On Collaboration and Building II: Digital Architecture and BL 35157

In order for a digital project to really live up to its potential–the possibilities it has over print–it has to include an infrastructure. We have already been working on creating structured data, but now we have to think about building a repository for that data.  As long as data is confined to a particular space–be it a book, laptop or even cloud service–it is accessible only through the entry points that medium makes available.

Many formats make it easy to access information, but difficult to put that information into relationship with other information. What is more, that information is largely from a single source (an author) and cannot be changed or updated as new information comes available, nor can it be altered by anyone other than the author.

That is the power of digital projects: by building an online architecture for your data, you make ongoing collaboration and community-sourced data possible.

Putting information online can range from a simple task, to the very complicated one of building a database, housing a server, and constructing a web interface from scratch.  Most large projects are on this scale.

But one need not have a giant NEH grant to start doing this in a rudimentary way.

For this project, I’m going to start by putting my manuscript data on github, a free, online data repository that allows you to “publish” your data in a rudimentary way that also allows for collaboration and sharing.

You can find this repository at https://github.com/ABSegler/PiersDatas .

 

 

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Within the repository, I’ll create new files.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 6.53.05 PM

MS descriptions in JSON can then be directly typed in, or copied from an existing file.

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Once this data is online, anyone can then reproduce the entire repository in his/her own github account by forking it.

 

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Or, to work collaboratively, one can create a Pull Request, that allows the generator of the data and other looking at or using it to communicate on it.  Dear Jane Doethis is where you come in.  When you notice that two texts are missing from the list of contents for a manuscript, make a pull request!

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 7.31.21 PM

 

Or, Jane, if you decide you want to work together on this, I can instead make you a collaborator, and then you can go in and write code, and add what’s missing yourself!

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Eventually, when all of the information has been coded, it will have to migrate, at least in part, to another format.  But in the mean time, this is a place where all the code can be online and interact-able while I’m still working on it.

From now on, code posts are going to include links to the encoded MS in my PiersMSS repository on github.

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.15.19 PM

The manuscript that I’ve encoded for today is exactly the kind of manuscript that one might need to collaborate on.

British Library Additional MS 35157 (hereafter BL35157) is one of the earliest manuscripts I looked at.  I wasn’t sure yet what I was looking for, or what I cared about seeing because I didn’t yet have an idea of what was significant in the Piers manuscripts.  As a result, my manuscript descriptions were incomplete, and my recording of the initials is not as thorough as it is in the case of other manuscripts.

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.28.36 PM

Some of these items I haven’t hunted down for any of the manuscripts (provenance, acquisition date, etc.); if I have some of this information, it just happened to come up in one of the many sources I made use of (Skeat, Kane, Schmidt descriptions or catalogues).

In other cases, I didn’t make notes of the general color of the support, its opacity, hair/flesh visibility, or texture, so I have just inserted the “average” quality.  It may have been unremarkable, and thus my insertion of 5 (on a scale of 1-10) for quality of folio edges or scripts may be accurate.  It is also possible that until I had looked at enough manuscripts, I didn’t know what “average” script quality was.  Nor did I know that the opacity of a support was interesting until I found one that wasn’t opaque, or wasn’t fully opaque.  Thus, every manuscript I looked at before it doesn’t have that reported.

Moreover, before I had a sense that there was a “typical” Piers mise-en-page, I didn’t take very close notes on passus markers or first lines.

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.19.04 PM

I have thus had to insert “null” for all aspects of the passus marker that I do not have notes on.  Perhaps I can go back and fill these in. Or perhaps someone else who has looked at BL 35157 can (and will!) help me to fill them in.

There are an infinite number of details that can be added to each of these manuscript descriptions, but that’s more than a lifetime’s work for one person.  If I waited until I had them all “complete,” you’d never see any of this information. Instead, I put what I have online, in the hopes that I–or you–will be able to complete it.

Completion, though, is communal.

The only way to fill in the data(base) with all the information is if an entire community invests in it.  This means that not only does a community of people come together to build it, but it becomes a central source of information for the community.

And on that note, I’m going to post the incomplete description of BL 35157 here and on github. Feel free to jump in.

