TEI: Correspondence SIG

The TEI Special Interest Group on Correspondence seeks to bring together scholars interested in creating digital scholarly editions of correspondence. The goal of the SIG will be to discuss and develop sample tagsets (including suggesting additions/modifications to the TEI Guidelines) for varying forms of correspondence as well as to create tutorials and best practice models.

Because the initiative for this SIG emerged from editorial work with 19th century letters, the organizers of this SIG have focused on these types of materials. However, we want this SIG to be more encompassing, embracing varying types of historical and literary correspondence including epistles, telegrams, postcards, etc.

The common feature of these sorts of text is a generally formalized physical appearance (e.g., an envelope for letters) and structure of content (i.e. address field, special formulas for opener and closer). DALF was one of the best documented projects in this area developing specific DTDs for those needs in P4: this may be a starting point for further work in P5.

Initial topics for the SIG Correspondence may include:

  • the handling of the envelope and postal addresses
  • the formal description of correspondence as a written dialogue between an author and an addressee
  • correspondence-specific bibliographical data within the metadata section

Of course, the initial SIG meeting at the 2008 MM will no doubt reveal other topics of interest.


The SIG is convened by Stefan Dumont (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences), Marcel Illetschko (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek), and Sabine Seifert (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).

Wiki and Mailing List

The SIG runs a mailing list and a wiki on this topic. To join the mailing list visit its Listserv page. The SIG wiki page is on the TEI Wiki.


Beginning in 2008, the SIG has held meetings during the annual TEI Conference and Members Meeting. Minutes are available: