Standardized Handling of Digital Resources: An Annotated Bibliography

3. Markup Languages

The benefits of putting text in electronic form can be significantly enhanced if the resulting text contains machine-readable information regarding the text's structure. While Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the most well-known mechanism for structuring electronic text at the moment, it has several drawbacks which are beginning to make themselves known as the language is used for more complicated purposes. The following section lists resources discussing HTML and other markup languages which may prove useful in the future.

Berners-Lee, T., & Connolly, D. (1995, September 22). Hypertext Markup Language - 2.0: Request for comments 1866 [On-line]. Available on the Internet:
The official text defining the 2.0 version of the Hypertext Markup Language. An HTML version of the draft (which is identical in content to the RFC) may be found at
Bray, T., & Sperberg-McQueen, C. M. (Eds.). Extensible Markup Language (XML) [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an extremely simple dialect of SGML, designed to enable generic SGML to be served, received, and processed on the Web in the way that is now possible with HTML. XML has been designed for ease of implementation and for interoperability with both SGML and HTML. This page provides links to the two different parts of the current draft of the XML standard.
The Centre for Speech Technology Research, University of Edinburgh (n.d.). SSML: The Speech Synthesis Markup Language Project [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
The SSML Home Page with references to the specification. SSML is intended to provide a way of adding annotations to text for use in guiding pronunciation when those texts are being spoken. This page provides links to a detailed description of SSML, to pre-recorded samples of SSML output, to the personal home pages of the developers, and to research papers regarding SSML.
Cover, R. (1997, June 21). The SGML web page [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
An extremely comprehensive set of links regarding the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). It includes general information regarding the standard, pointers to SGML archive sites on the Internet, to bibliographies regarding SGML, to various SGML consortia, user groups, special interest groups, and discussion groups, to conference information, to public domain and commercial SGML software, to projects and applications using SGML, and to a variety of related standards.
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia (n.d.). TEI guidelines for electronic text encoding and interchange (P3) [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) is an international project to develop guidelines for the preparation and interchange of electronic texts for scholarly research. This site provides both keyword searching and browsing interfaces to the TEI Guidelines, as well as a collection of links to other relevant WWW sites (including the official TEI Home Page).
Fielding, R. (1997, March 12). IETF - HyperText Markup Language (HTML) Working Group [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
This site provides another collection of links relevant to the HTML standard, this collection being particularly focused on the Internet Engineering Task Force's Working Group on HTML. It also provides links to various HTML guides and related standards efforts.
International Organization for Standardization, Joint Technical Committee 1 / Subcommittee 18 (1986). ISO 8879:1986: Information processing -- Text and office systems -- Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.
Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) provides what is essentially a standardized meta-language for the creation of markup languages. Many of the markup languages enjoying current popularity, including Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), are specified using SGML. Those interested in examining this standard might also consider looking at The SGML Handbook by Charles F. Goldfarb, Oxford University Press, 1990, which includes the full text of the ISO standard with additional explanations and details (Goldfarb is one of the original three creators of the SGML standard).
The Library of Congress (1996, August 16). Library of Congress - Encoded Archival Description [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
The Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Document Type Definition provides a standard for electronic encoding of archival finding aids using SGML. The EAD is maintained by the Library of Congress's Network Development and MARC Standards Office in partnership with the Society of American Archivists. This site contains background material regarding the EAD, information regarding the Listserv established for discussion of the EAD, an overview of the EAD, and access to the EAD Document Type Definition.
The Library of Congress (1997, May 7). MARC home page (Library of Congress) [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
This WWW site provides a variety of information regarding the MARC formats. Of particular note for those interested in markup languages is the section of this page providing information regarding the MARC DTDs (Document Type Definitions), an SGML implementation of the USMARC formats which has been under development since 1995. Access to the alpha versions of the DTDs, as well as background about the MARC DTD project, is available.
National Information Standards Organization (1996). NISO/ANSI/ISO 12083: Electronic manuscript preparation and markup. Bethesda, MD: NISO Press.
The U.S. adoption of this standard replaces Z39.59-1988. Conforming with ISO 8879 (SGML -- Standard Generalized Markup Language), 12083 provides a toolkit for developing customized SGML applications, and provides Document Type Definitions for books, serials, articles, and mathematics. Instructions for preparing text for the near-automatic conversion to grade-2 braille and for publication in large-print and computer voice editions are included.
Plotkin, W., & Sperberg-McQueen, C. M. (n.d.). Text Encoding Initiative home page [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
The official home page for the Text Encoding Initiative, this page provides both a description and history of the TEI, a description of the TEI's organizational structure, links to projects employing TEI, and provides access to all of the TEI document formats and documentation.
Raggett, D. (1997, January 14). HTML 3.2 reference specification: W3C recommendation 14-Jan-97 [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
While not issued as a Request for Comments, the HTML 3.2 Reference Specification has been official adopted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and hence has been accepted by all of the major software development firms involved in the production of WWW client/server software, including Netscape, Microsoft, IBM, Novell, SoftQuad, Spyglass, and Sun Microsystems. For all practical purposes, then, this specification is the logical successor to the HTML 2.0 standard (as a historical note, there was a HTML 3.0 draft; however, the differences between it and 2.0 proved so vast that standardization and deployment of the new version was unsuccessful, and the draft was retired). Version 3.2 includes new features such as tables, applets, text flow around images, and sub/super-scripting.
Raggett, D., & Connolly, D. (n.d.). Introducing HTML 3.2 [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
A general introduction to HTML 3.2, including some history of the standards development, changes in the most recent version, and links to sites providing helpful information regarding the language.
Raggett, D., Le Hors, A., & Connolly, D. (1997, May 7). Hypertext Markup Language (HTML): Working and background materials [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
The World Wide Web Consortium's HTML page, it includes links to news sources about HTML, to resources for learning the language, to the specifications for the language, and also to materials relating to HTML (including efforts to support internationalization, access for people with disabilities, and presentation of mathematics via HTML).
Stegall, N. L. (1996, July 1). HTML language -- Technical documentation [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web:
This site provides a collection of links to all of the major standard organizations and technical documents relevant to HTML versions 2.0 and 3.2.
The Virtual Reality Modeling Language Specification: Version 2.0, ISO/IEC DIS 14772-1 [On-line]. (1997, April 4). Available on the World Wide Web:
See Display Standards section for details regarding VRML.

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