THL Toolbox > Tibetan Texts > Cataloging a Tibetan Text > Introduction to Cataloging System
Contributor(s): Than Grove
One of the important aspects of THL markup technology is the ability to catalog Tibetan texts in a deep way that collects information concerning several important aspects of the text. The markup scheme is based on an XML DTD developed by the THL in collaboration with the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH). The DTD is called TIBBIBL. This markup scheme focus on the following aspects about the text:
- Identification Information: These are the ID numbers assigned by THL and those from other sources such as the Library of Congress, etc.
- Physical Decription: This is description of the physical aspects of the text, including pagination, page size, type of script, etc.
- Intellectual Description: This is the description of the intellectual categories that govern the subject of this text
- Provenance: This is the information concerning the author, translator, editor, and other figures involved in the creation of the text
- Title Information: This is information concerning the various titles given to the text on the title page, title line, margins, at the end of each section, and so forth.
- Table of Contents: This is a list of the chapters with their number, title, and pagination
The TIBBIBL DTD was designed in such a way that documents created from it can be easily included within a TEI wrapper. This allows for the creation of a hierarchical scheme that maps the basic structure of a multi-volume, multi-text collection. Each edition of the collection is represented by a separate TEI-TIBBIBL document. In the Collected Tantras of the Ancients, the body of this text is then divided into sections that represent the doxography of Atiyoga, Anuyoga, and Mahāyoga (div1), but for other collections the doxographical division is optional. These are subdivided into volumes (div2), which are further subdivided into individual texts (div3). In the few situations, where texts break across volumes, the first half (stod cha) and the second half (smad cha) are cataloged as distinct texts for each has its own title page. The TIBBIBL records for each text are then included within these latter divisions (div3).
The actual cataloging of a collection has been simplified to allow it to be done in the field with the most easily accessible software, namely any word-processor that can create a table. We recommend the use of Microsoft Word, because this is the program in which our standard template was created and we have created conversion macros in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) that allow for the swift conversion of these Word tables into XML. However, the templates are also available in .rtf format and can be used in any word-processor that reads .rtf. It is, however, imperative for the conversion process that the table remain unaltered in format from entry to entry for the standard conversion to work. The entry templates and their corresponding XML files can be customized as long as they remain unchanged for each collection. However, a special XML template for the converter also needs to be created in such situations, as will be described below.
THL implements three basic styles of cataloging in its literature collections. The long catalog entry method allows for the recording of all the information described in the previous section including the table of contents and multiple text titles. The medium catalog entry method does not include the table of contents and many of the alternative text titles, such as those found at the end of chapters, but it still records number of “chapter level elements” (CLE) and colophonic information. The short catalog entry records only the basic cataloging information—text identification information, two versions of the title (long and short), pagination, and so forth. This allows for the collection to be cataloged progressively more quickly. Such medium and short catalog records can in the future be expanded into full catalog records, if desired.