TEI: Learn the TEI

For those who are new to the TEI Guidelines, it may be challenging to know where to start. Some information is provided in the links below, including a general overview of the TEI Guidelines and what they are for, an introduction to the fundamental concepts of XML and text markup, guidance for using the TEI’s system for writing and documenting schemas (called ODD), and links to tutorials and online documentation.

Introducing the TEI Guidelines

This introduction provides an overview of the TEI Guidelines, describing their purpose and overall design, and addressing basic concepts of validity and TEI conformance.

TEI Training Events

The TEI’s events calendar lists training opportunities, many of which offer a discount for staff at TEI member institutions and for TEI subscribers..

Teach Yourself TEI

Although the TEI itself does not currently maintain any tutorials for learning TEI, the TEI community has produced a wide range of materials including online tutorials, materials used in teaching TEI workshops (some of which are held on a regular basis), and project documentation. The TEI maintains a listing of these materials and welcomes additions.

A Gentle Introduction to XML

The Gentle Introduction is one of the most often cited sections of the TEI Guidelines and has proven its usefulness as an introduction to the essentials of XML markup. It defines and describes elements, attributes, entities, validity, well-formedness, schemas and DTDs. While it is necessarily somewhat technical in nature, it is written for a non-specialist audience and provides an essential background for understanding how encoding languages like the TEI work.

Getting Started with P5 ODDs

The underlying expression of the TEI Guidelines is a document called an ODD (or One Document Does it all), so called because it constitutes a single source from which the P5 schemas, reference documentation, and Guidelines prose are derived. The ODD language (which is part of the TEI language itself) is also the language in which TEI customizations are written. This introduction to the ODD language provides an overview of the essential concepts and some detail on how to write TEI customizations in ODD. ODD customizations may also be created using the web-based Roma tool.


This bibliography of publications relating to the TEI provides further reading on the background, context, theory, and practice of TEI encoding.