A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
Adams Family Papers : An Electronic Archive


Documentary Edition
Presentation of historical documents via accurate transcriptions and scholarly annotations. Documentary editions are often print publications; however, there are some online documentary editions.
DTD (Document Type Definition)
The rules governing the data structure of a specific XML markup language.
The activity of inserting specific computer codes (or "tags"), based on a specific tag set, in data files to designate various structural components of the text. This process is also referred to as "marking-up" the data files.
Manuscript volume in which an author retains handwritten copies of letters he or she has sent.

The Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive features some letterbooks copies of letters that John Adams sent to Abigail Adams.

MEP (Model Editions Partnership)
A specific DTD (or tag set) based on TEI, developed for encoding projects featuring historical documents.
OCR (optical character recognition)
Computer software program that converts an image of a printed page or document (usually created using a scanner) into a text file. The program tries to recognize as many characters as possible, but occasionally mistakes are made. (For example the numeral "1" is sometimes interpreted as a lowercase "l.")
Regularized spellings of names and words
The spellings of names and words can vary greatly within historical documents. During the encoding process, we have included many regularized versions of words and names in the electronic transcriptions. These normalized spellings will improve searchability.
TEI (Text Encoding Initiative)
A specific DTD (or tag set) that is useful for encoding texts.
Unverified transcriptions
Initial transcriptions made from the original manuscripts; these transcriptions have not yet been proofread by professional documentary editors.
XML (eXtensible Markup Language)
A meta-language, or, a set of rules for creating markup languages (or tag sets). XML enables the creation of predictable data that specifies the structure of documents.