A New TEI Lite Project: The Pauling Student Learning Curriculum

This past Friday we launched a new project about which we’re pretty excited.  As described in this press release, the Pauling Student Learning Curriculum is geared toward advanced high school- and college-age students, and is applicable to the teaching of both history and science.  As the press release also notes, the large amount of illustrative and hyperlinked content included in the website makes this a resource that should be useful to teachers and students anywhere in the world.

The history of this project is a long and interesting one.  The curriculum itself was originally designed nearly ten years ago for use by visiting fellows of the Linus Pauling Institute.  Over time, the content that was developed for the fellows program was repurposed for use by a University Honors College chemistry class that conducts research on the Pauling legacy every Winter term.  For several years we’ve been planning to post the text of the curriculum online, thinking that doing so would assist those chemistry students whose busy schedules preclude their spending an optimum amount of time in the Special Collections reading room.  It eventually dawned on us that the curriculum could actually be expanded into a powerful resource for use by teachers well-beyond the Oregon State University campus, and we’ve been developing the project with that goal in mind ever since.

The bulk of the curriculum is devoted to an abbreviated survey of Pauling’s life and work, presented in chronological order, and grouped under the following headings:

Throughout these sections, we’ve linked to any applicable objects that have already been digitized in support of our various Documentary History and Primary Source websites.

The curriculum also includes a series of instructions on “rules for research” in an archive.  We feel that this is especially important given the youth of our target audience, and hope that it will likewise provide for a positive introduction to the in’s and out’s of conducting scholarship with primary sources — an oftentimes intimidating process for researchers at any level.

The website itself is built with TEI Lite, which we’re using more and more in support of small but clean webpages that can be created and released comparatively quickly.   Though we’ve used the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) Lite standard for numerous transcripts projects in the past, the first of our sites to be built entirely in TEI Lite was the biographical essay “Bernard Malamud: An Instinctive Friendship,” written by Chester Garrison and posted on our Bernard Malamud Papers page last month.  Plans for several additional TEI Lite-based “microsites” are currently in the works.

TEI Lite is a terrific tool in part because it is very simple to use.  In the example of the curriculum, all of the text, images, administrative metadata and much of the formatting that appears on the finished site are encoded in easily-learned and interpreted tags.  (We used XSL to generate the table of contents and to standardize the page formatting — e.g., where the images sit on a page and how the captions render.)  As a result, most of the mark-up required for these projects is at least roughed out by our student staff, which makes for a pretty efficient workflow within the department.

An example of the TEI Lite code for Page 2 of the Pauling Student Learning Curriculum is included after the jump.  We’ll be happy to answer any reader questions in the Comments to this post.