{

“@context”: {

“foaf”:”http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/”,

“name”: {“@id”:”foaf:name”},

“MSshortHand”: {“@id”:”foaf:nick”},

“dcterms”: “http://purl.org/dc/terms/”,

“DateRange”: {“@id”: “dcterms:PeriodOfTime”},

“provenance”: {“@id”: “dcterms:provenance”},

“language”: {“@id”: “dcterms:language”},

“PhysicalObject”: “http://purl.org/dc/dcmitype/PhysicalObject“,

“PublishedEdition(s)”: {“@id”: “dcterms:BibliographicResource”},

“TEI”: “http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/ref-“,

“msDesc”: {“@id”: “TEI:msDesc.html”},

“msIdentifier”: {“@id”: “TEI:msIdentifier.html”},

“repository”: {“@id”: “TEI:repository.html”},

“msContents”: {“@id”: “TEI:msContents.html”},

“work”: {“@id”: “TEI:msItem.html”},

“title”: {“@id”: “TEI:title”},

“author”: {“@id”: “TEI:author.html”},

“DialectRegion”: {“@id”: “TEI:region.html”},

“publisher”: {“@id”: “TEI:publisher.html”},

“xsd”:”http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#”,

“date”: {“@id”: “xsd:date”},

“LALME”: “http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/ihd/elalme/elalme_frames.html”,

“IMEVid”: “http://www.dimev.net/Records.php?MSS=”,

“IMEPNo”: “UNLINKEDreference”,

“MEScribesid”: “http://www.medievalscribes.com/index.php?navoff&browse=manuscripts&id=”,

“MECompBib”: “http://quod.lib.umich.edu/h/hyperbib/”,

“MSSWMid”: “http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/mwm/browse?type=ms&id=”,

“PPEA”: “http://www3.iath.virginia.edu/seenet/piers/”,

“Zotero”:”https://www.zotero.org/groups/engl_534a_f12/items/collectionKey/84TX5UCF/itemKey/”

}

,

“@type”: “PhysicalObject”,

“MSshortHand”: “BL35157”,

“Github”: “https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ABSegler/PiersDatas/master/BL35157“,

“HoldingLocation”: “London, UK”,

“repository”: “British Library”,

“msIdentifier”: “Additional MS 35157”,

“OnlineExhibition”: “http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Add_MS_35157“,

“Olim.”: null,

“LALME”: null,

“LALMEGrid”: null,

“MEScribes”:419,

“MEScribesurl”: “http://www.medievalscribes.com/index.php?nav=off&browse=manuscripts&id=419“,

“MEScribesid”: {“@id”: “MEScribesid:419”},

“MSSOnline”: null,

“PPEA”: “Uc”,

“TEAMS”: null,

“IMEVNo”: 2460-12,

“IMEVid”: {“@id”: “IMEVid:BLAdd35157”},

“IMEVurl”: “http://www.dimev.net/Records.php?MSS=BLAdd35157“,

“MECompBib”: “http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/m/mec/hyp-idx?type=byte&size=First+100&byte=3808989&byte=4051706&ms=%3CMS%20REF%3D%22Oxford%2C%20Bodleian%20Library%2C%20Laud%20Misc.%22%3E%3CCITE%3E656%3C%2FCITE%3E%3C%2FMS%3E”,

“MSSWMid”: null,

“MSSWMidID”: null,

“DateRange”: 1400,

“Provenance”: null,

“AcquisitionDate”: null,

“Binding”:”leather 1728″,

“Material”: “Vellum”,

“SupportQuality”: 1,

“SupportColor”: “light, some yellowing”,

“SupportOpacity”:”good”,

“Hair-Flesh_Visibility”: “slight visibility”,

“Hair-Flesh_Coloration”: “slight visibility”,

“SupportTexture”: “average”,

“FolioEdgeQuality”: 5,

“Folios”: 119,

“Folio_Height_cm”:23,

“Folio_Width_cm”:15.5,

“Ruling”: true,

“LinesPP”: 32,

“Script”: “Anglicana formata”,

“ScriptQuality”: 5,

“ScriptFeatures”:[“gothicized Latin”],

“Baseline_cm”:null,

“Ascenders_cm”:null,

“Descenders_cm”:null,

“Scribe”: null,

“msContents”: [

{“No.”: 1,

“Title”: “Piers Plowman”,

“IMEVNo”: 2460-12,

“Folios”: “7r-124r”

},

{“No.”: 2,

“Title”: “Medical Recipes”,

“IMEVNo”:null,

“Folios”: “124v”

}

],

“NumberOfWorks”: 2,

“PositionOfPiers”: 1,

“PiersFolios”: 119,

“PiersPercentMS”: 95.4,

“PiersTextVariety”: “C”,

“LinesOfPiers”: 7350,

“DialectRegion”: {

“Locale”: “Northwest Worcestershire from a Southwest Worcestershire exemplar”,

“geometry”: {

“type”:”MultiPolygon”,

“coordinates”:[[[[-2.228851,52.284122],[-2.234344,52.316875],[-2.217865,52.35128],[-2.259064,52.390686],[-2.289276,52.440105],[-2.335968,52.430897],[-2.345581,52.411633],[-2.319489,52.391525],[-2.360687,52.373085],[-2.396393,52.378113],[-2.400513,52.367214],[-2.404633,52.35799],[-2.458191,52.361343],[-2.466431,52.348763],[-2.477417,52.321911],[-2.49939,52.319393],[-2.515869,52.329464],[-2.533722,52.337856],[-2.552948,52.329464],[-2.554321,52.310997],[-2.592773,52.302601],[-2.629852,52.304279],[-2.620239,52.291683],[-2.601013,52.29504],[-2.585907,52.281601],[-2.614746,52.258911],[-2.617493,52.249664],[-2.559814,52.25555],[-2.533722,52.262276],[-2.50351,52.263954],[-2.517242,52.279079],[-2.473297,52.292522],[-2.451324,52.292522],[-2.419739,52.275719],[-2.313995,52.279922],[-2.228851,52.284122]]]]

}

},

“MapRep”: {“type”:”Point”,”coordinates”:[-2.469175,52.325645]},

“Collation”: [“viii”,  “1-98, “1012 (lacks 4,6)”, “11-148“, “154“, “v”],

“PiersDecoration”:  [

“Border”:null,

“Initial”:null

],

“PassusMarkers”: [

{“I”: “fol. 7r”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: null,

“Line”: ““In…”},

{“W”: “fol. 10v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “passus primus”,

“Line”: “(W)…”},

{“A”: “fol. 11r”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: null,

“Line”: null},

{“A”: “fol. 14v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Passus secundus de visione vbi Pus”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“N”: “fol. 17v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “passus tercius de visione ut prius”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“S”: “fol. 25v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “passsus quartus de visione”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“T”: “fol. 28v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “passus quintus de visiones …pus”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“W”: “fol. 32r”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “passus sextus”,

“Line”: “???… “},

{“T”: “fol. 38v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “passus septimus”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“Q”: “fol. 43v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “passus octauus vt pud &c”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“T”: “fol. 49r”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “passus nonus ut primo”,

“Line”: “??…”},

{“T”: “fol. 54v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: null,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“T”: “fol. 59v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “passus primus de visione de dowell”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“A”: “fol. 64v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Passus sec.im duo dowell”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“A”: “fol. 68v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Passus t’cius de dowell”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“I”: “fol. 72v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Passus quartus de dowell vbi prims”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“A”: “fol. 76r”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Passus quintus & visione vt supra”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“A”: “fol. 81r”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Passus sextus de dowell”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“T”: “fol. 87v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Passus septimus de dowell & explicit”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“L”: “fol. 92v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Passus primus de dobet”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“I”: “fol. 97r”,

“HeightInLines”: 3,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Passus secundus de dobet & of”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“W”: “fol. 102v”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Passus tertius de dobet”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“T”: “fol. 110r”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Explicit dobet & incipit dobest”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“A”: “fol. 188r”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”: “Passus secundus de Dobest”,

“Line”: “…?”},

{“()”: “fol. 124r”,

“HeightInLines”: null,

“Color”: null,

“Filigree”: null,

“Rubric”:”explicit liber Docatus?? Pers Ploghman”,

“Line”: null}

],

“PublishedEdition(s)”: null

}

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