Digital Mitford Coding School, May 27 – 31, 2015 at Pitt-Greensburg

We call for participants and prospective new editors to join us from Wed. May 27 through Sunday May 31, 2015  for the Third Annual Workshop Series (or Coding School) of the Digital Mitford: the Mary Russell Mitford Archive, at Please join us if you want to learn text encoding methods in Digital Humanities through hands-on participation in a large-scale digital archive project now well underway. We are happy to teach what we know and are learning, and to orient you to coding with hands-on experience on our active project as part of our end-of-May three-day workshop series.  Our workshops are held at the lovely Pitt-Greensburg campus ( during the last week of May 2015. We expect people to arrive on  Wednesday May 27 and depart on Sunday. May 31, with our workshops running during the days from Thursday morning May 28 through Saturday evening May 30.
Though we draw our active editors from researchers of 19th-century literature, we hope that all who join the Mitford project (whatever their primary research field) will find good resources for professional scholarly research and publication, and gain beneficial experience for individual projects. Joining our workshop leads to a free first-year membership in the Text Encoding Initiative, the international consortium establishing best practices for encoding of digital texts.  We anticipate hosting two kinds of audiences: 1) those who wish to join the Mitford project as active editors, and 2) equally welcome, those who wish to learn our methods to apply them to their own projects. Please note that the second audience must pay a registration fee to participate, but our fee is waived for continuing Digital Mitford editors and those we approve as new editors. More on this below.
  • Discussion of Best Practices for editing digital scholarly editions
  • Opportunity to join an active and intensive “dig site” for important data on networks of women writers, theaters, and publishers from the 18th and 19th centuries
  • Hands-on Learning of Text Encoding, including the following:
    • TEI XML encoding
    • Autotagging and regular expression matching to prepare digital texts
    • Hands-on experience with XPath, code schemas, XSLT, and more
  • Individual and Group Instruction, working with our Explanatory Guides and Resources See and scroll to Explanatory Guides.)
First, please send me an e-mail (to by Saturday April 11, 2015indicating your interest in the MItford Workshops and in what role you wish to participate, whether as an Active Editor (or Advisor, or member of the Data Visualization Group) or as a Learner interesting in our text encoding methods but pursuing your own project agenda.  This year, in order to help support the expense of hosting the workshops, we require a registration fee for Learning participants who will not be active editors on the project. The registration fee is waived for ongoing editors and for those whom we approve in advance as new editors on the project. If you wish to join us as a New Editor, we ask you to apply for this position (about which see below). For all others who come to learn our methods, registration fees are as follows:
1) Students, Adjunct Instructors, or Independent Scholars: $60.
2) Full-Time Faculty Members and Librarians: $180.
All registration fees are to be paid by check to the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, and are due by mail by May 15, 2015 Please mail checks to: The Digital Mitford Project, c/o Elisa Beshero-Bondar, U. of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, 150 Finoli Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601-5804. (Donations to the project above and beyond this amount are, of course, quite welcome.)
If you wish to become an Active Editor on the project for the long-term, and are willing to dedicate time and research to the Digital Mitford project beyond our workshop, to help develop digital editions, write editorial annotations and headnotes, research prosopography data; that is, if you are interested in having your name as a researcher be affiliated with the Digital Mitford project as we grow and develop, we ask that you write an application letter indicating your interest in working with us, and responding to the following questions:
  • What draws you to editing Mitford’s letters and literary texts?
  • Which of her texts (or what kinds of texts by Mitford) are you particularly interested in helping with? (Letters, drama, poetry, prose fiction, essays, life-writing…?)
  • The Digital Mitford project is dedicated for the next three years to working on Mitford’s letters and published texts from 1810 – 1825. Please indicate if you have a particular interest in Mitford’s work from this period in your application.

Applications may be written in the body of an e-mail message and addressed to me at by Saturday April 11, 2015The Mitford team will review the applications, and waive the registration fee by late April for those best qualified to join as active editors. Depending on the level of response to the workshop and available accommodation space, applications for Active Editor positions may be competitive.

  • We will cover the costs of residence in suites (with kitchens and good wireless internet) at the Pitt- Greensburg campus and will arrange for licenses for an extended (90-day) period to use our XML editing software <oXygen/>.
  • We cannot cover the costs of travel to Pitt-Greensburg, but we can and do coordinate rides from the Pittsburgh International Airport and the Amtrak train stations in Pittsburgh and in Greensburg.
  • We ask each participant to investigate local funding sources to help cover the costs of travel here. If all else fails, we will happily make it possible for you to attend the workshops through Skype as we have done in previous years, but it’s best if we can all be together in person!