Work ID

Work Relationships and Date Information

As part of the header, we encode the relationship of the individual manuscript to a "work" (or "works"). As opposed to a document, which is a particular instatiation of a poem or book, etc., a "work" is the abstract idea of a poem or book, etc. We name the work according to the last instance published in Whitman's lifetime. For example, the work "Song of Myself" refers not to any particular manuscript or printed version of that poem, but to all of the versions collectively. Individual documents of that work include: the poem printed in the "deathbed edition," titled "Song of Myself"; the first, untitled version of the poem in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass; manuscript drafts of lines included in the poem; and notebooks that contain ideas and trial phrases that contributed to the composition of the poem.

We encode this work relationship at the beginning of the transcription file, immediately before the <teiHeader> element. The following example is taken from the transcription of this manuscript):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?><br>
<!DOCTYPE TEI.2 PUBLIC "-//UVA::IATH//DTD whitman.dtd (Whitman Archive)//EN" "whitman.dtd" [<br>
<!ENTITY loc.00213.001 SYSTEM "loc.00213.001.jpg" NDATA jpeg><br>
<!ENTITY xxx.00358 SYSTEM "xxx.00358.xml" NDATA xml>]><br>
<TEI.2 id="loc.00213" type="doc"><br>
<work entity="xxx.00358" cert="high"><br>
<p>This manuscript is a draft of "Life and Death," which was published first in the New York <br>
<hi rend="italic">Herald</hi>, <date value="1888-05-23">May 23, 1888</date>. <br>
. . .

To encode the work relationships, we must first look up the work ID. A table of work IDs can be found here in the reference section of the Encoding Guidlines. The ID, which is a string of characters beginning "xxx" and ending with a five-digit number, corresponds to a work file which will contain prose descriptions of the compositional history of the work as well as connect the transcription files with other elements of the Whitman Archive. The ID is inserted two places: in the entity declaration and as the value of the "entity" attribute in the "work" element.

In addition to this ID, project editors also assign either "high" or "low" as the value of "cert" to describe their confidence in connecting the individual manuscript to the work. For a manuscript with lines that are identical or very close to a published poem, the certainty will be "high"; notes that describe an idea in a way that bears a general resemblence to a published poem will get a "low" certainty.

The final part of the <relations> section is a brief prose description of the publication history of the work. This editorial note will be displayed along with the transcription on the site. If there is something distinctive and noteworthy about the manuscript, the editor may also insert a project note within the <noteStmt>.

A new <work> element, with a prose description, is used for every work related to the document. All dates within the prose description are tagged with a <date> element with a "value" attribute that records the date in the form YYYY-MM-DD, (or, if appropriate, just YYYY). Any titles that are normally italicized need to be marked with <hi rend="italic">