Editorial Process

The EHRI set of tools was designed, based on real experience and established standards, to support the full editorial process in preparation of digital (online) editions. The particular goals included specification for coding of references to EHRI controlled vocabularies and collection descriptions in document texts, as well as development of a user interface which would allow for publication of the documents along with search capability and projection of the documents on map.

The requirements for the EHRI editions software were driven by the real-world editorial process starting once the relevant documents have been selected, transcribed and (where applicable) translated. The process, as applied in EHRI, consists of the following steps:

  1. Annotation using controlled vocabularies:
    EHRI editions put emphasis on using links to established controlled vocabularies (EHRI for Holocaust-related entities; Geonames for geographic information, etc.) as much as possible. The annotation of documents, a core element in every documentary edition, therefore should primarily consist of tagging words or expressions in texts and linking them to controlled vocabularies. Practically, the annotation of documents was done in common text editors, for instance in Google Docs; the identified entities were tagged as links whereby URLs served as unique identifiers in the respective vocabularies.
  2. Conversions to TEI and enriching TEI headers
    Once annotation and text editing is finalised, the documents are converted to the TEI XML format. EHRI team used an open source tool Odette for this purpose and extended its stylesheet to recognise the types of entities and encode them accordingly based on the URLs used as references (for instance a Geonames URL results into application of a <placeName> element). The TEI files produced in this way had to be checked by editors and cleansed of remaining unwanted formatting. Separate TEI (“local dictionary”) is created to list keywords, people, places and organisations, which are not included in the EHRI portal or any other established controlled vocabulary. An EHRI TEI enrichment utility creates normalised entries for linked entities in the TEI Header which are later used to drive the faceted browse and map visualisations. Editors can edit these normalised records and add new ones as needed for the purpose of the particular edition.
  3. Ingest to the frontend application (Omeka):
    The resulting TEI documents are uploaded to the Omeka web publication platform and populate the database based on a mapping. Interactive map presentations are created based on the TEI data to make easier spatial reading of the document.