Editorial method

Preliminary Stage

This digital edition is based on XML files provided by EEBO-TCP. The text of the files is transcribed from microfilms of early printed books on the EEBO site. Transcription of texts is diplomatic: italics, superscript, macrons, and so forth, are reproduced. Transcribers mark passages of text that have been damaged or are difficult to read as ‘illegible’. The overall accuracy of transcription of the files used in this edition is above 99%. These original files were tagged in accordance with XML-TEIP4 guidelines using the following principles:

  • basic textual features are tagged: page breaks, headings, lines and stanzas;
  • poems are identified as ‘poems’, divisions within poems identified according to their position within text, in other words, tunes are identified as ‘opener’ and author attributions as ‘closer’;
  • printer’s ornaments were not recorded.

Stage One

Since the EEBO-TCP files were originally tagged according to older XML-TEIP4 guidelines, it was necessary to convert these files to the current XML-TEIP5 standard; this work was undertaken by James Cummings at Oxford University Computing Services.

Stage Two

  1. Transcriptions were checked against EEBO microfilm printouts and illegible text supplied either from the copies originally used for the microfilms, or, if not accessible, other available copies of the same edition in the British Library or the Bodleian Library.
  2. Descriptive markup: certain typographical features of the texts were restored and appropriately tagged:
    • drop capitals and decorative initials were tagged and given attributes to distinguish according to size;
    • indentations have been recorded in the tagging, although they do not replicate the original spacing in all cases;
    • turnover and turnunder lines are corrected but their presence is marked in the text through the use of │ to designate a turnunder line and ║ to designate a turnover line;printer’s ornaments and ruling marked up;
    • abbreviations were expanded and printer’s errors corrected using the choice tag which means that both versions – uncorrected and corrected – are available to the reader at the site of the revision through pop-up notes.
    • Analytical markup:
      • poems have been assigned individual ID numbers to allow for cross-referencing;
      • poems have been tagged to record verse form and overall rhyme pattern;
      • individual stanzas (line groups) are marked up with rhyme schemes to record incidents of variation.

      These schema derive from May and Ringler’s Elizabethan Poetry: A Bibliography and First-Line Index of English Verse, 1559-1603.

    • Annotation. Several types. Glosses, explanatory/editorial notes, identification of tunes associated with particular poems/ballads. Key aspect of this is cross-referencing. Two types of cross-referencing: poems that have been transferred between collections (variants recorded) or which are translations based on a common source.