Internet Shakespeare Editions

ISE metadata

Each file in the area of the site that contains the texts will have a header that includes metadata about the text. The metadata include information that makes navigation possible within each text, and record basic information about the date, provenance, and creation of each file. The header is contained within the tags <iseHeader> </iseHeader>. In the description that follows, examples are provided in highlighted boxes.

ISE-specific metadata

The first section records information specific to ISE files. The metadata provide information necessary for navigation within and between ISE texts. Each item consists of the name, and content of the tag. Each is enclosed in double quotation marks; no angle brackets or double quotation marks should appear inside the content section.

A general comment (optional)

Though optional, the general comment provides a convenient place for a summary of the history and editing of the document.

<META name="ISE.Comment" content="This text was prepared for the Internet Shakespeare Editions in the Department of English at the University of Victoria under the direction of Michael Best; it has been checked electronically with the text from the Oxford Text Archive, and has been proofread by Tanya Gough. Updated with the addition of automatic ligatures, 2005-05-27. Edited by David Bevington; last revision 2006-04-18." />

Collection (optional if an ISE text; required if QME or DRE)

This tag is used to place the play on the appropriate site: ISE, QME, or DRE. [[JJ to MB: Do these values need to be uppercase, lowercase, or either?]]

<META name="ISE.Collection" content="qme" />

Editorial status (required)

The editorial and peer-review status appear at the top of each page of the document.

options: "Not Edited" | "With Editor" | "Edited" [[JJ to MB: I changed the third value from "Not Edited" to "Edited." Can we clarify what "With Editor" means?]]

<META name="ISE.EditStatus" content="Edited" /> [[JJ to MB: Why are there spaces before the slash in self-closing tags?]]

Peer-review status (required)

options: "Yes" | "No"

<META name="ISE.PeerReviewed" content="Yes" />

Publishing history (optional)

Though optional, this item is valuable in establishing the background for a document. This example is from the version of Plutarch prepared for Julius Caesar.

<meta name="ISE.Publishing History" content="Based on the editon of Plutarch edited by Rev. Walter W. Skeat. _Shakespeare's Plutarch: being a selection from the lives in North's Plutarch which illustrate Shakespeare's plays_. Macmillan and Co. 1875. London. Originally transcribed and published by the Perseus Project at Tufts University, and made available under the Creative Commons licence." />

Editorial principle (required)

The editorial principle should be provided by the editor. It is an important record of the general principles the editor has followed in developing the edition. The version used for old-spelling texts follows a standard format (thus far, since all have been generated from print sources). 

<META name="ISE.EditorialPrinciple" content="The transcripts presented here follow the Quarto text as exactly as an Internet version permits; word spacing is normalized, and modern forms are substituted for letters and ligatures that have no modern equivalent in current browsers (for example, the long 's'). This transcription retains the old spelling of the original, and does not seek to correct errors of the original text." />

The wording for a modern text is important since it will indicate the copy text used, and the way the modern text was generated from it.

<META name="ISE.comment" content="This text was prepared from the old-spelling transcription of Quarto 1, edited by Rosemary Gaby for the ISE." />

Section division (required)

options: "scene" | "stanza" | "poem" | "section" |

The section division indicates how the document will be displayed in its default view. Plays will be divided into scenes whether they contain acts or not. Poems may be divided into stanzas, the Sonnets into poems. Any document may be divided into sections.

<META name="ISE.SectionDivision" content="scene" />

Section display (required)

This item controls the display of the Section division. In most cases (scenes, sections) it will be "1"; in the case of poems or collections, it will be the number that makes for comfortable reading on a screen -- "5" stanzas at at time, or "3" poems (sonnets), for example.

<META name="ISE.SectionDisplay" content="1" />

Line number interval (required)

The line number interval controls the display of numbering in the left-hand column of the work. For plays and poems the norm is "5", and for documents divided into numbered paragraphs the norm is "1".

<META name="ISE.LineNumberInterval" content="5" />

Default font (optional)

This tag is used only in cases where a complete work is published in black letter. Plays printed in black letter may have both the <I> and <R> (Roman) tags included.

