Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Release Notes for T-PEN v1.1

Release date: 28 November 2011

Bug Fixes Implemented in T-PEN v1.1

Image Parsing:
  • Fixed a blank screen when the line parser fails to find any lines. Now a single full page line is generated so the user can build good column bounds and detect or manually add the lines.
  • Modified the parsing methods to better handle the images from the e-codices and CEEC repositories.
  • Fixed an issue where the internal image fetch was not using the standard method when re-parsing columns, which caused Assisi images to not be fetched correctly.
Exporting Transcriptions:
  • Fixed an issue with export by page range where if there was no text on the first page specified in the range, no text would be exported.

Project Management:
  • Fixed a potential error if a project was deleted, then the identity of the first page is requested.
  • T-PEN now checks to see if user is a member of requested project to prevent blue page response.
  • Fixed an issue where a temporary storage location was not always deleting correctly, which caused button copying between projects to fail intermittently.
  • Corrected reference to Special Characters that used user-defined characters instead of those within the project.

Transcription User Interface
  • Corrected an issue with image ordering in dropdowns for certain image name formats.
  • Fixed an issue which resulted in duplicates of some XML buttons being displayed in the transcription UI.

Landing Page:
  • Corrected sizing of popover to impose scrollbars when there too many manuscripts to fit on the screen (Firefox issue).

T-PEN Administration
  • Corrected error in JavaScript escaping that prevented multi-line archive messages from appearing.

New Features Implemented in T-PEN v1.1

Zoom Tool in Transcription User Interace: Holding CTRL+SHIFT will result in a magnified image of the current line being transcribed.

Magnifying Tool in Full Page View: Click on "Magnify" button at the top right of the browser window and a magnifying glass tool will appear as the mouse pointer. Click on the same button to dismiss the tool. The magnifying tool is also available in the Compare Page feature.

Create a Project “Pipeline” to the outer world: In partnership with The Carolingian Canon Law Project (CCL), T-PEN developed a model for enabling users working on transcription projects in T-PEN to export their work to a larger, external project. In this instance, the CCL prepared for T-PEN an XML-markup template (XML button set) that may be used for all transcriptions destined for the CCL database. Users identify their T-PEN projects as destined for the CCL, and when the transcription is complete, they can submit it from T-PEN to the CCL project. The CCL receives notification of the stable URL in T-PEN that the CCL can (either manually or by automation) use to extract the designated transcription from T-PEN’s data store. Other projects interested in creating their own pipeline should contact T-PEN via

T-PEN Administration: T-PEN administrator can now clear registration requests that have not been approved (ones that were mostly generated through internal testing).

Features In Development for T-PEN v1.2

Search: Ability to search across the T-PEN data-store. A query returns images of lines and not any transcription (although it is the transcription itself that is searched). Returns will also identify the transcriber.

Transcription history (versioning): T-PEN will store each version of a transcription line, and users can display the history of any line and replace the current version with an older one. Versions of lines include changes in any character data (including changes to encoding tags and whitespace changes) as well as adjustments to the parsing. Replacement options will also include replacing a selected line, all transcription on a given page, or even the entire project based on a given date/time stamp.

Language Tools for Medieval Vernacular Languages: Online-dictionaries for Old English, Middle English, medieval French and medieval German will be available as i-frame tools in the Transcription UI. Users will also be able to select which language tools they would like to have for a project.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Greetings! I’m Michael Elliot, a PhD candidate at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, where I study Anglo-Saxon canon law. I am currently involved in a number of editorial projects related to this subject, foremost among these being a new edition of the Excerptiones Pseudo-Ecgberhti, a mercurial and textually anarchic canon law collection compiled (in at least five versions) by Archbishop Wulfstan of York in the early decades of the eleventh century.

I come to T-PEN via the Carolingian Canon Law Project. I have been involved with CCL since 2009 preparing transcriptions of early medieval canon law collections and working with Dr. Abigail Firey and her team to develop a system of XML mark-up to describe these collections. As a participant in the CCL I was involved early on in experiments with producing CCL-conformant transcriptions using T-PEN. It has been exciting to witness how T-PEN has developed and improved over just this last year, becoming an ever easier and more enjoyable tool to use. Over the next six months I will be helping to further test T-PEN as the project moves into beta release. In addition to preparing transcriptions of a variety of canonical manuscripts within T-PEN, I will be experimenting with introducing structural mark-up into a T-PEN transcription “in real time”, as well as testing the functionality of importing transcriptions into, and exporting transcriptions out of T-PEN for incorporation into the CCL’s database.

The advantages of transcribing texts within the T-PEN environment are becoming clearer and more numerous the more I work with the project. I am especially enthusiastic about the partnership between T-PEN and the CCL because these projects are developing new and exciting ways of approaching the previously intractable problem of editing texts whose textual tradition defies a recensionist methodology. My own pet project, Wulfstan’s Excerptiones, is such a text, and I hope one day to take advantage of the tools developed by T-PEN and the CCL to prepare an edition of this difficult and misunderstood work.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Hi there! My name is Alison Tara Walker and I am the Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the T-PEN project.

I'll be working on the project remotely from my home in Seattle, where I moved after completing a Ph.D. in English at UCLA. My doctoral dissertation, Politics, Patronage, and Orthodoxy in Late Medieval England argues that patronizing orthodox spirituality became an effective political gambit for the Lancastrian family, helping to stabilize an incipient dynasty by establishing its own spiritual legitimacy, in a time when the English church was also under siege. In addition to studying the literary culture of medieval England, my research also pays particular attention to the digital humanities, manuscript studies, and paleography.

I've also worked on a number of other digital humanities projects with a medieval bent, including the Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library and UCLA's Digital Canon Law Project.

During my tenure with the T-PEN project, I will be testing its functionality while I prepare an edition of a lovely Middle English miscellany (Cambridge, Harvard University, Houghton MS Eng 530), once thought to have been written by John Shirley. This project is sure to test my paleographical chops, as the manuscript has no less than 6 scribes and is around 200 folios in length!