This paper shows an approach for converting bitmap images of text glyphs into a vector format which is suitable for being embedded in XML representations of digitized documents. The focus is on a contour based vectorization method as the output can be easily transformed into SVG glyph descriptions. A concrete implementation is described and the results are discussed with special regard to the visual quality. The work is related to the development of a system for processing documents which are not suitable for current OCR methods. This is especially important in the field of retrospective digitization of historical works.