THL Toolbox > Tibetan Texts > Cataloging a Tibetan Text > Creating the Catalog
Contributor(s): THL Staff.
Cataloging the texts of a collection involves the following steps. These assume that one has determined a sigla for the edition by consulting a THL technologist. The steps then proceed as follows:
- Create a folder for the edition based on the sigla.
- Within that folder, create a folder for each volume of the collection. The folder names should be “v01”, “v02”, etc.
- Create a entry form template. To do this, take the desired entry form and enter all information that remains the same for all texts such as edition title, sigla, your identification, and the date. Then, use a copy of this for each text you catalog.
- Create a catalog entry for each text in each volume and save it in the appropriate volume folder. The file names for the catalog entries should be according to the formula: sigla.text number.bib.rtf. For example, Tb.004.bib.rtf. The text numbers should proceed sequentially throughout the catalog. Thus, if volume 1 ends with text 13, then volume 2 begins with text 14. The information entered in each form will be briefly described in the two sections below.
For some cataloging resources, see our Reference lists for Cataloging.
The short and medium forms and the conversion routines can be found in the Short & Medium Comprehensive Conversion Packet. This packet also contains an entry form particularly designed for the Peking Kangyur and Tengyur entry project. Each entry form has a corresponding XML template used by the converter. These use of these and the conversion process will be described in the corresponding section below. The following list represents the combined list of fields available in those three entry forms:
- date: This is the date that the cataloging was done. All dates should be entered in the YYYY-MM-DD format, e.g., 2005-05-13. For single digit months or days, place a zero before them.
- creator: This is the abbreviation that identifies you the cataloger. If do not have a THL participants page, you should contact THL and have one created. The ID that would go in this row.
- edition title: This is the Tibetan title of the edition in THL extended Wylie or Unicode Tibetan.
- edition title eng: This is the English translation of the edition title and should only be entered if you volume have an approved THL translation for the edition title.
- edition sigla: This is the 2- to 4-letter convenient abbreviation for the edition. These are not strictly IDs but are used for briefly referencing an edition in scholarly works. If you do not know the sigla for your edition, check the Sigla Authority File. If it is not listed there, please contact THL.
- text number: This is the sequential number of the text within the edition. It continues sequentially from volume to volume.
- volume number: This is the Arabic numeral that represents the number, e.g., 1, 2, 3, etc. Sometimes there are two types of volume number fields, bounded volume number and block volume number. This is for situations such as the Peking canon, which is a “western-style” reproduction of block-print pages containing several sides on one page. In such instances, “bounded volume number” refers to the bounded books volume number, while “block volume number” refers to the volume number of the block print. The same distinction between bound and block can apply to several fields and all paginations.
- volume letter: This is the Tibetan letter assigned to the volume, e.g., ka, kha, ga, etc.
- number in volume: This is the number of the text within the volume. This series starts anew at 1 with each volume.
- volume pagination: The pagination of the text within the volume. All paginations should be recorded as page.line. Multi-line entries should separate beginning and ending paginations by a dash. In such passages, both the beginning and the end paginations must list the page number even if the passage is on a single page. Thus, 245.4-245.7. The page number is determined by how the text identifies the pages. For texts with the Arabic number printed by each folio side, these are used, as in the previous example. In situations where only the Tibetan page number is given written out in the margins, then this is given in Arabic numerals with an “a” for the front side and a “b” for the back side, as in: 34a.6-34b.2.
- total sides: This is the total number of folio sides contained in the text, including the side the text starts on and the side it ends on.
- total CLEs: “CLE” stands for “chapter-level element”. A text is broken up into front sections (title page, title line, homage, promise to compose, etc.), body sections (chapters), and back sections (various types of colophons). As all of these are not chapters but structurally hold the same position as chapters, they are collectively called “chapter-level elements”, or “CLEs”. The total number of these are recorded here.
- front CLEs: This is the total number of CLEs in the front section from the beginning of the text until the beginning of chapter one. Generally, there is at least a title line and an homage, but in some situations the text begins right with chapter 1 in which case “0” is entered here.
