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TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) parser to extract information and store it in Neo4j database

Project description

TEI parser

This is a parser written in Python 3 that takes TEI-XML Documents as an inpput and writes them in a Neo4j Graph Database.

It makes use of the following existing libraries:

  • Beautiful Soup 4 An easy-to-use XML parser
  • Spacy. Currently we use the german language package de_core_news_sm to parse the text.
  • Py2neo v4 whih is a library to work with the Neo4j database.


$ pip install tei2neo
$ python -m spacy download de_core_news_sm


from tei2neo import parse, GraphUtils
graph = Graph(host="localhost", user="neo4j", password="password")
doc, status, soup = parse(
tx = graph.begin()

ut = GraphUtils(graph)
paras = ut.paragraphs_for_filename('20_MS_221_1.xml')

# create unhyphened tokens
for para in paras:
    tokens = ut.tokens_in_paragraph(para)
# show hyphened text
for token in ut.tokens_in_paragraph(paras[5], concatenated=0):
    if 'lb' in token.labels:
        print(' | ', end='')
    print(token.get('string',''), end='')
    print(token.get('whitespace', ''), end='')
# show concatenated (non-hyphened) version of the text
for token in ut.tokens_in_paragraph(paras[5], concatenated=1):
    if 'lb' in token.labels:
        print(' ', end='')

    print(token.get('string',''), end='')
    print(token.get('whitespace', ''), end='')

How the parser works

A TEI document can be constructed in various ways and there are many elements that work very similarly. Likewise, this parser expects certain elements and treats them in a specific manner.

Elements that affect all following elements


A handShift element affects all elements that are below, until another handShift element is encountered.


From now on everything is written in «Latein» and a pencil is being used (medium=Blei):

<handShift new="#hWH" medium="Blei" script="Latein"/>

Now we switch to «Kurrent» script and use black ink (STinte):

<handShift new="#hGS" medium="STinte" script="Kurrent"/>

Appearance in Neo4j

As we have seen, a handShift element contains three attributes:

  • new="#hWH"
  • medium="Blei"
  • script="Latein"

These attributes are passed to all Token elements that follow after a handShift occurs. Previous attributes are not deleted, i.e. if only the medium changes from «Blei» to «STinte», all other attributes stay the same. The handShift element will not appear as a node in Neo4j.


A delSpan element works much like a handShift element, as it alters the appearance of all the following text until it reaches its spanTo target:

<delSpan spanTo="#A20_MS_215_12_3"/>
... (a lot of XML code here)
<anchor xml:id="A20_MS_215_12_3"/>

Appearance in Neo4j

  • both the delSpan and the anchor appear as additional nodes.
  • all elements between the delSpan and the anchor element receive an additional delSpan label
  • a delSpan attribute is added to every element, the value is equal to the xml:id attribute of the anchor.

Project details

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tei2neo-0.2.2.tar.gz (24.7 kB view hashes)

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