ENRICHing Manuscript Descriptions with TEI P5

  1. 1. James C. Cummings

    Oxford University

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ENRICH is a pan-European eContent+ project led by the
Czech National Library, starting 1 December 2007, which
is creating a base for the European digital library of cultural
heritage (manuscript, incunabula, early printed books, and
archival papers) by the integration of existing but scattered
electronic content within the Manuscriptorium digital library
through the use of the metadata enrichment and coordination
between heterogeneous metadata and data standards. The
consortium brings together critical mass of content, because
the project groups together the three richest owners of
digitized manuscripts among national libraries in Europe
(Czech Republic, Iceland and Serbia as associated partners);
ENRICH partner libraries possess almost 85% currently
digitized manuscripts in the national libraries in Europe, which
will be enhanced by substantial amount of data from university
libraries and other types of institutions in terms of several
hundreds of thousands of digitized pages plus hundreds of
thousands of pages digitized by the partners through the
European Library data collections. When the project has
fi nished the consortium will make available more than an
estimated 5,076,000 digitized pages.
ENRICH <http://enrich.manuscriptorium.com/> builds
upon the existing Manuscriptorium platform <http://www.
manuscriptorium.com/> and is adapting it to the needs of
those organizations holding repositories of manuscripts.
The principle of integration is centralisation of the metadata
(descriptive evidence records) within the Manuscriptorium
digital library and distribution of data (other connected
digital documents) among other resources within the virtual
net environment. That is, the metadata of the manuscript
descriptions is aggregated in a single place and format to assist
with searching these disparate repositories, but the images and
original metadata records remain with the resource-holding
ENRICH target groups are content owners/holders, Libraries,
museums and archives, researchers & students, policy makers
and general interest users. The project allows them to search
and access documents which would otherwise be hardly
accessible by providing free access to almost all digitized
manuscripts in Europe. Besides images it also offers access
to TEI-structured historical full texts, research resources,
other types of illustrative data (audio and video fi les) or large
images of historical maps. The ENRICH consortium is closely
cooperating with TEL (The European Library) and will become
a component part of the European Digital Library when this
becomes reality.
Institutions involved in the ENRICH project include:
• National Library of Czech Republic (Czech Republic)
• Cross Czech a.s. (Czech Republic)
• AiP Beroun s r.o. (Czech Republic)
• Oxford University Computing Services (United Kingdom)
• Københavns Universitet - Nordisk Foskningsinstitut
• Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze National Library
in Florence (Italy)
• Università degli Studi di Firenze - Centro per la
comunicazione e l integrazione dei media Media
Integration and Communicaiton Centre Firenze(Italy)
• Institute of mathematics and informatics (Lithuania)
• University Library Vilnius (Lithuania)
• SYSTRAN S.A. (France)
• University Library Wroclaw (Poland)
• Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum (Iceland)
• Computer Science for the Humanities - Universität zu
Köln (Germany)
• St. Pölten Diocese Archive (Austria)
• The National and University Library of Iceland (Iceland)
• Biblioteca Nacional de Espana - The National Library of
Spain (Spain)
• The Budapest University of Technology and Economics
• Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (Poland)
Manuscriptorium is currently searchable via OAI-PMH from
the TEL portal, this means that any ENRICH full or associated
partner automatically enriches the European Digital Library.
The main quality of ENRICH and Manuscriptorium is the
application of homogeneous and seamless access to widespread
resources including access to images from the distributed
environment under a single common interface. ENRICH
supports several levels of communication with remote digital
resources, ranging from OAI harvesting of partner libraries
to full integration of their resources into Manuscriptorium.
Furthermore, ENRICH has developed free tools to assist in
producing XML structured digitized historical documents, and
these are already available and ready to use. However, the
existing XML schema refl ects the results of the now-dated
EU MASTER project for TEI-based manuscript descriptions. It
also incorporates other modern content standards, especially
in the imaging area. It is this schema that is being updated to
refl ect the developments in manuscript description available
in TEI P5. The internal Manuscriptorium format is based on
METS containerization of the schema and related parallel
descriptions which enables a fl exible approach needed by the
disparate practices of researchers in this fi eld.
The Research Technology Services section of the Oxford
University Computing Services is leading the crucial workpackage
on the standardization of shared metadata. In addition
to a general introduction to the project it is the progress of
this work-package which the proposed paper will discuss. This
work-package is creating a formal TEI specifi cation, based on