- body CLEs: This is the number of chapters in the text. These have to be counted individually. Do not just go to the last chapter and use that number, because sometimes chapters are misnumbered or skipped leading to an erroneous last chapter number. If there are no distinct chapter breaks, then the whole body of the text is considered one chapter and the number “1” is entered here.
- name of chapters: This is the word used to designate the chapters. Generally, it is le'u. Sometimes, skabs. Check the end of each chapter for such lines as le'u sde dang po and so forth. Check each chapter as different names may be used after each one. If multiple names for the chapters are used, list them all separated by commas.
- back CLEs: This is the number of sections the follow the last chapter. They are usually initiated by the “Closing Section”, which either end in or consists entirely of the title of the text followed by a rdzogs so/.
- doxographical category: If the edition is organized by a doxographical scheme, then the name of the doxographical category that the text falls in is recorded here in either Extended Wylie or Unicode Tibetan.
- Indian scholar: If the text is a translation with a translator’s colophon, the name of the Indian scholar who assisted the translation (exactly as listed in the colophon) goes here. If this information is lacking, enter “Not specified.“
- Tibetan translator: If the text is a translation with a translator’s colophon, the name of the Tibetan translator who assisted the translation (exactly as listed in the colophon) goes here. If this information is lacking, enter “Not specified.“
- date translated: If the text is a translation with a translator’s colophon, the date of the translation (exactly as listed in the colophon) goes here. If this information is lacking, enter “Not specified.“
- place translatedIf the text is a translation with a translator’s colophon, the place of the translation (exactly as listed in the colophon) goes here. If this information is lacking, enter “Not specified.“
- trans source: The pagination of the translator’s colophon goes here.
- original language: The name of the original language of the text as listed either in the title line or in the translator’s colophon goes here as it is designated in the text. For instance, rgya gar skad.
- discussion: Any discussion or further information concerning the translation or original language of the text can go here. This is optional.
- normalized title: The normalized title is the title most commonly used in the culture to name the text. This should be determined through consultation of commentaries and Tibetans. If this is not know, then one should use the title page, title line, the closing section, or the text title given at the end of a chapter—in that order of precedence.
- normalized source: The source for the normalized title is listed here. This may be a Lama’s name, a commentary title and pagination, or the CLE name and pagination of the title, as in “Title Line, 34.4-35.2”.
- discussion: Any discussion concerning the normalized title goes here. This is optional.
- editor’s title: An editor’s title is usually given prior to the beginning of the text in smaller print like an annotation. If this occurs, it is entered here. Though it usually ends with a zhugs so/, the zhugs so/ is not included in what is entered. Only the title itself is entered. If there is no editor’s title, this is left blank.
- editor title source: This is the pagination of the editor’s title, if it exists. Otherwise, this is left blank.
- title line: This is the actually title line title of the text. The title line also usually ends with a zhugs so/. However, as above, the zhugs so/ is not included here. Only the title itself.
- title line pagination: This is the pagination of the title line title.
- non-Tibetan title: The non-Tibetan title is the title of translated texts given in Sanskrit, Chinese, or another non-Tibetan language. It is usually included within the title-line section prefaced by such introductions as “rgya gar skad du”.
- non-Tib pagination: This is the pagination of the non-Tibetan title.
- colophon: If there is a colophon for the text, the whole colophon is entered here. Either in Extended Wylie Transliteration or in Unicode Tibetan. Though there is a distinct typology of colophons used, in the medium entry form these are not distinguished but all colophonic information is included here.
- colophon pagination: This is the pagination of the whole colophon section entered in the previous row.
The full explanation of the entry form can be found in our Literature Collections Documentation
One of the most difficult aspects of cataloging a collection is determining what is a text, where it begins and ends, and what is a section. Though one might think it would be obvious, the boundaries are not always so clear. Our guidelines may be found in another section of the literature documentation. It is the section on Cataloging the Structure of a Text. One of our basic principles is in determining text boundaries is that generally the title line marks the beginning and the rdzogs so marks the end of a text.