Metadata Standards

The METAscripta project applies new cataloging standards for descriptive records of pre-modern manuscripts. Our crowd-sourced metadate template applies three primary facets to descriptive metadata - Context, Carrier, and Content. Please see below for our Glossary of descriptive terms arranged according to these facets. We also ask you to help us control the terms you use for each facet by linking as many as possible to authority files such as VIAF, Getty AAT, Geonames, etc. 

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View a RDF prototype of our METAscripta ontology

Read more about Linked Open Data

Context Glossary

Label Suggested Authority Definition
City GEO City of present location
Institution VIAF Institution where located
Repository VIAF Library or department where located
Shelfmark BAVdig Local identifier used by repository
Nickname N/A Name commonly used to refer to some well-known mss
Patron VIAF Person who commissioned ms, usually the first owner
Dedicatee VIAF Person to whom ms is dedicated
Provenance VIAF Name of later owner or institution
Insignia N/A Coats of arms, emblems, marks of ownership
Date acquired N/A Date acquired by present owner
Ex libris name VIAF Name of owner indicated by a book plate or inscription
Library Stamp N/A Stamp added to ms by library or repository
Binding RBMS Material, color, description of important decoration, name of binder, etc.
Frame or Mat N/A Indicate if matted or framed, previously or now
Bibliographic Reference WCAT Secondary literature about ms
MSS related by Context [When possible link to online records] Mss with historical relation (exemplar, copy, once bound together, etc. For sister mss, see Carrier)
Other Context Info N/A Notes pertaining to Context not included above
VFL Roll number META Microfilm roll in VFL collection
METAscripta Identifier META Unique identifier for digitized manuscript from VFL microfilm

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Carrier Glossary

Label Suggested Authority Definition
Century AAT Century of origin, e.g. 1300-1399
Date EDTF Date of origin, if known or by approximation
Country of origin GEO Country of origin, by present geography (Germany, not Holy Roman Empire)
City of origin GEO City of origin, by present geography (Istanbul, not Constantinople)
Format AAT Codex, scroll, roll, detached leaf, fragment, etc.
Extent N/A Number of folios, pages, membranes, etc.
Collation N/A Formula of construction, if known
Quires of mostly N/A General construction of quires, if known (quaternions, quinions, etc.)
Material Support AAT Parchment, paper, papyrus, etc.
Dimensions N/A Dimensions in millimeters of size of most leaves or membranes
Condition N/A Statement of physical condition, especially if known from examination of original
Number of lines N/A Number of lines per page
Column Layout N/A Number of columns
Rulings N/A Medium used for rulings
Prickings N/A Description of prickings if present
Script AAT Standard term used to identify script
Music Notation N/A Style of music notation (quadratic, hufnagel, etc.)
Scribe VIAF Name of scribe if known
Decoration AAT Brief description of decoration
Illustration ICON Brief description of illustration
Catch Words AAT Indication of catchwords, if present
Quire Signatures N/A Description of quire signatures, if present
Artist(s) ULAN or VIAF Name of artist(s) or illuminators
MSS related by Carrier [When possible link to online records] Sister leaves or mother codex of detached leaves; mss made by same artists or illuminators
Other Related Works [When possible link to online records] Other works related artistically or physically
Other Carrier Info N/A Notes pertaining to Carrier not included above

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Content Glossary

Label Suggested Authority Definition
Language LCML Predominant language of text
Author VIAF Main author of text
Translator VIAF Author of translation if applicable
Title VIAF Title of text--uniform or authorized titles help others find mss, peculiar transcriptions do not
Subject LCSH Authorized subject of text or type of text (Catholic Church, Liturgy; Islamic poetry--library records of similar materials are useful here)
Abstract N/A Brief description of contents
Table of contents N/A Outline of contents
Title page N/A Transcription of title page if present
Incipit [When possible link to online text file, e.g.] Transcription of first imporant text or text at beginning of ms
Prologue [When possible link to online text file, e.g.] Brief description of prologue
Dedication N/A Transcription of dedication
Rubrics N/A Transcription of important rubric(s)
Chant CAN Brief description of chant included
Gloss [When possible link to online text file, e.g.] Brief description of gloss if present
Colophon N/A Transcription of colophon if present
Explicit [When possible link to online text file, e.g.] Transcription of final text or text at end of ms
Marginal annotation N/A Description of notable marginal annotation
Other Text Additions N/A Description of texts added to ms
Other Content Info N/A  Notes pertaining to Content not included above
MSS related by Content [When possible link to online records] Mss related by text, as translations or other versions of same text

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