[tei-council] handShift anomaly

James Cummings James.Cummings at computing-services.oxford.ac.uk
Fri Oct 6 11:08:17 EDT 2006

M. J. Driscoll wrote:
> For what it's worth my understanding of <handShift> was that it marked just 
> that, a shift from one scribal hand to another, in which case one needed to 
> indicate both the old and the new hand. One did not, in other words, begin 
> one's text with a <handShift> element identifying the first hand and then use 
> another one when a new hand took over (in which case @old would be 
> superfluous).  Mind you, doing so would make more sense, but then the name of 
> the element should probably be something other than <handShift> (even as people 
> tend to find it counter-intuitive to begin the first line of a text with a line-
> break).

Today I was reading someone's transcription guidelines for them and they intend
to use:

<handShift old="#ScribeA" new="#ScribeB"/>

exactly as MJD suggests above.  Just as I never start my documents with a <pb/>
I would not expect to start my transcriptions with a <handShift>.  So I'm going
to tell them that this is fine.  Do let me know if @old or @new are about to
disappear so I can advise them to add them back in. ;-)

> I might also add that I've always thought it was really silly to use 
> <handShift> to indicate a shift in things other than identity of the scribal 
> hand, e.g. the colour of the ink. All that kind of stuff can be dealt with in 
> <handDesc>.

They were also suggesting this.  Well, to be honest because there is so much
rubrication in the manuscript, they are adding a new temporary local element <r>
to mark it and thinking it might stand for <handShift ink="red"/> text
<handShift ink="black"/> or similar.  I was going to recommend to them that when
they expand this they might wish to do so to <hi rend="red">text</hi> instead.

Dr James Cummings, Oxford Text Archive, University of Oxford
James dot Cummings at oucs dot ox dot ac dot uk

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