the TEI P5 Guidelines, for the schema to be used to describe manuscripts managed within Manuscriptorium. The use of
this specifi cation enables automatic generation of reference
documentation in different languages and the creation of a
formal DTD or Schemas as well as formal DTD or Schemas. A
suite of tools is also being developed to convert automatically
existing sets of manuscript descriptions, where this is feasible,
and to provide simple methods of making them conformant
to the new standard where it is not. These tools are being
developed and validated against the large existing base of
adopters of the Master standard and will be distributed free
of charge by the TEI.
The proposed paper will report on the development and
validation of a TEI conformant specifi cation for the existing
Manuscriptorium schema using the TEI P5 specifi cation
language (ODD). This involved a detailed examination of the
current schema and documentation developed for the existing
Manuscriptorium repository and its replacement by a formal
TEI specifi cation. This specifi cation will continue to be further
enhanced in light of the needs identifi ed by project participants
and the wider MASTER community to form the basis of a new
schema and documentation suite. The paper will report on the
project’s production of translations for the documentation in
at least English, French, Czech, German, as well as schemas to
implement it both as DTD and RELAXNG. The production of
these schemas and the translated documentation are produced
automatically from the TEI ODD fi le.
A meeting of representatives from other European institutions
who have previously used the MASTER schema has been
organized where the differences in how they have used the
schema will have been explored, along with their current
practice for manuscript description. The aim is to validate both
the coverage of the new specifi cation and the feasibility and
ease of automatic conversion towards it. The outputs from this
activity will include a report on any signifi cant divergence of
practice amongst the sample data sets investigated. The ODD
specifi cation will continue to be revised as necessary based
on the knowledge gained from the consultation with other
MASTER users. This will help to create an enriched version of
the preliminary specifi cations produced. Finally, software tools
are being developed to assist in conversion of sets of records
produced for earlier MASTER specifi cations, and perhaps
some others, to the new TEI P5 conformant schema. These
tools are being tested against the collection of datasets gained
from the participants of the meeting with other MASTER
users, but also more widely within the TEI community. OUCS
is also preparing tutorial material and discussion papers on
the best practice to assist other institutions with migration
existing MASTER material to the new standard. In this subtask
ENRICH is cooperating with a broader TEI-managed effort
towards the creation of TEI P5 migration documentation and
An OAI-PMH harvester is being implemented and incorporated
into Manuscriptorium. The fi rst step is to ensure that OAI/
PMH metadata is available for harvesting from all the resources
managed within Manuscriptorium. Appropriate software tools
to perform this harvesting are also being developed. Eventually,
the internal environment of Manuscriptorium will be enhanced
through implementation of METS containerization of the
Manuscriptorium Scheme. This will involve an assessment
of the respective roles of the TEI Header for manuscript
description and of a METSconformant resource description
and will enable different kinds of access to the resources
within the Manuscriptorium. This will help to demonstrate for
others the interoperability of these two important standards,
and in particular where their facilities are complementary.
Improvement and generalization of Unicode treatment in
Manuscriptorium is the fi nal part of the OUCS-led work
package. As Manuscriptorium is basically an XML system, all the
data managed is necessarily represented in Unicode. This could
cause problems for materials using non-standard character
encodings, for example where manuscript descriptions
quote from ancient scripts and include glyphs not yet part of
Unicode. The TEI recommendations for the representation of
nonstandard scripts are being used within ENRICH project
which is producing a suite of non-standard character and glyph
descriptions appropriate to the project’s needs.
The proposed paper is intended as a report on the work
done in the conversion and rationalization of manuscript
metadata across a large number of archives with disparate
practices. While it will introduce the project to delegates
at Digital Humanities 2008, it will concentrate on reporting
the the problems and successes encountered in the course
of these aspects of project. Although the overall project will
not be fi nished by the time of the conference, the majority
of the work in developing a suite of conversion tools will be
complete by this time and the paper will focus on this work.
As such, although it will detail work done by the author, it will
rely on work by project partners who although not listed as
authors here will be briefl y acknowledged in the paper where

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Conference Info


ADHO - 2008

Hosted at University of Oulu

Oulu, Finland

June 25, 2008 - June 29, 2008

135 works by 231 authors indexed

Conference website: http://www.ekl.oulu.fi/dh2008/

Series: ADHO (3)

Organizers: ADHO

  • Keywords: None
  • Language: English
  • Topics: None