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TEI Holds First Annual Members Meeting and Election

Pisa, Italy. November 18, 2001.

The first ever Annual Members' meeting of the Text Encoding Initiative Consortium took place on November 17, 2001, in Pisa, Italy. During the meeting, the Consortium also held its first elections.

The meeting began with a keynote from former TEI-editor C.M. Sperberg McQueen on the subject "The TEI is dead: long live the TEI", and included a wide range of presentations from different parts of the international TEI community, on topics as diverse as the editing of medieval manuscripts and the construction of language corpora for minority languages, but the chief focus of the two day event was the technical and organizational work lying ahead for the Consortium.

Technically speaking, the work already begun on creating a true XML version of the Guidelines is well advanced. Participants were given tangible expression of this in the shape of a draft printout of TEI P4, the next version of the Guidelines (which has full support for both XML and SGML); an updated edition of the Consortium's "XML Resources for Text Encoding" CD was also distributed.

Organizationally speaking, the meeting also marked a major step forward. The Consortium held its first elections, completing a two-year process of restructuring the TEI as a non-profit membership organization with elected leadership.

Peter Robinson (De Montfort University) and Harold Short (King's College, London) were elected to two-year terms on the Consortium's Board of Directors. Six candidates were also elected to two-year terms on the TEI Council, the committee that will oversee the technical work of the TEI: Matthew Driscoll (University of Copenhagen), Tomaz Erjavec (Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia), Merrilee Proffitt (Research Libraries Group), Laurent Romary (INRIA Laboratoire Loria), Perry Willett (Indiana University), and Christian Wittern (Kyoto University). In addition, four members of the TEI community were appointed by the Board of Directors to one-year terms on the TEI Council, with the option to stand for election next year: David J. Birnbaum (University of Pittsburgh), David Durand (Brown University and ingenta plc), Fotis Jannidis (University of Munich), and Geoffrey Rockwell (McMaster University). Joining them on the Council will be two representatives from the Board of Directors, Sebastian Rahtz (Oxford University) and John Unsworth (University of Virginia). Unsworth will chair the Board and, at the Board's request, the Council.

The existence of the new Technical Council makes it possible for the technical work of the TEI to proceed on a well-founded and responsive basis. At the meeting, a number of possible development priorities were identified: the first order of business will be to oversee a final review of the draft P4 Guidelines; this will be complemented by a process funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities which will develop and document tools and methods for moving TEI collections from SGML to XML. The Council will also have the responsibility for chartering and monitoring new TEI work groups to work towards the next edition of the Guidelines, in response to the needs of the TEI community as reflected in its membership. The first meeting of the Council is planned for January of 2002.

TEI Board members will of course continue to recruit new members for the Consortium, and to promote, develop, and organize TEI training activities. In this context, new funding opportunities are being vigorously pursued on both sides of the Atlantic, with a view to expansion of the TEI community, in particular in the under-developed economies, and to the availability of new TEI tools and training materials.

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See "Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) - XML for TEI Lite."

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