos module into P5 release 1.0. Since we do not have a mechanism to keep the feature request open for release 1.1 and later, I am closing this feature request. I still think it is quite a good idea to have better support for letters & memos in TEI, and I am hopeful that the original poster, the DALF folks, and others will help make this a reality for a subsequent release of P5.


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