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].

manuscript items

Label and Description

Every manuscript item should be labeled with MS: Place, Libary, Shelfmark [MS: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Broxbourne 84.3]

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:Q5).

According to the format the manuscript is either a

  • codex (Item:Q19)
  • fragment (#new)
  • roll (#new)
  • single sheet (#new)

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

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

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

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

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

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) (DFG/HSC:Beschreibstoff)
  • collation (Property:P107) (DFG:Blattzahl; HSC: Umfang)
  • height (Property:P59) (DFG: first number in 'Format des Buchblocks'; HSC: first number in 'Blattgröße')
  • width (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.

  • date (Property:P106) instance of date of manuscript (Item:Q164750), with qualifier Property:P155(DFG/HSC:Entstehungszeit)
  • language (P18), should be instance of language (Q4) #new Items for all German dialect groups needed

online resources

checklist for online resources of medieval German manuscripts


  • 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.