Manuscripts, collections

In Pandit the Manuscript entity type represents a handwritten manuscript (on palm leaves or paper) or any fragment or piece thereof.

Assumptions and decisions

  • A manuscript entity can be stored in an institution entity. An institution entity is located in a site entity. The manuscript entity, however, is not necessarily located in the site of the institution in which it is stored, in cases when the institution has several branched that are located in several sites.
  • A manuscript entity can be collected in a collection entity. If the collection is current, the manuscript entity should also have a reference to the site entity where the collection is stored.

Identifiers and names

An identifier of a manuscript contains the information required to identify it. The identifier is either computed by the system or, in special cases, entered manually.

1. Computed identifier [BETA]

The identifier is computed using the formula:
MS [Site short name] [Institution short name] [Collection short name] [Position]

The system computes the identifier if, and only if, values are entered to ALL the following manuscript fields:

  1. Located in (site)
  2. Stored in (institution)
  3. Either Shelfmark or Accession number or Running number or Other number

Make an effort to fill all the three fields in bold, so that the system can indeed compute the identifier of the manuscript. If you don't, the system enforces you to supply a manual identifier value.


  • The [Position] part is only one value, the first that is entered, in this order: Shelfmark, Accession number, Running number, Other number.
  • If you enter a value in a position field (Shelfmark, Accession number, Running number, Other number) then both "Located in (site)" and "Stored in (institution)" must also be filled.
  • Entering a value in "Currently collected in" field is optional and is added to the computed identifier if given.
  • The prefix "MS" is added to the identifier, either for a computed identifier or to a manual one.
  • As always, before editing or adding a manuscript entity, you should make sure that all the needed entities that you would like to refer to already exist. The recommended order is : State, Site, Institution, Collection.

2. Manual identifier

If you do not supply values for all 3 fields, then you must supply a value in the "Manual identifier" field. Please use this field only if you have no other choice. If you are sure that the automatically-computed identifier is wrong, you may also supply a manual identifier - this will bypass the computing. (BETA note: if you think that the system actually SHOULD compute the identifier by the values you supply, please contact the managers so we can revise our computing rules).
Note: This field should be used only for the current identifier.

Other identifiers and names

  • Former identifier - This field is used in cases where the manuscript previously consisted a part of another collection, or, if it previously belonged to a collection that is not the one set in the "Currently collected in" field.
  • Alternative name - This field is used when you want to add a widely known name of a manuscript that is not a former identifier.

Type relationship

For the visual-oriented contributor, we supply here a part of the type diagram concerns only the explained above. This is done in order to let you both understand better the identifier computing logic and also to see the structure of a manuscript storage (for general explanation about relationships among types and how to read the diagram see Type relationships). Note that in this diagram we show not only the name of the type inside each box (above the line) but also its fields (its properties). For these entity types and relationships in their full context see Current class diagram.

Class diagram manuscript storage and naming


[State|*Name : text;Part of : state]->[State], [Site|*Name : text;*Short name : text;State : state (choose the most specific)], [Site]->State[State], [Manuscript|Identifier (computed) : text;Located in : site;Stored in : institution (most specific);Currently collected in : collection;Shelfmark : text;Manual name : text;Aka : text (many);Former identifier : text (many);Also collected in : collection;]->Currently collected in AND Also collected in[Collection], [Collection|*Name : text;*Short name : text;Located in : site (many);Stored in : institution (many)], [Collection]->Stored in[Institution|*Name : text;*Short name : text;Part of : institution;*Located in : site], [Collection]->Located in[Site], [Institution], [Institution]->Located in[Site], [Manuscript]->Stored in[Institution], [Manuscript]->Located in[Site], [Institution]->[Institution]

Extract kinds

  • Namaskāra phrase - Typically at the beginning of a manuscript.
  • Maṅgala passage - An auspicious verse, usually in praise of a deity.
  • Incipit - The beginning of the manuscript; use when not a namaskāra phrase or maṅgala passage.
  • Explicit - The final section of a text before the colophon; ; use when not a Colophon phrase or Post-colophon.
  • Colophon phrase - The phrase that signals the end of a division or of the text, often mentions the title and author (e.g., "thus ends the Campūrāmāyaṇa composed by Bhoja").
  • Post-colophon - The section following the colophon that usually contains the name of the scribe, the date, and the site where the manuscript was copied out.
  • Other - Any selection of text that might be prosopographically relevant but doesn't fit into the other kinds.

(Advanced) TEI - Exporting identifier to <msIdentifier> [Planned]

When time arrives, here is how we currently plan to export the data to conform with the TEI Manuscript identifier structure.

The word in bold (on the left) represents the TEI element. The wording following each element indicate where we take the data from, starting from the manuscript entity.

IF (Stored in (institution)->State has parent)
<country> = Located in (site)->State->Parent State->Name
<region> = Located in (site)->State->Name
<country> = Located in (site)->State->Name
(no region in this case)

<settlement> = Located in (site)->Name

<repository> = Stored in (institution)->Name

IF (Stored in (institution) has parent)
<institution> = Stored in (institution)->Parent institution->Name
<institution> = Stored in (institution)->Name (same value as repository)

<collection> = Collected in (collection)->Name

<idno> = Identifier
<altIdentifier> = Former identifier (plural)
<msName> = Alternative name (plural)