Abstract

This presentation is a personal reflection on a US National Archives project, Founders Online, which enabled 180,000 documents from six early Presidential collections to be transcribed and annotated. Topics discussed will include: some history; a lingua franca of markup; how the markup was done; a system that understands markup; and some lessons learnt.

(I prefer markup for noun forms and mark up for verb forms.)

Some history

I’m just a suburban boy who was born and grew up here in Perth. I got started with document markup while doing research which eventually produced a doctoral dissertation named The Ancient Witnesses of the Epistle to the Hebrews.This involved transcribing and marking up about thirty New Testament manuscripts. The language was Greek; the transcriptions were made from photographs, microfilms, plates in books, and sometimes the manuscripts themselves; the markup system was one invented by Peter Robinson, another Australian, while he was at Oxford. Here’s an example of a manuscript image and the corresponding markup used for my dissertation: