Text Encoding Initiative
Tenth Anniversary User Conference


The TEI header was originally designed, not for the equivalent of cataloging, but to elicit from the scholarly creators of electronic texts the information a trained cataloger would need to create a MARC record, using the header as a sort of work sheet. This model should still be supported, but events have dramatically overtaken it. The large majority of TEI-encoded texts are created in libraries, by electronic text centers either working from scratch or converting material from other electronic forms. A second major group of TEI-encoded texts are created by large or long-term projects in literature, history, linguistics, or computational linquistics, at least some of which work in close collaboration with libraries. It is not at all uncommon for the header not to be created for, but to be created by, a cataloger, nor for a draft header to be translated into MARC and fed directly into the local cataloging system, where final adjustments are made and it is translated from MARC back into SGML and re-embedded in the document.

This paper will examine past and future efforts by the academic library community to deal with issues related to cataloging and providing access to metadata. The author has been intensely involved in this effort, currently chairing a subcommittee on the TEI Header for the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) for the American Library Association (ALA). CC:DA is the governing body in ALA through which all changes in cataloging rules and standards must be discussed and initiated. In 1995 the author and Sherry Kelly, currently head of cataloging for the Smithsonian Libraries, presented a position paper to CC:DA to form a task force to investigate the TEI header, as well as any other metadata tools, for future incorporation into the library community's cataloging standards. A task force was formed, and is currently set to give its final report at the June 1998 annual meeting of ALA in Washington, D.C. Other metadata cataloging standards, such as the Dublin Core and GILS, are also part of the charge of the task force to examine. Due to the importance of the TEI header, a subcommittee of the task force was formed to deal with specific problems, concerns, and questions that the academic library community had concerning its content.

Current work by this committee includes setting up a web page that will provide examples for catalogers to catalog using a TEI:MARC crosswalk. MARC is the standard currently used by the library community for all cataloging, Once this page is set up, more information will be able to be discussed and examined regarding efforts by CC:DA to initiate and hopefully incorporate the TEI header as a cataloging standard for academic libraries everywhere. Currently, a number of libraries are experimenting with the TEI header as a cataloging standard. Jackie Shieh at the University of Virginia is pioneering this effort, and is a member of the TEI Header subcommittee for CC:DA. Work is also going on at the University of Michigan in this area. Future discussion and cooperation with the TEI user community is of vital importance for the current task force and the academic library community in general, if this standard is to be incorporated into the library cataloging repertoire.

The presenter will briefly describe to the audience just where CC:DA fits into the maze of committees, panels, boards, institutions, and task forces which comprise ALA. The main part of the paper will be devoted to descriptions of recommendations that could lead the TEI header into fitting more comfortably into the work flow of library catalogers, and some discussion of how the work flow actually does work, specifically at the University of Virginia. A brief report on other metadata formats, including Dublin Core and GILS, will also be included.

Dr. Brad Eden Coordinator of Technical Services/Automated Library Services North Harris Montgomery Community College District Houston, Texas beden@nhmccd.edu


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