How to cite this paper

Sperberg-McQueen, C. M. “The Model Editions Partnership, fifteen years on.” Presented at Balisage: The Markup Conference 2011, Montréal, Canada, August 2 - 5, 2011. In Proceedings of Balisage: The Markup Conference 2011. Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, vol. 7 (2011).

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2011
August 2 - 5, 2011

Balisage Paper: The Model Editions Partnership, fifteen years on

C. M. Sperberg-McQueen

Black Mesa Technologies

C. M. Sperberg-McQueen is a consultant specializing in preserving and providing access to cultural and scientific data. He has served as co-editor of the XML 1.0 specification, the Guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative, and the XML Schema Definition Language (XSD) 1.1 specification. He holds a doctorate in comparative literature.


The loss of the server on which it had been hosted presented the Model Editions Partnership with the unplanned opportunity to test some of their fundamental assumptions, such as the use of SGML markup to insulate editions from software dependencies, to allow digital editions to survive the obsolescence of particular pieces of software, and move to new software with minimum fuss. The main focus of the talk will be an evaluation of the MEP adaptation of TEI markup from the point of view of data longevity. What parts of the original markup design still work in a new environment, and what parts turn out to have depended on the then-current environment in unhealthy and unhelpful ways? If we had it to do over again, what would we do differently?