The Tag Glossary: R

Orlando's content is structured by the unique XML tagset described in the Introduction and visualized in the Tag Diagrams. To assist in understanding Search result facets and Tag Search, this Glossary provides definitions for tags and attributes (descriptors associated with tags). Some attributes have set values. These are often explained within definitions of attributes. Other attribute values, such as genre names, are defined within the ontologies of the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory, which hosts Orlando’s production environment. Searches on this page retrieve tags, attributes, and definitions, but not necessarily attribute values.


Race and ethnicity

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RACEANDETHNICITY is a significant sub-element within BIOGRAPHY > CULTURALFORMATION. It encloses the structural elements containing the discussion of a person's racial and ethnic subject position, capturing information and discussion in light of the unstable, historically constituted categories of race and ethnicity. It works in conjunction with four content, subject-specific sub-elements: RACECOLOUR, NATIONALHERITAGE, GEOGHERITAGE, ETHNICITY (each of which can be used without RACEANDETHNICITY). 

The following applies to both the general discursive discussion of RACEANDETHNICITY and to the specific sub-element categories.

Despite anxiety over the ways in which categories of race or ethnicity circulate and serve various kinds of undesirable interests, to ignore the question or choose a totally free-text route is not a responsible solution for this project, though it would certainly be easier and simpler. The aim here is to make the complexities of the question of race and ethnicity emerge, and to make it clear that these are shifting, historically constituted, and interestedly deployed categories whose use must be understood contextually. The discursiveness with which we present these categories should, hopefully, help to do this and also allay the anxiety we feel about labelling in a vacuum. In other words, the project has no notion that we could or should come up with what is in any way an exact, fully defined, or mutually exclusive set of categories: the point is the overlap within them. Within this system, counting per se becomes highly problematic; the user has to do some work (and some thinking/active defining) before arriving at any kind of list or count, and will hopefully arrive at it with a sense of how problematic such an activity is. We want, as we go, carefully to build sets of associations around terms that are controversial or hard to interpret.

Parallel to the issue tags, this element is important because this is such a charged issue, and has remained so through seismic shifts in scientific and other concepts of race. This tag can be used to chart developments in self-awareness as well as in social placing.

Race colour

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This sub-element is found in BIOGRAPHY > CULTURALFORMATION. It might also be within RACEANDETHNICITY; within those tags, it captures information about a person's perceived or lived racial identity. See RACEANDETHNICITY for a detailed description of the complexities of this element. It encloses usually a single word, occasionally more, and has optional attributes of FOREBEAR, SELFDEFINED and REG (allowing for the standardization of the RACECOLOUR if expressed otherwise in the prose). We have tried to counter the effect of white as default by sentences like "She was presumably white" or by inserting an empty RACECOLOUR tag with REG value white.

Rarities features decorations

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This element belongs conceptually in WRITING > PRODUCTION. It is meant to capture a significant and interesting statement or discussion about any rare or decorative features of the book as a physical text: material most obviously about illustrations, but also special bindings, experiments with typeface, inscriptions, even systematic annotation of a copy. It has no mandatory or optional sub-elements. 


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RECEPTION is one of the three large buckets in the WRITING section of entries (in addition to TEXTUALFEATURES and PRODUCTION). RECEPTION charts the effects and results of an individual's writing, and the responses of self and others to individual texts or whole oeuvres. May contain one or more CHRONSTRUCTs about a particular review, comment, or consequence.

Recognition name

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This term that is closely related to and often placed within the Recognitions element belongs conceptually within WRITING > RECEPTION. It supplies the name of a particular award or prize given to an author. Generally encloses one or two words, the name of an award, but can enclose more words, e.g. short-listed for or runner-up to. The REG attribute offers a way to chart the changes of name often undergone by awards, like the Bailey’s Prize / the Orange Prize for Women’s Writing. This element has no mandatory or optional sub-elements.

Recognition value

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This element is often used with RECOGNITIONS WRITING > RECEPTION. It defines the numeric or non-monetary value of the recognition given for literary work. Generally encloses just a named sum, the amount of a literary prize, but its contents can be longer if a scholarship or travel grant is involved. This element has no mandatory or optional sub-elements or attributes.


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This tag is associated with WRITING > RECEPTION. It encloses information about literary awards and prizes, and such marks of honour as statues, plaques, or things named after an author. The title of the award may be captured in RRECOGNITIONNAME, its value in monetary or numerical terms in RRECOGNITIONVALUE. There are no other mandatory or optional sub-elements or attributes for RRECOGNITIONS.


Machine name

REGION, a globally available sub-element of PLACE, captures the name of the place only and excludes all punctuation. It must be followed by a GEOG tag (except in cases where a REGION straddles more than one GEOG), and has optional attributes CURRENT and REG. It captures the following geographical and political units:

  • Political regions (counties) of the British Isles: Cornwall, Durham, Hampshire
  • Political regions (provinces or states) of other countries: Alberta, Madras, California
  • Topographical features: all mountain ranges, individual mountains, islands (when not nation states), valleys, forests, etc.
  • Bodies of Water (including oceans, rivers, lakes): Lake Simcoe, English Channel, Nile, Atlantic Ocean.
  • Geographical regions: Lake District, Scottish Highlands, Welsh border, Tibetan border.


Machine name

An attribute attached to many different elements in the schemas. Used to identify for searching purposes a conventional, recognizable, or usual form of words or terms which may be given differently in the prose captured by the element. The element NAME has a STANDARD attribute but not REG. (In this it differs from ORGNAME, which has both attributes, for distinguishing the most enduring form of an organization name from a form which was current at a particular period -- both of which might differ from the name as used within the element.)


Machine name

RELATION is a required attribute attached to MEMBER within BIOGRAPHY > FAMILY. It specifies how the family member discussed within the Member element is related to the subject of the entry. Uses an attribute value from a list containing the following relations: Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Aunt, Uncle, Grandfather, Grandmother, Granddaughter, Grandson, Nephew, Stepsister, Stepbrother, Stepfather, Stepmother, Cousin, Forebear, Other, Son, Daughter, Stepson, Stepdaughter, Guardian, Niece, Husband, Wife, Child, Partner.

Relation to

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This mandatory attribute attached to the DIV1 content tag is found in BIOGRAPHY > LOCATION. These tags describes a person's geographical movements, and therefore RELATIONTO will allow us to distinguish between different kinds of relations to place: Migrated, Traveled, Lived, Visited, and Moved (see Relationships below for definitions).

Migrated includes emigration and immigration. A move from England to Scotland is considered a migration.

Travelled: applies to journeys and emphasizes the act of travelling rather than a long stay in one place. See visited.

Lived: applies to a discussion of the place where she lived. Related to Moved but covers the date range of the time she lived in a place as opposed to solely the date of her move.

Visited: applies to a journey of longer duration than a travel; its main purpose is usually to spend a protracted period visiting a family member or friend. For example, visited is used if a woman writer spent a winter in Bath with her aunt. Visited may be particularly applicable to the early periods because women writers often spent long periods of time living elsewhere.

Moved: applies to the event of her moving.

Unknown: applies to information about her geographical movements that is unspecified. Since kind is a required attribute, if none of the other attribute values fit unknown is used.

Relations with publisher

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This tag belongs within WRITING > PRODUCTION. It is designed to capture the mainly professional relationship between a writer and her publisher (or, in the case of dramatists, her producer). Encloses a sentence or more: a detailed account of a 50-year relationship or the briefest summary. Publisher includes literary agent, theatre producer, etc. There are no mandatory sub-elements for this element, but if possible the publisher's NAME or ORGNAME is tagged. An optional attribute, RELATIONSHIPTYPE, designates whether the relationship was personal or professional.


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Relevance is a sister attribute to CHRONCOLUMN, attached to each and every CHRONSTRUCT. This element assigns significance to the CHRONSTRUCT (in order of increasing importance) Comprehensive (showing everything in the textbase), Decade (winnowing out the events of limited or individual interest, retaining what a researcher into that decade might want to know), Period (a smaller selection, of concern to investigators of the whole period), and Selective (headline news only).

This is a matter of judgement, but our conventions are that BIRTH, DEATH, and at least one writing event for each entry need a Selective tag to place this writer in literary history. (Publication of every book by Woolf is Selective; some other writer might have 11 publication dates at Decade and just one at Selective). In BIOGRAPHY sections, the norm for RELEVANCE is Comprehensive, since such events are important to the individual but only occasionally important in literary history. When more than one CHRONCOLUMN attribute is allocated to an event, it may take different RELEVANCE values: e.g. contribution to a historic anthology might be tagged firstly as British Women Writers (RELEVANCE: Period) and second as Writing Climate (RELEVANCE: Selective).


Machine name

RELIGION is one of the issues (along with SEXUALITY, RACEANDETHNICITY, LANGUAGE, CLASS, and NATIONALITY) we have defined as significant in discussing the CULTURALFORMATION of a writer (in the BIOGRAPHY section of her entry). This DIV1 content element captures discussions of her RELIGION as an identity, as an issue in her life and her religious beliefs and affiliations; it makes a space to elaborate on the basic, defining DENOMINATION with attention to the significance in a life of belief or of seeking belief. We are interested in the effect of a religious upbringing on a woman writer and emphasize the inclusion of her family's DENOMINATION in a CULTURALFORMATION element, sometimes also within a RELIGION element to capture discussion or elaboration, whether or not she practised that religion for her life. We are interested in women's relationships with institutions and therefore wish to capture in this element information regarding religious institutions. We are also interested in the crucial role religious movements have had in women's writing, particularly in the early modern periods: users will wish to be able to trace the influence of Quakerism, for example, on women's writing and lives.

The related content sub-element DENOMINATION can be used without the RELIGION element, just as the other sub-elements appropriate to the discussion of cultural formation - CLASS, ETHNICITY, GENDER, GEOGHERITAGE, LANGUAGE, NATIONALHERITAGE, NATIONALITY, POLITICALAFFILIATION, RACECOLOUR, and SEXUALIDENTITY, can be used with or without a broader sub-element (CLASSISSUE etc.).


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Religious name

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Wrote or Published as

This sub-element is found within BIOGRAPHY > PERSONNAME. It captures all names a person acquired through religion: for example, her name change on entering a convent or a name she used for religious reasons, or the Pope taking a new name on being elected Pope, or Lady Lucy Herbert taking the religious name Sister Teresa Joseph. It has attributes for REG and WROTEORPUBLISHEDAS.


Machine name

This sub-element is found within BIOGRAPHY > PERSONNAME. It captures all names a person acquired through religion. For example, her name change on entering a convent or a name she used for religious reasons, or the Pope taking a new name on being elected Pope. BWW Lady Lucy Herbert took the religious name Sister Teresa Joseph. This tag goes inside a DATAITEM and encloses just a name, not prose. It has attributes for REG and WROTEORPUBLISHEDAS.This sub-element, available only within BIOGRAPHY > OCCUPATION, captures statements about non-literary earnings, whether exact (her salary rose over five years from x to x) or general (she said that scrubbing floors would have been better paid).

Response type

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RESPONSETYPE is an optional attribute attached to the element RRESPONSES (belonging to WRITING > RECEPTION) that specifies the historical timing of a response to a written work through its values of recent, re-evaluation, or initial. The two sibling attributes are FORMALITY and GENDEREDRESPONSE.


Machine name
Gendered response
Response type

This element, available in WRITING > RECEPTION addresses reactions to the literary work, the oeuvre in general, or the writer's role as an author/artist. It should enclose a whole sentence or more. It has no mandatory or optional sub-elements, but three optional attributes: RESPONSETYPE, FORMALITY, and GENDEREDRESPONSE. RESPONSETYPE has the values of initial, recent, and re-evaluation. FORMALITY has the values of FORMAL and INFORMAL. GENDEREDRESPONSE has the values of GENDEREDYES GENDEREDNO and ADFEMINAM. In practice used mostly for reviews with attribute value FORMAL and for comment in letters etc. with attribute value INFORMAL. Generalizations (reviews were overwhelmingly favourable) can be used as well as more specific info. A single use of this tag can encompass several distinct or contradictory opinions, so long as the attribute values are the same.


Machine name
Wrote or Published as

ROYAL is a sub-tag in BIOGRAPHY  > PERSONNAME. It refers to names, such as Queen or Princess, which a person has because of their royal status. This element does not capture information about noble titles in general (cf. titled) but includes specifically royal names, e.g. Queen Elizabeth I. It has optional attributes of REG and WROTEORPUBLISHEDAS.