Forme work (metawork): general [168]


Encoding various types of forme work (including page numbers, line numbers, catchwords, press figures, signatures, and a few other features) using the <mw> element


The WWP encodes the material which is part of the infrastructure of the page (that which is not part of the running text) using the <mw> element (formerly the TEI <fw> or “forme work” element). This infrastructure includes:

Page numbers: These are the numbers which indicate the sequence of pages or of leaves within the book. Most of our texts have numbered pages; in some older texts, the leaf (the sheet of paper whose front and back are two separate pages) is the unit of numbering. In these cases the number will only occur on the recto of the page. We encode page and leaf numbers as <mw type="pageNum">. We only transcribe the informational content of the page number, not delimiters surrounding it.

Line numbers: These are numbers printed in the margin which indicate the number of lines (usually in poetry, less frequently in drama, almost never in prose). We encode line numbers with <mw type="lineNum">. See 207 for more detail..

Catchwords: these are words printed at the bottom right corner of the page and repeat the first word of the following page. Their function is to help the binder check that the pages have been assembled in the correct order. We encode catchwords using <mw type="catch">. For more information, see 101.

Signatures or gathering marks: these are the letters printed at the bottom of the page which indicate the order in which the signatures should be bound together in the completed book. We encode signatures using <mw type="sig">. We only transcribe the informational content of the signature, not delimiters surrounding it, unless the delimiter serves to distinguish this signature from another (otherwise identical) appearing elsewhere in the volume. See 080 for more detail.

Press figures: these are numbers or other symbols printed at the bottom of the page to identify the pressman who had printed the forme. They differ from signatures in that they do not form part of a sequence, and they typically do not include letters (to avoid confusion with signatures). They are encoded as <mw type="pressFig">.

Volume numbers: these are volume numbers printed at the bottom of the page, usually right near the signature or gathering mark, and almost always in the form “Vol. I”, etc. These are encoded with <mw type="vol">. They should not be confused with volume information appearing on the title page, which should be encoded with <titlePart type="vol">.

Headings at page or column breaks in tables and lists: these are headings which repeat the main heading for a column in a list or table, occasioned by a page or column break in the middle of the list. So for instance in a list of expenses, with headings “Date”, “Item”, and “Price”, if the list continues after the page break these headings will in all likelihood be repeated. We encode these repeated headings with <mw type="listHead">. Each heading is encoded within a separate <mw>.

The WWP does not encode the book or chapter title where it appears in the running head or footer, any ornamentation appearing in the running head or footer, or delimiters surrounding page numbers, signatures, etc.

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