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TEI-L  March 2018

TEI-L March 2018

Subject:

Re: msPart and msFrag

From:

Torsten Schassan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Torsten Schassan <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 6 Mar 2018 17:47:04 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (274 lines)

Dear Hugh,

I hope that others raise their voices too, it shouldn't be just the two
of us discussing. ;-)

You're right that Pietro's and my use cases aren't the same which turned
out in his second message.

And you're right that I understood msFrag differently from the beginning
but I still don't see the need for the distinction it suggests: msFrag
"only" used to represent the fact that it is a part that exist in
another manuscript or at another place? That's exactly what msIdentifier
is made for.

You are right, my understanding would result in a redefinition which
might be not possible (or desirable) at all, prohibited by the general
idea of developing the TEI. Still, I think my arguments for it aren't
bad but I would give in if backwards compatibility would be the most
important aspect even if the element hasn't been around for long.


In case that others back up the use of msFrag for virtual reconstructed
items, we should consider the following:

- change the wording of the short definition of the element in order to
make this very fact clearer as it is right now. Otherwise we could face
the problem that the effects of Pietro's and my requests would be the
same but this would be a dangerous thing as others might misunderstand
msFrag and interpret it the way I do/did;

- propose a way in the Guidelines of how to express the difference
between fragments and compounds. Before msFrag existed I used to use

<msPart rend="condensed">

for fragments, derived from the fact that the main difference between
the two in cataloguing is the way the information is presented.