<div type=”chapter” n=2>
<head>Ways to Approach the Curriculum</head>
<p>Linus Pauling’s career is so long – he first published in the 1920s, and last in the 1990s – that any reading curriculum can only be partial in what it covers.  This curriculum can be used as a starting point for particular research interests or it can be used as a basic guide pointing to materials which give a sense of Pauling’s life and work.</p>
<p>Since Pauling’s work and interests ranged across a broad spectrum, it is very helpful to first get a general picture of his life.  Some reading in one or more of the full length biographies listed under <ref target=”page7.html”>Topical Readings</ref> can be invaluable for an understanding of the progression of Pauling’s work; each of the ones listed has a helpful index, and each sets out biographical information under the index heading “Pauling, Linus.”  The full length biographies are a good lead to important concepts in Pauling’s scientific thinking, such as hybridization of orbitals, <ref target=”http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/pauling/bond/narrative/page35.html”>resonance structure</ref>, complementariness, <ref target=”http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/pauling/bond/narrative/page18.html&#8221;>stochastic method</ref>, <ref target=”http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/pauling/bond/narrative/page37.html&#8221;>electronegativity</ref>, and the rules for determining molecular structure which became known as <ref target=http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/pauling/bond/narrative/page16.html>”Pauling’s rules”</ref> (See also Thomas Hager’s <hi rend=italic>Force of Nature</hi> pg 143). Graduate students may be interested in a concept developed by Pauling’s students called “the Pauling Point.”</p>
<p>The edited selections from Linus Pauling provide well-organized and annotated selections from his work under topical headings and are a quick and interesting route to knowledge of his thinking in a particular area. Also available are websites assembled by Special Collections and focusing on specific parts of Pauling’s career.  These include:</p>
<list type=bullets>
<item><hi rend=italic><ref target=http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/pauling/bond/index.html>Linus Pauling and the Nature of the Chemical Bond</ref></hi></item>
<item><hi rend=italic><ref target=http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/pauling/peace/index.html>Linus Pauling and the International Peace Movement</ref></hi></item>
<item><hi rend=italic><ref target=http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/pauling/dna/index.html>Linus Pauling and the Race for DNA</ref></hi></item>
<item><hi rend=italic><ref target=http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/pauling/blood/index.html>It’s in the Blood! A Documentary History of Linus Pauling, Hemoglobin, and Sickle Cell Anemia</ref></hi></item></list>
<p><figure>
<graphic url=images/1922i.036-150w.jpg/>
<head>Linus Pauling, near Sutherlin, Oregon, 1922.</head>
<figDesc>Linus Pauling sitting on a bridge. Copyright: Everybody, Sutherlin, Ore. Photographer unknown. Black and white print with color touch-ups. 1922</figDesc>
</figure></p>
<p>The main section of the curriculum details Linus Pauling’s scientific work and thinking.  In so doing, the curriculum lists major publications and other papers chronologically, with an identification of the research or other life interest to which the item pertains.  This section of the curriculum is divided into three parts.</p>
<list type=bullets>
<item><ref target=page4-1.html>Early Years: Education, Teaching and the Chemical Bond</ref> delves into the early years of Pauling’s career, during which he established his scientific reputation through his work on the chemical bond and his interest in relating chemical information to students in the classroom.</item>
<item><ref target=page5-1.html>Middle Years: War Work, Peace Work and Protein Structure</ref> covers Pauling’s middle years, including the research that he conducted on behalf of the war effort as well as his later peace activism, continuing interests in structural chemistry, and new scientific investigations including determinations of various protein structures.</item>
<item><ref target=page6-1.html>Later Years: Molecular Disease and Orthomolecular Medicine</ref> details Pauling’s later years, in particular his work on molecular disease and vitamin therapy, also known as “orthomolecular medicine.”</item>
</list>
<p>The main section of the curriculum is followed by a brief list of <ref target=page7.html>topical readings</ref>, which includes materials in the history of science collection and in the general collection at the Valley Library.  There is also a brief <ref target=page8.html>list of websites</ref> on Pauling and related topics, and an appendix of <ref target=page9.html>useful information regarding Special Collections</ref>.</p>
<p>Readers should be sure to utilize the six-volume published version of the <hi rend=”bold”>Catalogue of Holdings of the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers</hi> the text of which is also available online at <ref target=http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/pauling/index.html>http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/pauling/index.html</ref>. <hi rend=”italic”>It is essential</hi> to look through the catalogue to get a sense of what is available in the collection, and to understand the extent of Pauling’s research notes, personal notes, article writing, correspondence, lectures, love letters, interviews, awards, and occasions photographed.  The catalogue is a remarkable achievement, documenting hundreds of thousands of items.</p>
<p><figure>
<graphic url=images/1939i.004-150w.jpg/>
<head>Ava Helen and Linus Pauling, Madison, Wisconsin, 1939.</head>
<figDesc>Linus and Ava Helen Pauling standing outside with their hands behind their backs. “Linus Pauling, age 38 and Ava Helen Pauling” “July, 1939, Madison, Wisconsin” “Taken by Mr. Link” Black and white print. July, 1939</figDesc>
</figure></p>
</div>

2 Responses

  1. […] 2009 release is Robert Paradowski’s The Pauling Chronology, a 27-page TEI-based web resource, the content of which Derek Davenport referenced in the 1996 quote above.  The […]

  2. […] discussed TEI Lite in the past as well and will not spend a great deal of time with it here, except to reiterate that it is a simple […]

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