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TEI-L  March 2015

TEI-L March 2015

Subject:

Re: physically dispersed text-bearing objects

From:

"Birnbaum, David J" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Birnbaum, David J

Date:

Fri, 13 Mar 2015 18:23:19 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (200 lines)

Dear Fabio (cc TEI-L),

The Old Church Slavonic Codex Suprasliensis, now in three parts in three
different countries, is considered a single manuscript by those who study
it. It may reasonably be considered three separate manuscripts by those
who are responsible for its cataloguing and curation. As a member of TEI
Council and of the msDesc working group, I was surprised by the strong
prejudice in favor of the curatorial perspective. I continue to be
surprised by how little attention there has been to the notion that the
manuscript as it was created may be no less important with respect to its
essence than its arbitrary dismemberment at a later date. I don't think of
the Codex Suprasliensis as a virtual manuscript that has been assembled
conceptually from three distinct *real* manuscripts; from my perspective,
as someone who studies it quite intensively, it is one real manuscript
that has accidentally become divided into three real manuscript
*fragments*.

I don't have a stake in the outcome of this discussion: I can live with
the current abuse of <msIdentifier> or an extension of <msPart> or an
introduction of <msFrag>. And, as has been noted, the situation is
complicated by separation, convolution, rearrangement during rebinding,
etc. In this holy war I'm wholly pacifistic, but I did want to volunteer
that there are, it turns out, at least some manuscript scholars for whom a
real manuscript may be what the scribe created, and to such scholars the
fragments that the custodians now curate are multiple real fragments of
one real manuscript.

