FactGrid:Data model for manuscripts

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Data model for manuscripts

The purpose of this data model is to record as much descriptive data on manuscripts as possible as linked open data; this means in a standardized vocabulary. The project does not aim at making all data of the manuscript descriptions accessible in this form. In some cases, exchange standards are still missing, for example in the case of the quire structure of codices.

This data model is developed according the "DFG-Richtlinien Handschriftenkatalogisierung", chapter "Mittelalterliche Handschriften" [DFG].

The standard model for a manuscript item is Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Broxbourne 84.3 (Item:Q195086)

The data model should allow a data import from different sources, including the most important database for medieval manuscripts in German Handschriftencensus [HSC], and the upcoming Handschriftenportal. An important standard for manuscript description is the TEI msdescription module [TEI]. The Property TEI ID Property:P535 connects FactGRidProperties with the TEI.

manuscript items

Label and Description

Every manuscript item should be labeled with MS: Place, Libary, Shelfmark [MS: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Broxbourne 84.3] (Library names in language of home country; 4° = 4o)

The description is a statement on the textual content of the manuscript. It gives Author and 'Title' or title/texttype (DFG: Sachtitel) or the topic of a multiple text manuscript (DFG: "sumarische Inhaltsbezeichnung (z.Bsp. kanonistische Sammalhandschrift)"). Example: [Geomancy – Astrology – Recipes for fire weapons (Büchsenmeisterbuch) – Prognostication – Wonder-Drug Recipes – 'Großes Planetenbuch']

instance of


Every manuscript should be marked as manuscript (Item:Q15).

According to the format the manuscript is either a

(There are more manuscript types for non-european manuscripts.)

If the manuscript is lost:

P2 is Q5 (lost object)

additional information

  • cause of loss (P347)
  • last holding archive of the lost object (P348)
  • Indication the object existed (P52)

core information (DFG:Schlagzeile)

Following information should be provided for every manuscript

  • holding institution (Property:P329), should be instance of Library (Item:Q11249)
  • writing surface (Property:P480), might be parchment (Item:Q230350), paper (Item:Q164510)or other (DFG/HSC:Beschreibstoff)
  • collation (Property:P107) (DFG:Blattzahl; HSC: Umfang)
  • height (in mm, Property:P59) (DFG: first number in 'Format des Buchblocks'; HSC: first number in 'Blattgröße')
  • width (in mm, Property:P60) (DFG: second number in 'Format des Buchblocks'; HSC: second number in 'Blattgröße')
  • place of origin(Property:P95) (DFG: Entstehungsort; HSC: Entstehungsort/Schreibort)

=> #new qaulifiers needed (uncertain; region around) These might be useful: Property:P425 und Property:P467 exist as Qualifiers to express the precision. Property:P155 is there to give the certainty of a statement.

Project information

research projects that contributed to this data set (Property:P131) => instance of "FactGrid research statement" (Item:Q11295) with "begin date", "author", "online information" etc.


(#hier gibts doch schon was, auch ein Datenmodell?)

new property: transmitted together with

online resources

checklist for online resources of medieval German manuscripts


(#hier gibts doch schon was, auch ein Datenmodell?)

special information for codices

instance of

Depending on the production of the codex, a codex is either a

  • monomerous codex (Item:Q195260) = a manuscript containing a single codicological unit (Item:Q195167) = a manuscript containing one production unit
  • composite (Item:Q195262) = a codex which contains two or more codicological units (Item:Q195167) = a manuscript containing several production unit

Depending on the number of texts in is every production unit (monomerouse codex or codicological unit) can be either a

  • Single Text Manuscript (#new)
  • Multiple Text Manuscript (#new)

A codex discissus (Item:Q256451) is a codex that was formerly bound together, but is now divided into several parts and kept as independent library units (codices or fragments).

materiality of codices

  • bookbinding tools used (#new property)
    • a "bookbinding tool" (#new Item) can be a "Streicheisen", a "blind stamp", "bookbinder stamp" (#new), a "bookbinder plate" (#new), "bookbinder roll" (#new), identified tools can have an EBDB ID [2]

manuscript content

section in a document

For every distinguishable 'section in a document' (a text, a music peace etc.) a separate item is created, instance of Item:Q10674. Every section item should be labeled with "Section: Place, Libary, Shelfmark, fol. 'X-Y'" [Section: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Broxbourne 84.3, fol. 1r-1v]

necessary information

  • Every section is part of Property:P8 the manuscript. (or P323 'next higher archival level'?)
  • folio or page(s) Property:P100, Property:P???.

additional information

manuscript related information
  • The order number of the section in the manuscript is given with the property 'position in sequence' (P499)Property:P499.
content related information
external information


Property:P590 with the corresponding Item:Q14239

Every work is labled with a title. (For medieval German text, the titles used in the Verfasserlexikon are used. Other titles used by scholars should be given as alias.)

description = genre statement

Property 'media type', could be 'text' (Q195273), ...

A work can be an instance of a genre Item:Q11207 (#LINK zu 'list of genres') [oder als property genre/sujet (P576)?]


  • title (Property:P11) (For medieval German text, the titles used in the Verfasserlexikon are used. Other titles used by scholars should be given as alias.)
  • author (Property:P21)
  • author as (misleadingly) stated (Property:P20)
  • date
  • place of origin
  • language Property:P18
  • GND ID

online information (Property:P146)

Field of Knowledge and Topic/Object of Discourse

All fields of knowledge should have a P2 + Q76109 statement, all topics a P2 + Q23455 information in order to allow an easy check of new fields and topics against already existing items.


  • Michael Friedrich and Cosima Schwarke, Introduction – Manuscripts as Evolving Entities, in: Michael Friedrich and Cosima Schwarke (eds.), One-Volume Libraries: Composite and Multiple-Text Manuscripts (Studies in Manuscript Cultures 9), Berlin: De Gruyter 2016, p. 1–26, https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110496956-001.
  • Johan Peter Gumbert, Codicologische eenheden – opzet voor een terminologie (Mededelingen van de Afdeling Letterkunde, NF 67,2), Amsterdam 2004.
  • Johan Peter Gumbert, Codicological Units: Towards a Terminology for the Stratigraphy of the Non-Homogeneous Codex, in: Segno e Testo 2 (2004), S. 17–42.
  • Johan Peter Gumbert, Zur Kodikologie und Katalographie der zusammengesetzten Handschrift, in: Edoardo Crisci, Marilena Maniaci und Pasquale Orsini (Hg.), La descrizione dei manoscritti: esperienze a confronto, Cassino 2010, S. 1–18.