Laura Mandell came to SMU on Friday, April 22nd to give a talk about distance reading and some of her own projects. A more formal and slightly different version of the talk can be found at the TILTS website: http://tilts.dwrl.utexas.edu/content/media
Rather than repeat what you can see in that video, I want to point to the news about some new texts that will be available to us. Early Modern Online Bibliography reports it in more detail, but the gist is that the Text Creation Partnership will be making 2,000+ texts freely available for searching through 18thconnect as of April 25, 2011.
After her talk, Mandell did a mini-TEI scholarly editing workshop and shared some fundamentals of TEI and XSLT with us using oXygen. Since I will be doing some encoding with my students in my graduate class in the fall, I asked around about some free alternatives to oXygen. The best option seems to be TextWrangler http://www.barebones.com/products/textwrangler/twprogrammer.html and then the online validation tool, TBE validation http://tbe.kantl.be/TBE/xquery/TBEvalidator.xq
She also showed us CSS Zen Garden (http://www.csszengarden.com/), about which I have nothing to say, but I thought it was cool.