we are currently developing a Sanskrit manuscript catalogue and are
trying to use the DTD of the MASTER project
(http://www.cta.dmu.ac.uk/projects/master/), based on the reference
provided at http://www.tei-c.org.uk/Master/Reference/.
The MASTER DTD is on the whole very well suited to our plans, but there
are a few open questions that I hope can be answered on this list.
Because all persons involved in the project are relatively inexperienced
with XML, sometimes we are not sure whether our problems affect the DTD
or simply concern cataloguing practice.
1.) Alternative titles of works contained in a manuscript or manuscript
We have cases where three or more titles are known for a work, and we
would like to list all of them for convenience. How to proceed?
If we have a standard title and an alternate title, I understand we
<title reg="standard title">some other form of title</title>
But what if there are more variants of a title?
(This affects both the <title> element in <msHeading> and in <msContents>.)
2.) Colophons and additions: some manuscripts have different colophons,
author colophons and scribal colophons.
It seems to us most reasonable to enter author colophons under
<colophon> in <msContents>, and to treat scribal colophons as
<additions> under <physDesc>.
However, we would like to structure the information under <additions>,
distinguishing writer colophons from marginal additions, corrections
(interlinear/marginal), presence of special title pages that might have
Tibetan verses written on them, etc.
What would be the best way to go about this?
3.) Punctuation: there seems to be no provision to especially note the
punctuation used in a manuscript (in Sanskrit e.g. half dandas, full
dandas, no interpunction). This information seems best included in
<handDesc> under <physDesc>, perhaps in free form without special
tagging. Or are there better possibilities?
(Mind you, we don't want to have punctuation as a special output
category, so an extra tag won't be necessary for the purpose of parsing.)
4.) Under <physDesc>, we don't understand the tag <collation>:
"Description of how the leaves or bifolia are physically arranged".
Could someone give examples for the kind of information expected here?
The next big question concerns data entry. The XML files generated by us
will be uploaded to a central Hyperwave server that processes all search
request and so forth. But we also need possibilities for decentralised
data entry, on both Windows and Linux machines. In addition, these
possibilities should be useable by people for whom a real XML editor is
too demanding, and a plain vanilla text editor too cumbersome. Because
one manuscript record might contain several instances of <msPart>, a
relational database seems the best choice. But we are still wondering
how to implement this. I looked at StarOffice, which offers Adabas as a
database and is available for both Windows and Linux, but so far
couldn't get past installation problems. Any suggestions? How do other
people handle this?
Many thanks in advance,
Institute for South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies
University of Vienna / Austria