EpiDoc meets dissertation: epigraphic bibliography

This is the first in a highly irregular series exploring aspects of my attempt to turn my dissertation (or parts thereof) into a digital publication using the EpiDoc customization of the Text Encoding Initiative tagset (in XML). I'm starting using a batch of boundary inscriptions from Roman Cyrenaica, partly because I'm working with a team in London and Cambridge that is working on the definitive publication of the Roman Inscriptions of Cyrenaica (IRCyr) as collected and analyzed by Joyce Reynolds. This collection will include a number of previously unpublished boundary inscriptions.

Today's topic: epigraphic bibliography

There are various examples of code below, but you can also download a fully encoded example.

A proper epigraphic edition includes a complete history of previous published editions, published derivative texts, corrections and, often, commentary on same. There are various common mechanisms for presenting these citations in print, usually in a compact form that makes liberal use of abbreviations and short titles. Thus, text 62.2 in my dissertation (of Claudian date), presented the following bibliography:
EDH HD011697 (Latin); SEG 26.1819; AE 1974.682; *Reynolds 1971, 47-49.1.
Here, order signifies date and the asterisk indicates the edition I follow in my own catalog. So, we can read this as:
Originally published in Reynolds 1971, 47-49.1, whence derivative editions in AE 1974.682, SEG 26.1819 and EDH HD011697 (the latter only providing the Latin portion of this bilingual Greek/Latin text).
Often, such bibliographies include other notation to indicate the "genetic lemma" (derivative relationships) between publications. So, one could have produced something like:
[EDH HD011697 (Latin)] = [SEG 26.1819] = [AE 1974.682] = Reynolds 1971, 47-49.1
where the square brackets indicate derivative editions, i.e., those that derive from another published edition rather than autopsy of the stone and/or reference to a squeeze, rubbing or photograph. This particular lemma is a little misleading, since the provisional EDH edition actually derives from the edition in AE, which is itself derivative of the Reynolds edition.

How to do this in EpiDoc?

Let's start with something like the more prose-ish of the above examples, since this is the approach IRCyr is using (demonstrated in ALA2004 and IAph2007). First, EpiDoc calls for the bibliography to be wrapped in an appropriately typed <div> element, as follows:

<div type="bibliography">
<p>Original publication was Reynolds 1971, 47-49.1,
whence derivative editions in AE 1974.682, SEG 26.1819
and Elliott 2004, 167.62.2. The Latin portion of the
text is reproduced in EDH HD011697 (1997, provisional)
on the basis of AE.</p>
</div>

Part of the reason to do our bibliography in XML is to be able to encode relationships, assertions and semantic distinctions in a way that is machine actionable. On the bibliographic front, we might want to be able to search, sort and index by these other editions, or link to them if digitally available. That means we need to mark each citation as a discrete bibliographic citation, and TEI provides the <bibl> element for this purpose:

<div type="bibliography">
<p>Original publication was
<bibl>Reynolds 1971, 47-49.1</bibl>,
whence derivative editions in
<bibl>AE 1974.682</bibl>,
<bibl>SEG 26.1819</bibl>
and
<bibl>Elliott 2004, 167.62.2</bibl>.
The Latin portion of the text is reproduced in
<bibl>EDH HD011697 (1997, provisional)</bibl>
on the basis of AE.</p>
</div>

We may want to have a search function distinguish between original editions and those that are derivative, so we need to encode that distinction too. We don't want to have to parse text strings and try to infer the meaning of phrases like "original publication" or "derviative". Rather, we'll use the standard TEI "type" and "subtype" attributes on the <bibl> element to make this distinction clear for our little silicon friends. The values we're using for this attribute are specific to the EpiDoc customization of TEI.

<div type="bibliography">
<p>Original publication was
<bibl type="edition" subtype="primary">
Reynolds 1971, 47-49.1
</bibl>,
whence derivative editions in
<bibl type="edition" subtype="derivative">
AE 1974.682
</bibl>,
<bibl type="edition" subtype="derivative">
SEG 26.1819
</bibl>
and
<bibl type="edition" subtype="derivative">
Elliott 2004, 167.62.2
</bibl>.
The Latin portion of the text is reproduced in
<bibl type="edition" subtype="derivative">
EDH HD011697 (1997, provisional)
</bibl>
on the basis of AE.</p>
</div>

There's additional tagging internal to each <bibl> element that we can/should do to facilitate sorting, searching and linking to digital/digitized works, but we'll skip over that here (check out the example file for the full encoding).

The only thing our example doesn't do that we might like is encode the derivative relationships between the various editions. We know that one is "primary" and the others "derivative", but it's not clear what the path of derivation is for each one. EpiDoc doesn't currently have guidance for this, and I'm not sure what the broader TEI community thinks (I'm posting a link to this entry on TEI-L to find out), but it occurs to me that this would be pretty easy to do with the TEI <link> element. We'll need unique identifiers on each <bibl> element to make use of this approach.

<div type="bibliography">
<p>Original publication was
<bibl xml:id="reynolds-1971-1" type="edition" subtype="primary">
Reynolds 1971, 47-49.1
</bibl>,
whence derivative editions in
<bibl xml:id="ae-1974-682" type="edition" subtype="derivative">
AE 1974.682
</bibl>,
<bibl xml:id="seg-26-1819" type="edition" subtype="derivative">
SEG 26.1819
</bibl>
and
<bibl xml:id="elliott-2004-62-1" type="edition" subtype="derivative">
Elliott 2004, 167.62.2
</bibl>.
The Latin portion of the text is reproduced in
<bibl xml:id="edh-hd011697" type="edition" subtype="derivative">
EDH HD011697 (1997, provisional)
</bibl>
on the basis of AE.</p>
<link targets="#reynolds-1971-1 #ae-1974-682 #seg-26-1819 #elliott-2004-62-1"/>
<link targets="#ae-1974-682 #edh-hd011697"/>
</div>

Stay tuned for further adventures, in which we exploit some of this bibliographic tagging, and then move on to encoding the epigraphic text itself.