AccessTEI: A Digitization Benefit for Members of the Text Encoding Initiative


About the programme

With the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Scholarly Communications and Information Technology programme, and in cooperation with Apex CoVantage, LLC, a leader in content management outsourcing, the Text Encoding Initiative is pleased to announce the launch of its new AccessTEI digitization program.

This innovative program makes it easy and affordable for members of the TEI to create and encode the full text of valuable academic and research collections or even individual works and documents in preparation for on-line or other forms of digital publication. By pooling digitization projects from the TEI community together and taking advantage of the economies of scale presented by their use of a common encoding system, AccessTEI is able to offer TEI members the cost, quality benefits, and support usually reserved for larger individual projects.

A wide range of document types, scripts, and character sets

In recognition of the fact that TEI members work with documents in a wide variety of languages, character sets, age, and physical conditions, the programme is priced using an innovative digitization price matrix that allows members to select the most cost effective solution for their project according to three simple parameters: typeface, legibility, and condition. As a result of our use of this system, it is even possible to submit manuscripts or documents in very unusual scripts or type-faces for consideration.

Online project submission and management

The project is designed around Apex CoVantage's user-friendly ProWeb Portal. This website helps members determine where a collection fits within the digitization matrix. Members can then make the optimum cost/benefit decision regarding the encoding of their content, without requiring expert knowledge of TEI metadata. Once the project is underway, the ProWeb system provides tracking and reporting features—including automated project management and Quality Assurance features—that help keep project costs low by eliminating volumes of email and the possibility of spreadsheet errors.

Easy administration

In addition to the cost benefits and easy project management this program provides to member organisations, AccessTEI also considerably reduces the administrative costs involved in establishing a single-project based program. All submissions to the program are governed by a special contract negotiated between the TEI and Apex CoVantage, eliminating the need for individual institutions to issue their own Requests for Proposals or negotiated their own contract terms. And because all work done in the program uses a specially designed TEI customisation that has been optimised for this type of work (TEI Tite), no special training is required (except, perhaps, in the interpretation of unusual scripts or characters) before your job can begin. With AccessTEI it is as easy to take advantage of professional digitization services for collections measured in the tens of volumes or less as it is for one measured in the tens of thousands or more.

A membership benefit with significant value

In short, AccessTEI offers members of the TEI a wide range of significant benefits:
  • Economical price of a large scale operation, single-minded focus for your specific aims
  • Ability to navigate different levels of digitization without having to be a TEI expert
  • Creation of metadata that is searchable online and interoperable with other collections
  • Option to add enhancements to your digitized collections over time
  • Easy online interface with Apex experts
  • Ideal even for smaller collections
  • Digitization without the cost and time required by RFPs
  • Quality, Every Time

About Apex CoVantage, LLC

Apex CoVantage has a proven 20+ year track record of handling a wide-range of culturally significant and often difficult to digitize material. They have digitized challenging academic material ranging from the handwritten correspondence of Thomas Jefferson to 15th century texts from the Early English Books Online collection. Their project-design and production staff is steeped in TEI specifications and academic collections. The AccessTEI membership program provides member institutions of the TEI with favored access to this major vendor.

About TEI Membership

TEI membership is open to institutions that make use of the TEI and wish to participate in the development and maintenance of its XML schemas and other programs. Membership prices are set according to the extent to which the TEI is used in a given organisation, with discounts available to organisations in developing economies. For further information on how your institution can become a member of the TEI, please visit our membership page or contact the membership secretary at

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