Title Biography as compilation: How to edit Georg Nikolaus Nissen’s "Biographie W. A. Mozart’s" (1828) in TEI

Encoded by   Vanessa Hannesschläger

Encoded by   Daniel Schopper


The Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License applies to this text.


As an implementation of TEI for textual analysis, the editing project of the early "Biographie W. A. Mozart’s" (1828) by Nissen, part of the "Digital Mozart-Edition" (DME) at the Mozart Foundation Salzburg, has recently started. The aim of the project is to reveal the structure of the text by way of markup of the manifold sources, which Nissen used for the biography: These comprise primary sources, such as original letters and documents of the Mozart family, secondary sources, such as contemporary literature about Mozart, and original texts written by the author and later editors.

In our presentation, we discuss the special challenges that arise when creating an edition that focuses on how a text was compiled:

  • The encoding of text passages, which often do not correlate with common text structures (e.g. paragraphs, chapters).
  • The definition of different source types and responsible author / editors.
  • Linking the given source definitions to the text passages they refer to.
  • Integrating an exact bibliography of the sources as well as critical annotations for each of the single text passages.

Additional features of the edition include:

  • The linking of each identified source to digital resources such as the online publications of the DME (“Mozart Letters and Documents – Online Edition”; the “Neue Mozart-Ausgabe Online”) as well as digital collections of libraries and archives.
  • Indices of persons, locations, and works, using standardized data (e.g. GND).
  • The creation of a complete early Mozart bibliography up to 1828.
  • A search function with free and pre-installed options.

Our project fills a gap in Mozart research, presenting an annotated online edition of this important early Mozart biography which was the first to use original letters of the Mozart family, and, on the other hand, secondary texts on a large scale, though mostly without references.