Best, Torsten



Am 06.03.2018 um 16:09 schrieb Hugh Cayless:
> I don't think your and Pietro's use-cases are the same though. If I
> understand, he has a manuscript (A) that has been split into two parts (A1
> & A2), the second of these being bound in a third (B), and he wants to use
> msPart with msFrag to describe A, A1 being a part, and A2 being a fragment.
> I can see the sense in this and think it's compatible with the current
> wording of the Guidelines, even though it isn't currently allowed by the
> content model of msDesc.
> 
> What you want is the opposite, instead of using msFrag to describe a part
> that used to belong to the current unit, you want to use it to describe a
> part that doesn't really belong in the current unit. I'm not arguing that
> this is a bad idea, just that it would mean a redefinition of msFrag.
> 
> I'll stand back and let other voices contribute. I fear many of our UK
> colleagues may be avoiding academic lists at present due to the strike, so
> we shouldn't be too quick to finish the discussion.
> 
> All the best,
> Hugh
> 
> On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 9:47 AM, Torsten Schassan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>> Dear Hugh, dear all,
>>
>> first of all I have to admit, that I did refer only to the explanation
>> in the technical description of the element msFrag when I stated, that
>> "The Guidelines" are not clear:
>>
>> "(manuscript fragment) contains information about a fragment of a
>> scattered manuscript now held as a single unit or bound into a larger
>> manuscript."
>>
>> This text is -I think- very supportive of our (Pietros and my)
>> interpretation. The chapter 10.11 in the Guideline isn't though.
>>
>> But: As I re-read the mailing list archive, I realised that a) I already
>> took part in the discussion, only that I didn't remember it from the
>> start, that b) most (almost all) of the responses from manuscripts
>> "experts" have been in favour of extending the semantics of msPart (and,
>> additionally, a broader conceptual model underneath). The issue didn't
>> come up again on the main mailing list but msFrag was introduced in
>> v3.0.0 nonetheless.
>>
>> I realised this fact only after a while and as I didn't consult the
>> Guidelines text (ch. 10.11) but only the definition page I was delighted
>> to see this mew element. Reason for this is that in the cataloguing
>> tradition fragments and pieces of compound manuscripts are described in
>> a very different way: The description of fragments is very much
>> abbreviated concerning all aspects (history, contents, codicology, etc)
>> whereas the description of a part of a compound is described using the
>> fully-fledged options of the description of a whole manuscript.
>>
>> (Thus, I have to admit, it was another advantage to it was easy to
>> convince my cataloguers to use the newly introduced element!)
>>
>> So far for history. Let's have a look at the present issue.
>>
>> You argue that there should be a possibility to distinguish between
>> describing an existing manuscript using msPart even for fragments and
>> describing a virtual object whose parts are scattered all over the
>> place. I would like to answer that the distinction between the two
>> options isn't expressed through the use of either of these elements but
>> it can be expressed *only* by msDesc/msIdentifier! Only there you have
>> the place to *identify* the object you are describing and it is there
>> that you have to distinguish the physical "wholeness" of the object (all
>> in one place, one codex, one box, etc) and the virtuality of the object.
>> Whether you use msPart or msFrag in the description doesn't add a bit to
>> the epistemic status. (cf. the discussion about how to express the fact
>> that a manuscript might have been lost, or scattered, or destroyed;
>> https://listserv.brown.edu/archives/cgi-bin/wa?A2=TEI-MS-SIG;5914469.1708)
>>
>> Having said that -and to answer your question "what we want"- I believe
>> there are other reasons to interpret msFrag as container for information
>> about a fragment:
>>
>> - to repeat: the terminology of manuscript scholars is "fragment" for
>> pieces of manuscripts, kept within other manuscripts or completely
>> separately and "compound" for entire manuscript parts bound together to
>> one volume. (Though one has to remember, that there's a fine line
>> between these two things: What now is a compound could as well be a
>> fragment of a former manuscript. And we call the leaf that has been
>> taken from a manuscript a fragment while the remaining manuscript is a
>> fragment or fragmentary as well!) Thus, cataloguers will immediately
>> understand the element msFrag for what it might mean whereas the usage
>> of msPart seems to be slightly abusive.
>>
>> - When we stick to the real/virtual distinction it might happen that a
>> fragment in-situ is described using msPart in the description of the
>> "real" manuscript and described using msFrag in the description of the
>> virtual reconstruction. There is no way to re-use the chunk of XML in
>> both contexts.
>>
>> Opinions?
>>
>> Best, Torsten
>>
>>
>> Am 06.03.2018 um 14:05 schrieb Hugh Cayless:
>>> It's not really a question of status. For a long time, there was only
>>> msPart, and epigraphers and papyrologists started (ab)using it to
>> describe
>>> pieces of document that were in bits (some of which might be held in
>>> different collections). No one seemed to object too much that we were
>>> technically abusing msPart. Then Caroline Schroeder, who had a similar
>>> need, made a feature request for a re-wording of the description of
>> msPart
>>> to accommodate "virtual" reconstructions of dismembered originals (
>>> https://github.com/TEIC/TEI/issues/505). I supported this, because it
>> would
>>> help formalize a practice we were already engaging in. Council debated,
>> and
>>> then went for advice to the larger community (
>>> http://tei-l.970651.n3.nabble.com/physically-dispersed-text-
>> bearing-objects-td4027113.html).
>>> In the end, we decided to add a new element, msFrag, instead of modifying
>>> the definition of msPart. The latter would continue to handle what David
>>> Birnbaum called the "curatorial perspective" ("I have a multipart thing
>> and
>>> I want to describe it") and the former could be used in any sort of
>>> scholarly reconstruction of a document that exists in parts which may
>> have
>>> separate curatorial histories ("I want to show how this broken up thing
>>> once went together").
>>>
>>> That's how we got where we are now. What I'm not clear on is whether what
>>> you and Pietro want is actually a hybrid of the curatorial description
>> and
>>> scholarly reconstruction motives, which would demand a mixture of msFrag
>>> and msPart, or whether msFrag just looks inviting because you have an
>> extra
>>> bit in an MS that isn't quite like the other bits. I think the latter is
>>> still an msPart.
>>>
>>> All the best,
>>> Hugh
>>>
>>> On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 3:02 AM, Torsten Schassan <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Dear Pietro,
>>>>
>>>> it's funny because just yesterday I submitted an issue at GitHub dealing
>>>> exactly with this:
>>>>
>>>> https://github.com/TEIC/TEI/issues/1747
>>>>
>>>> Hugh has explained, that msFrag might not -as one could expect- be meant
>>>> to contain information about fragments but to serve as container for
>>>> virtual reconstruction. I think that both the wording of the Guidelines
>>>> as well as this understanding haven't been clear (at least to me) and
>>>> that I would definitly like to see this changed: Fragments of all kinds
>>>> should be described in msFrag and parts of a composed manuscript should
>>>> be described using msPart.
>>>>
>>>> I can't think of any manuscript scholar who would consider a fragment
>>>> e.g. in the binding to have the same status as some part of a compound
>>>> manuscript.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Best, Torsten
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Am 06.03.2018 um 07:30 schrieb Pietro Liuzzo:
>>>>> Dear all,
>>>>>
>>>>> We have some cases of manuscripts where we would really like to be able
>>>> to use msPart and msFrag at the same level inside a msDesc.
>>>>>
>>>>> For example we have a manuscript made of 3 distinct part plus one added
>>>> to it later which came from another manuscript.
>>>>>
>>>>> We would like to have for the description of the manuscript which has
>>>> the addition a msDesc like this
>>>>>
>>>>> <msDesc>
>>>>> <msPart xml:id="p1">
>>>>> </msPart>
>>>>> <msPart xml:id="p1">
>>>>> </msPart>
>>>>> <msPart xml:id="p1">
>>>>> </msPart>
>>>>> <msFrag xml:id="f1">
>>>>> </msFrag>
>>>>> </msDesc>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> The content model of msDesc has an alternate between msFrag and msPart
>>>> which does not allow this.
>>>>>
>>>>> Thank you very much!
>>>>>
>>>>> Pietro
>>>>>
>>>>> Pietro Maria Liuzzo
>>>>> cel (DE): +49 (0) 176 61 000 606
>>>>> Skype: pietro.liuzzo (Quingentole)
>>>>> https://uk.linkedin.com/in/pietroliuzzo
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Torsten Schassan - Digitale Editionen, Abteilung Handschriften und
>>>> Sondersammlungen
>>>> Herzog August Bibliothek, D-38299 Wolfenbuettel, Tel. +49 5331 808-130
>>>> Fax -165
>>>> Handschriftendatenbank <http://diglib.hab.de/?db=mss>
>>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Torsten Schassan - Digitale Editionen, Abteilung Handschriften und
>> Sondersammlungen
>> Herzog August Bibliothek, D-38299 Wolfenbuettel, Tel. +49 5331 808-130
>> Fax -165
>> Handschriftendatenbank <http://diglib.hab.de/?db=mss>
>>
> 


-- 
Torsten Schassan - Digitale Editionen, Abteilung Handschriften und
Sondersammlungen
Herzog August Bibliothek, D-38299 Wolfenbuettel, Tel. +49 5331 808-130
Fax -165
Handschriftendatenbank <http://diglib.hab.de/?db=mss>

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