How to cite this paper

Wicentowski, Joseph C., and Wolfgang Meier. “Publishing TEI documents with TEI Simple: A case study at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Historian.” Presented at Balisage: The Markup Conference 2015, Washington, DC, August 11 - 14, 2015. In Proceedings of Balisage: The Markup Conference 2015. Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, vol. 15 (2015).

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2015
August 11 - 14, 2015

Balisage Paper: Publishing TEI documents with TEI Simple

A case study at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Historian

Joseph C. Wicentowski

U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian

Joseph C. Wicentowski is Digital History Advisor in the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State, where he leads initiatives to digitize and publish historical publications and datasets. He has been using XML since 2007, when he began work on, a largely TEI- and XQuery-based site powered by eXist-db. He holds a Ph.D. in modern East Asian history from Harvard University.

Wolfgang Meier

eXist Solutions GmbH

Wolfgang Meier founded the eXist-db Open Source XML Database project in 2001 and has been working on it ever since. In 2010 the core developers of eXist-db created a company, eXistSolutions, to better support the growing user community. He is the director of eXistSolutions.


TEI Simple addresses two challenges shared by many humanities-based text digitization projects that adopt the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines: (1) it defines a reduced tag set focused on the needs of encoding modern and early modern books to support interchange, and (2) it adds a processing model for TEI documents which can be expressed with the TEI vocabulary itself, and without requiring any knowledge about the specific target media. The result is a promising technology stack that empowers editors to control the output of their documents across media formats without reliance on stylesheet experts or programmers, and both simplifies and reduces the cost of application development. This presentation will demonstrate the Office of the Historian’s recent adoption of TEI Simple for its publications using the TEI Simple Processing Model library for eXist.