Best,

David

On 3/13/15, 9:07 AM, "Fabio Ciotti" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>I share here in the public list the opinion I have already expresed in
>the Coucil discussion
>
>I object against the extension of the use of <msPart>, since these
>extension could conflict with well established manuscript description
>traditions. F. ex. all the manuscript description applications I have
>seen (and all the manuscript cataloguers I have aske to) have the
>concept of composite ms, while there is no notion of scattered or
>dispersed ms (virtually reconstructed). There is an ontological
>rationale in this, since from a codicological perspective ms are real
>physical objects (item in FRBR parlance), not abstract entities.
>
>The scope of msDesc module is the description of manuscript like
>object, not of general text bearing object. Since the proposal to add
>a more general element for this kind of objects is still not ready, I
>think that to avoid confusion and problems with well established
>disciplinary traditions adding an <msFrag> element would be a more
>clean and correct solution. That said this will not be my holy war
>:-).
>
>Fabio
>
>2015-03-13 13:44 GMT+01:00 Peter Stokes <[log in to unmask]>:
>> Dear all,
>>
>> Iıd echo Arianna's desire for a richer conceptual model here as
>>fragments can get very complex indeed. We werenıt working with TEI we
>>did have to think about this quite a lot for DigiPal, and a PhD student
>>of mine, Matilda Watson, has taken our model a lot further as she needs
>>to deal with some pretty messy cases (Iım making this up but something
>>like ıthese two fragments, one now bound with other fragments in
>>Stockholm and one now similarly bound but in Oslo, were once bound in
>>with these other folios which are now in Copenhagen and which all used
>>to have a single shelfmark, but the two fragments were also once used to
>>bind different sixteenth-century tax accounts, and were probably (but
>>perhaps not) originally part of the same folio so probably had the same
>>locus then but donıt anymoreı). Iım not sure that the TEI really wants
>>to get into all that, but some simpler use-cases are described at
>>https://www.digipal.eu/help/digipal-data-model/ which may be helpful.
>>
>> Having said that, I agree that it probably doesnıt take many entities
>>to capture a lot of this. My sense is that youıd need a generic Œpartı
>>with some sort of typology, and then different groupings of those parts
>>(presumably also typed, with scope for attaching dates, places etc.)
>>would be sufficient. This may well be possible already, but if so then
>>it would be helpful to make this model more explicit somewhere. As a
>>first step Iıd be happy to meet with Gabby and see what a TEI encoding
>>of DigiPal material and also Matildaıs fragments might look like.
>>
>> All the best,
>>
>> Peter
>>
>>
>> On 13 Mar 2015, at 11:15, Gabriel Bodard <[log in to unmask]>
>>wrote:
>>
>>> I think I'm also in favour of extending the definition of `<msPart>`
>>>(which has been recommended on this list so many times in the past that
>>>I bet it's what many people do already). I don't see enough of a
>>>conceptual difference between a text-bearing object that was once/is
>>>now in several parts, whether it is physically brought together or just
>>>digitally reconstituted by the TEI edition (say), whether it was once
>>>certainly a single physically object or is merely speculated by an
>>>editor to have been a conceptually single object/text/etc.
>>>
>>> Sure we can suggest a taxonomy of such "broken manuscript" types, and
>>>it would be good to be able to record that, as Arianna suggests, but
>>>within that I don't think we'd need to handle such "parts" very
>>>differently. (I certainly have been using `<msPart>` to capture some
>>>details of both fragments, sections, and grouped/related inscriptions
>>>without any difficulty.)
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>>
>>> Gabby
>>>
>>>
>>> On 2015-03-13 10:08, Arianna Ciula wrote:
>>>> Dear Peter and all,
>>>>
>>>> This is indeed one of those cases when one would really want a
>>>> conceptual model behind the TEI hierarchy of elements (but also clear
>>>> principles: when do we create a new element and when instead we
>>>> recommend using attributes to specify existing elements?)
>>>> Indeed, it seems to me that a part of a manuscript would be a
>>>>superclass
>>>> of a fragment of a manuscript in the proposed msFrag sense as well as
>>>>a
>>>> superclass of the current msPart.
>>>>
>>>> I would be in favour of enlarging the semantics of <msPart> but also
>>>>of
>>>> suggesting the use of some mechanisms (@ana?) to explain what kind of
>>>> part we are talking about when it is indeed clear or an interpretation
>>>> is available.
>>>>
>>>> Best,
>>>> Arianna
>>>>
>>>> On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 9:34 AM, Peter Stadler <[log in to unmask]
>>>> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>    Dear all,
>>>>
>>>>    the TEI Council is seeking advice for the following issue:
>>>>
>>>>    We are lacking a mechanism to describe physically dispersed
>>>>    text-bearing objects (which formerly were parts of a single
>>>>physical
>>>>    object) as one logical object.
>>>>    Currently, the guidelines indicate the usage of <altIdentifier> for
>>>>    Œscatteredı manuscripts [1] which seems not very convincing. A
>>>>    feature request was made for redefining the semantics of <msPart>
>>>>    [2] to include the case of scattered manuscripts. (At present,
>>>>    <msPart> is only defined to "contain information about an
>>>>originally
>>>>    distinct manuscript or part of a manuscript, now forming part of a
>>>>    composite manuscript³ [3]).
>>>>    Another proposed solution is to add a new dedicated element
>>>><msFrag>
>>>>    (or whatever name Š) which would behave pretty much like <msPart>
>>>>    (in terms of content and context).
>>>>
>>>>    So, the choice is between 1) broadening the definition of <msPart>
>>>>    so that it can cover not only parts of a manuscript which were
>>>>    originally independent and later gathered together, but also parts
>>>>    of a manuscript which was originally whole but is now in fragments;
>>>>    and 2) creating a new element, <msFrag>, for the latter case.
>>>>
>>>>    Any comments appreciated!
>>>>    Many thanks and
>>>>    all the best
>>>>    Peter
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>    [1] 
>>>>http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/MS.html#msid
>>>>    [2] https://sourceforge.net/p/tei/feature-requests/505/
>>>>    [3] 
>>>>http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/ref-msPart.html
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Dr Gabriel BODARD
>>> Researcher in Digital Epigraphy
>>>
>>> Digital Humanities
>>> King's College London
>>> Boris Karloff Building
>>> 26-29 Drury Lane
>>> London WC2B 5RL
>>>
>>> T: +44 (0)20 7848 1388
>>> E: [log in to unmask]
>>>
>>> http://www.digitalclassicist.org/
>>> http://www.currentepigraphy.org/
>
>
>
>-- 
>Fabio Ciotti
>Dipartimento Studi Umanistici, Università di Roma Tor Vergata
>Presidente Associazione Informatica Umanistica Cultura Digitale

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