How to write book-by-book coding instructions for CME

A. Create instruction set:

  1. Using existing instructions as a model (found in library_hti/work/markup/mec/assist/mecorp/dox), designate the pages to be keyed, the ID#, title, editor, imprint, and short batch designation of the book.

    In general, the title page and Middle English text are to be keyed, along with immediate critical apparatus. Exclude: modern English translations; glossaries; introductions (except brief introductions attached to individual items that can be tagged as head notes); end notes (unless they are predominantly lists of variant readings); source texts in French or Latin; modern English summaries (which are often printed in the margins); early modern works; and works in Old English.

    The ID# and short batch number are listed on the master list at

    The bibliographic information should be on the book itself, or the on the Mirlyn record, or to be found in various aids in the MEC production office (e.g., list of EETS publications; list of RHS/Camden Society publications; list of Rolls Series; etc.)

    Alongside the list of pages to be keyed should be supplied a list of the corresponding image-files. These may be ascertained from the tiff-to-page number map (an Excel spreadsheet) located in


    or in


    (the latter file contains the map for the 'non-disbindable' items). Note that these maps are subject to change up until the point when the book has actually been scanned. Image-file names should be rendered in the form xxxxxxxx.tif, where "xxx..." are 8 digits with leading zeroes, e.g.

    00000007.tif - 00000234.tif

  2. Specify a recommended <DIV< structure for the tagging, including examples. Specify the value of the TYPE attribute whenever relevant.

  3. Note the appearance and interpretation of milestones in the text, especially folio references. See Keying/Coding Guidelines and previous instructions for guidance.

  4. Note the appearance and interpretation of notes in the text. Specify the value of the "PLACE" attribute.

  5. Note any special character problems, odd diacritics, etc. If necessary, scan a sample page on the Fujitsu (save to Library_hti/Work/Scan/Temp, disabling the file-naming scheme), open the tiff in an image editor, copy the letter to a new file, save as a .gif).

  6. Note any other special problems, especially departures from normal practice, or potentially confusing departures from the normal editorial format or style.

B. Save text version as XX.spec.txt

(where "XX" is the short batch number)

C. Convert to html by these steps:

  1. change all "&" to "&amp;"
  2. change all "<" to "&lt;"
  3. change all ">" to "&gt;"
  4. add a few tags at the head:
       <head><title>CME: Book-by-book coding instructions</title></head>
       <body bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
       <center><h1>CME<br>Book-by-book coding instructions</h1></center>
  5. add a few tags at the foot:

    These steps now handled by perl script txt2pre.html

  6. reinsert real html tags if you want to format any of the text, especially necessary if you need to format text to look like the original book or to invoke the images you made of specific special characters.
  7. save as XX.spec.html
  8. save backup copy in library_hti/work/markup/mec/assist/mecorp/dox