A Midsummer Night's Dream

A TEI test site conducted by William J. Hughes

This site publishes my current research and development of XML encoded Shakespearean texts, with the goal of producing freely available texts that meet both scholarly and pedagogical needs.  More specifically, I hope to develop methods for revealing Shakespeare's publication history as a rich site of cultural contestation and transformation.


Paton, The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania.

What would make an electronic edition ideal?

Texts would be available

The last two points seem especially critical for making electronic texts usable in the classroom setting.  Beginning students require texts with explanatory notes, and instructors must be able to easily include such texts in locally printed course packets.  No such electronic text meets those critical necessities at the present time.

The project operates under three basic premises.  

First, scholars must actively preserve cultural artefacts.  While libraries and publishers are also in the business of preserving and disseminating such artefacts, only scholars, with their intimate knowledge and appreciation for peculiar cultural moments, know how such materials should be used now and in the future.  Because we know the needs of present and future learners, we are in the best position to preserve these materials in the proper way. We cannot be passive consumers; scholars must be active participants in preservation and dissemination.

Second, the development of encoding practices must go hand in hand with the development of user interfaces.  Electronic texts have a meager usefulness if they are ungainly or lack the sort of presentation (line numbers, explanatory notes, digitized images, etc.) that make a site truly usable.  

Lastly, the scalability of online projects makes them ideal for revealing the cultural forces that exert themselves on a text's history as well as the reactive force a text exerts on its culture.  By exploring the many versions and revisions of Shakespeare, we reveal the ways our culture re-envisions itself. 

Initial version of a TEI encoded First Folio edition of MND, which approximates F1's typography. Texts are encoded in XML, following the TEI markup standard (the most commonly accepted standard for encoding humanities texts).Currently, the only extension of the TEI concerns adding a "part" attribute to <p>, which allows the accurate transcription of paragraph speeches that are broken due to crowded typography (see l. 2113).

Generated from a custom XSLT stylesheet that leverages some novel approaches to using the "rend" attribute (particularly with <stage> elements) and has a much better line number presentation.  It still requires work with the <fw> elements that present the page numbers, running-headers, signatures, and catchwords.  The initial source of the transcription is the Oxford Text Archives SGML file for the First Folio.  I have refashioned that file into XML and am currently correcting the transcription against the Norton Facsimile, edited by Hinman.

Current problems:
(1) rendering of unicode character U+fb05 (long-s t ligature)

(2) ct ligature (currently unsupported by unicode)

(3) double columns VERY difficult to do in html, particularly due to the overlapping hierarchies of pages v. structural divisions (could be solved by making structural divs milestones) 

Links to other electronic editions of  A Midsummer Night's Dream.
UVA Etext Center First Folio
UVA Etext Center Riverside 1974
UVA Etext Center Cambridge Globe 1866 (Moby text, attribution uncertain)
Internet Shakespeare Edition First Folio
Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare
Bartleby.com OUP 1916
The Perseus Digital Library facsimile images of Brandeis U. F1