The HDW delivers core data management functions to the Spenser Archive. These functions include:
- The collation database, a central, secure web facility were the project maintains information about Spenser's works, the editions of those works, witnesses to those editions, and differences between the witnesses. These data elements meet the core information needs of the textual editing process. We currently have record of about 3,600 differences and other observations. In addition, we use the collation database to maintain a finding list that contains information about ~1500 copies of early editions of Spenser's work held across an international set of ~260 libraries. Lastly, we provide editorial tools (facilities for viewing page scans, readable versions of the texts we're preparing, and tools for analyzing textual stemma and forme states). The collation database is built upon the HDW's standard, open-source relational database management solution. Data is stored in a MySQL database. Users access the database through an HDW-customized version of the Django admin functions., and additional Django customizations were written specifically for the Spenser Archive.
- An infrastructure for marking up texts in TEI. The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) is an international working group dedicated to the development of a standard for encoding electronic texts. TEI is a variant of XML, and contains the full set of features necessary to capture all of the information relevant to the preparation of a scholarly edition. The HDW provides a number of services and facilities in connection to TEI:
- Expertise in TEI, and in maintaining TEI-compliant schemas.
- Data management. The project's XML files are stored on and served from a centrally located SVN repository. SVN, most often used by software development project teams, suits our project by providing centralized storage, backup, versioning, and update control.
- Tools for manipulating TEI documents. For most changes, the project uses Oxygen, a commercial XML editor; however, the HDW also provides a custom web-based XML editor, suitable for small changes. We also provide stylesheets for transforming TEI documents into other formats, usually formats suitable for human readers.