As electronic editions of historical documents present unique requirements in terms of text presentation, the Sanger Project joined the Model Editions Partnership (MEP), an NHPRC-funded consortium of seven historical editions and electronic text experts to develop guidelines and models specific to the preparation of electronic documentary editions. Working with MEP from 1995-1999 enabled the Project to create an edition using a subset of the SGML tagging guidelines created specifically for historical editions
As one of the participating partners in the first phase of MEP, the Sanger Papers created a sample electronic edition consisting of 200 pages of Sanger documents covering the 1914 publication of Margaret Sanger's law-defying journal The Woman Rebel. The Sanger Project edition was one of only two partner projects in MEP that featured images of documents rather than transcribed text. The MEP editions, including Margaret Sanger and The Woman Rebel were published at the Model Editions site on the Internet July 4, 1999.
Margaret Sanger and the Woman Rebel offers scanned images of each document page, headed by an electronic target. This target identifies the document's author, recipient, title, date, and source of the original. Because only the targets (and not the text of the documents) is searchable in our edition, they also include references to people, organizations and laws mentioned in the document. These references along with author/recipient names and article titles were then linked to brief biographical and organizational essays created by the Project, and to transcriptions of the texts of the laws in question. If these essays include any mention of specific documents in the edition, hyperlinks can take users to the appropriate items. Dates on the targets are also linked to a day-by-day chronology of Sanger's activities from 1914-1916. Margaret Sanger and the Woman Rebel allows readers to make fluid connections between the documents and the individuals and organizations that influenced Sanger's decisions and actions.
Jan. 1916 image of MS and her sister Ethel Higgins Byrne at a court appearance for the Woman Rebel, courtesy of the Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College.