Dorr Letters and XTF

Posted by: on June 7, 2013   |Comments (0)|Digital Publishing

Just recently, Digital Publishing Services finished a semester long endeavor to put together a website with the purpose of sharing both the digital transcriptions and the original scans of the Dorr letters. The site is built on XTF (eXtensible Text Framework), which is a free, open source platform that provides a super customizable framework for working with the transforming and display of TEI (and many other encoding languages). The beauty of XTF lies within it’s text indexer tool, it automatically creates an index of your documents which then allows for search-ability across the entire collection, or within each document. XTF can be a bit daunting to learn for a newcomer as there are very many moving parts, that said I’d still recommend it, there are a number of helpful tutorials and documentation and the XTF community is strong and usually quick to help. If you’re working with XTF I’d suggest joining the XTF User List on Google groups immediately!

At present the project includes digital transcriptions of thirty letters from the Dorr Correspondence files in the Sidney S. Rider Collection at the John Hay Library (Brown University), the James Fowler Simmons Papers at the Library of Congress, the Gilder Lehrman Institute, and one letter from the private collection of Richard Slaney. These letters illustrate aspects of race, reform, antislavery and proslavery politics, and, of course, the Dorr Rebellion.

To see our XTF implementation in action, visit the Dorr Letters project page. You can browse or search through the Dorr letters. Once on a letter page you can then click “view page #” to see the original scan of that page. There also exists an option to view the raw TEI.

The letters were selected, edited, and transcribed from the original manuscripts by Dr. Erik J. Chaput and Russell DeSimone, with the assistance of Dr. Edward E. Andrews.

The letters were encoded by the Phillips Memorial Library + Commons Digital Publishing Services team including Deborah Angelo, Mark Caprio, Rachel Golub, Christiane Marie Landry, Marc Mestre, and  Hailie Posey.

Also, be sure to visit the Dorr Rebellion project page to learn more about the Dorr Rebellion. The site was recently updated with lesson plans created specifically for interaction with the Dorr Letters site. We will be doing some more updating to the site later this summer, so be sure to check back in.

Project questions or comments may be sent to

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Posted by: on June 7, 2013   |Comments (0)|Digital Publishing