Notes: encoding the note itself [200]


Encoding the text of a note, including details of the WWP’s changes to the content model of note, and discussion of the various things that appear in notes


The WWP encodes notes using the <note> element. Included in the category of “notes” are: footnotes, endnotes, printed marginal notes, and notes which appear within the body of the text. This last category is a creation of necessity; we prefer not to encode material in the body of the text as <note>, and the element should only be used in cases where there is no logical alternative. Examples include parenthetical information (for instance, about the authorship of a particular segment of a work) which is inserted within the text but clearly is distinct from the narrative and represents an intrusion of an editorial voice. Headnotes (for instance, at the beginning of entries in an anthology) would be another possible example.

If the note is linked to the text with a mark of any sort (asterisk, number, letter), the mark as it appears in the note itself is encoded using the pre() keyword on the rend= attribute.

Here is what can go inside <note>:

1. “Notetop” elements which can only occur at the beginning of the <note> element: <label>, <ref>, <head>, <opener>. One or more of these may appear, in any order.

2. “Notecomp” elements which can occur alone, or after the opening elements (if any): <anchor>, <bibl>, <biblfull>, <biblstruct>, <castlist>, <cit>, <l>, <lg>, <list>, <listbibl>, <note>, <p>, <q>, <quote>, <seg>, <sp>, <stage>

3. “Notebot” elements which can occur only after one or more of the notecomp elements: <respline>, <closer>, <trailer>

4. A note can also consist solely of a <respLine> element.

In practice:

1. #PCDATA is not allowed directly within <note>; hence at the very least (if there is no other appropriate element) all notes must contain a <p>.

2. In notes which begin with a member of “notetop”, the first part of the note (consisting of any “notetop” elements) should be finished before any element from “notecomp” is begun. Thus in a long note beginning with a <ref> and then continuing with some prose explanation, the <p> element should not contain the <ref> element, but should begin after the <ref> is over. (The break() keyword on rend= for the <p> element will need to be set to “no” in cases where the <p> starts on the same line as the <ref>.)

3. We encode references to the text (such as verse, line, or page numbers) using <ref>. We treat any quotation as a form of reference, so we nest <quote> inside <ref>, along with whatever other referencing information may be present. Neither the <quote> nor the <ref> should point to the main text; the target= on <note> is sufficient for this.

4. Note the difference between <ref>, <label>, and <head> in this context. <ref> is for references to other places within the same text (in this case, most often to the location of the noted phrase). <label> is used for numbers or words which identify the note itself (similar to the numbers in a numbered list). <head> is the name of the thing of which it is the head; for instance, “The Editor’s Note”.

5. It is very important to distinguish between quotations in notes which restate a passage from the main text (which should be encoded with <quote> inside <ref>) and quotations in notes which quote a passage from another text, by way of documentation or to give the source of an allusion (which should be encoded as <quote>, with any accompanying bibliographic reference encoded as <bibl>). See example 5 for both kinds. The latter should not be confused with epigraphs, which have the same basic form but a different function.


Some examples of notes illustrating the different kinds of structures and how to encode them. For clarity’s sake, id=, target=, anchored=, and rend= have been omitted.

Example 1. An example of a reasonably verbose note with all the usual parts:
<note><ref>Verse 1, line 3. <quote>Fairest Autumn fades</quote></ref>
<p>This line echoes the delightful, though too little known words of our national poet:
<quote><lg type="couplet">
<l>Though fairest autumn fades, let none deny</l>
<l>That spring in all its bliss is ever nigh.</l> </lg></quote>
<bibl>Gutworth, Scenes of Country Life, ll. 578&mdash;579.</bibl>
However, our present author has given the sentiment greater point.</p>
<respline>The Editor</respline></note>

Example 2. A very simple example illustrating the need for a <p> directly inside <note>, even if the <p> is very short:
<note><p>A duck.</p></note>

Example 3. Another example of a simple note, this time with only a bibliographic reference:
<note><bibl>Pope, The Rape of the Lock.</bibl></note>

Example 4. Another type of simple note, with just a <respLine>:

Example 5. In the following example, the first quotation is the one repeating the noted phrase from the text, and is contained within the <ref> element; the other quotations are from other sources which are being used to explain the noted phrase. Note that the <p> element does not start till after the initial <ref> element. (This is from Anne Francis, Song of Solomon, p. 67.)
<note><ref>Ver. 15. <quote>As pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold.</quote></ref>
<p rend="break(no)"><quote part="I">Doubtless</quote> (says Mr. Harmer) <quote part="F">his legs being like pillars of marble, refers to the breeches [or drawers] of fine linen he wore; such garments being ordered to be worn by the priests of God, whose vestments were appointed for glory and beauty.</quote> <bibl>Exod. xxxiii.2, 42.</bibl>
<bibl>See Outl. p. 117.</bibl> Sandys says of the Turks, that <quote>they wear next the skin a smock of calico...</quote> <bibl>Lib. i. p. 49.</bibl></p></note>

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