<META name="ISE.DefaultFont" content="BLL"/>

Link to related works (required for introductory and supplementary materials)

This item indicates which work(s) a document is connected to. Thus all introductory essays and supplementary materials require at least one link.

format: there are three items to be recorded for each link

  1. rev -- indicates where the work should be listed on the title page: "introductory" | "supplementary"
  2. href -- indicates the work(s) from which links will be made. The href is the MLA identifier.
  3. order -- the order the work will be listed on the title page of the play

<link rev="introductory" href="TN_M" order="1" />

Document Type (required)

This tag declares the type of document this is, so that it can be styled correctly. Most texts should be labelled as "play". Other types include "poem", "characters", "bibliography", "chronology", "glossary", "essay", and "footnotes". If none of these types is appropriate, use "document".

<META name="ISE.DocumentType" content="play"/>

Dublin Core metadata

More general literary data are recorded following (and modestly modifying) the Dublin Core protocols. Most examples here are from King John.

Main title (required)

This will be the form by which the work is generally known.

<META name="DC.Title" content="King John" />

Alternative title (required)

The alternative title will appear on a work's title page; it can be more descriptive where there are multiple texts for a given work.

<META name="DC.Title.Alternative" content="King John (Modern)" />

Creator (required)

The name of the author. In the case of introductory essays, this will be the name of the editor.

format: surname, first name

<META name="DC.Creator" content="Shakespeare, William" />

Subject (required)

The subject category is useful for search engines and should be reasonably extensive. Enter subjects separated by commas.

<META name="DC.Subject" content="Lodge, Rosalind, Rosalynde prose romance, Thomas Lodge, As You Like It, Shakespeare" /> [[JJ to MB: Should we be using Library of Congress subject headings here?]]

Description (required)

Again, used by many search engines, the description provides a concise summary of the nature of the document.

<META name="DC.Description" content="A modern-spelling edition of King John." />

Publisher (required)

This will be the same for all documents on the site.

<META name="DC.Publisher" content="Internet Shakespeare Editions, University of Victoria" />

Contributor (required where appropriate)

The contributor(s) will be a list of those involved in the creation of the document other than the author (Creator, above). This item is subdivided by category, and is the place the editor's name will appear for display on all pages of an edited work. In each case, multiple entries should be created where there is collaboration.

<META name="DC.Contributor.Editor" content="Bevington, David" />

For all texts of plays, the Textual Editor for the collection (ISE/QME/DRE) should be acknowledged.

<META name="DC.Contributor.Textual.Editor" content="Rasmussen, Eric" />

For each collection the Coordinating Editor should be listed.

<META name="DC.Contributor.Coordinating.Editor" content="Best, Michael" />

Old-spelling texts for the ISE that have been vetted by the Associate Textual Editor should be acknowledged.

<META name="DC.Contributor.Associate.Textual.Editor" content="Bailey, Don" />

And there is an opportunity to record multiple research assistants.

<META name="DC.Contributor.Research.Assistant" content="Galey, Alan" />
<META name="DC.Contributor.Research.Assistant" content="Gagel, Lindsay" />

Date (required)

For each document, the date of original creation should be recorded. Note that this refers to the creation of the document, not the date in which the work may have been written.

format: YYYY-MM-DD

<META name="DC.Date" scheme="W3CDTF" content="2008-12-19" />

ISBN (optional -- added when the work is assigned an ISBN)

<META name="DC.Identifier" scheme="ISBN" content="978-1-55058-410-3" />

Identifier (required)

This item is used throughout to identify the work in all links. For Shakespeare's works the identifier follows the MLA scheme of abbreviations for Shakespeare's plays; elsewhere other formats are appropriate as approved by the respective Coordinating Editor. The second part of the identifier is available to indicate variants of a given work (Quarto plus number, Folio, modern etc.)

<META name="DC.Identifier" scheme="MLA" content="Jn_M" /><META name="DC.Identifier" scheme="MLA" content="H5_FM" /><META name="DC.Identifier" scheme="MLA" content="Ham_Q2M" />

Source (required -- provided by the Coordinating Editor)

This item provides information for the display of texts of which there are multiple versions.

<META name="DC.Source" content="Modern" /> [JJ to MB: What are the other values?]

Language (required -- provided by the Coordinating Editor)

Thus far we are publishing in English.

<META name="DC.Language" scheme="RFC1766" content="en" />

Relation (required)

This item provides the base URL to which all other links within the site are related.

<META name="DC.Relation" content="" />

Rights (required)

A statement of the intellectual property rights (IP) for the document. Regardless of the ownership of the IP, all materials on the ISE site must be available for educational, non-profit purposes.

<META name="DC.Rights" content="Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor." />

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