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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

An Introduction to XML and TEI

This guide provides an introduction to XML and the Text Encoding Initiative.


If you have questions after reading this guide, please contact Dan Tracy (, head of Scholarly Communication and Publishing. 

For assistance with XML or other digital humanities tools and resources, don't hesitate to contact the Scholarly Commons staff by email ( or call 217-244-1331. For more information, visit the Scholarly Commons.

TEI Header

The TEI Header is an element within the TEI encoding that contains metadata and other descriptive information about the document.  It is indicated by <teiHeader>. I is the first mandatory element of a TEI document and so will always appear as the first element after <TEI>.

The metadata contained in the header includes things like:

  • a bibliographic record of the electronic text as well as the source from which the electronic text is derived
  • documentation of the encoding and editorial principles used in tagging the electronic text
  • terms for indexing, searching, and retrieval
  • a record of changes made to the electronic document 


Adapted from:

See also: