Digital Humanities: A Look at the TAPAS Project (TEI Archiving, Publishing, and Access Services)
Researchers are increasingly seeing the value of digitizing old manuscripts, texts, and other documents. By poring through these digitally archived records using advanced visualization and data mining techniques, scholars can create new teaching tools and develop research projects that reveal fascinating insights into culture, history, science, health trends, you name it.
A founding tool of such work is the Text Encoding Initiative, which establishes language and guidelines for digitizing and curating scholarly data. Yet while text encoding allows for publishing, preserving, and sharing this information, many potential users—including scholars, archivists, librarians, teachers, and students—lack access to and understanding of TEI resources.
That’s why a team of digital humanities experts at Northeastern University, Wheaton College, Brown University, and other institutions is developing a project known as TAPAS. The project—which stands for TEI Archiving, Publishing, and Access Service—will provide low-cost publishing and storage services for users at all levels and fields to create, curate, and share high-quality data using open-source tools. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services since 2008, the project is scheduled to launch in fall 2014.
TAPAS began as a multi-university initiative and is now fully housed at and run by Northeastern. The first phase of the project dates back to 2009, when collaborators began planning and laying the groundwork for how the service would be structured and implemented. In the following years, the team collected digital projects to begin testing the site and developed a first working version of the service. Now in Phase III, the team is further refining TAPAS and working to ensure its long-term sustainability after its launch this fall.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.