Describing manuscripts with TEI


To ensure broad access to our manuscript descriptions and adherence to standards, the Walters has adopted the TEI P5 guidelines for its manuscript cataloging. The TEI is a widely used international standard for the encoding and description of texts and documents of many types. We generate machine readable manuscript descriptions in XML format that comply with the TEI. This ensures that our manuscript descriptions will be available to a wide range of users and can be rendered in multiple output formats (such as PDFs, HTML web pages, and page turning applications).

TEI guidelines are broad and allow for the collection of extremely detailed manuscript descriptions. Only a subset of TEI has been selected for the Walters manuscripts. Use of the TEI has not shaped our cataloging goals or what data we collect, but rather has guided how that data is collected. For example, the TEI element for the date a manuscript’s origin, origDate, accepts a free text as its content, and the element that contains it has XML attributes that express a single date, @when or a date range, @notBefore and @notAfter, so that “early 10th Century C.E.” would be expressed thus:

<origin notBefore="0900" notAfter="0925">
  <origDate> early 10th Century C.E.</origDate>

Our practice was to collect numeric year values and a text value for the date of the manuscript. For Islamic world manuscripts, we use Common Era years for the attributes @when, @notBefore, and @notAfter, and a text date that gives both the Islamic hijri and the Common Era Gregorian dates:

<origin when="1777" xml:id="n211.067409">
    <origDate xml:id="n211.067410">16 Shawwāl 1191 AH / 1777 CE</origDate>

While it is possible to use multiple origDate elements for different calendars (Gregorian, Julian, Islamic, Hebrew, and so forth), for simplicity of data entry and consistency across western and Islamic manuscripts, we chose to use Gregorian years for the origin element and a single free text value for the origDate element.

We made decisions, like this one, throughout the design of our manuscript cataloging practice that provided human friendly information and also took advantage of the TEI’s ability to encode structured information that computers can use to do things like group manuscripts by their dates of origin, or linguistic content, or to locate the images belonging to a cataloged folio.

Manuscript texts are identified, and rubrics and incipits to manuscript items transcribed. Colophons are also recorded. Illuminated elements are identified, and inscriptions in them are transcribed and/translated.

Manuscript description data is collected via a custom web application called the Walters Electronic Cataloging Tool (WECT), The WECT is used for initial capture of base metadata, including Dublin Core metadata, required to generate a shot list for each item to be digitized by the imaging system. After imaging is complete, the initial metadata is expanded with full cataloging information for each manuscript.

Cataloging information is captured at three levels:

  1. Manuscript level: all information that applies the manuscript as a whole, including an abstract, physical dimensions and features of the manuscript, like size, extent, collation, and binding.

  2. Manuscript item level: all information that applies to the intellectual divisions of the book, including the titles of works, rubrics, incipits, colophons, layout information about the written surface.

  3. Manuscript piece level: all information for the items imaged (i.e., binding pieces, flyleaves, and folios), including item name, folio number, and, for illuminated pieces, detailed descriptions of the art work.

As noted above, manuscript piece cataloging focuses on illuminations and artistic elements.

Manuscript items belong to intellectual units of a manuscript. Most of the Islamic-world manuscripts have a single manuscript item. Manuscript W.589, “Two Works on Precious Stones” is a notable exception. The western manuscripts are often cataloged differently, having multiple manuscript items, usually belong to a parent item. How this works is described below under the section on Manuscript item level information.

Each cataloged manuscript piece is linked to a manuscript item.

The following sections discuss the cataloged information in detail. Each section discusses a field or group of fields, like shelf mark, abstract, extent, or author names, and what data they collect. Then, for users interested in technical details, this brief discussion is followed by a section detailing how those values are mapped to TEI elements.

Manuscript level information

General Information

The following information is provided:

  • Shelf mark, the Walters Art Museum shelf mark, for example: “W.589.”

  • Manuscript title, a descriptive title, which refers to the manuscript itself as an object, as opposed to the title of contained works. Examples:

    • Missal of Eberhard von Greiffenklau
    • Collection of prayers for the Prophet Muhammad
    • Koran
    • Gospels of Freising
  • Abstract, an abstract description of the manuscript. Example:

    • This manuscript is an illuminated copy of the popular work on the duties of Muslims toward the Prophet Muhammad known as al-Shifāʾ by ʿIyāḍ al-Yaḥṣubī (d. 544 AH / 1149 CE). According to the colophon, it was completed in 1191 AH / 1777 CE by Salīm al-Rashīd. The text is written in Turkish naskh script in black ink with incidentals in red and gold. The dark brown leather binding is contemporary with the manuscript.
  • Manuscript type, the form of the manuscript; one of: Album, Book, Roll, Single Leaf, or Single Leaves.


General information is mapped to the TEI in this way:

Shelf mark mapped to: idno:

  • /TEI/teiHeader/fileDesc/sourceDesc/msDesc/msIdentifier/idno


<sourceDesc xml:id="n211.067355">
  <msDesc xml:id="n211.067356">
    <msIdentifier xml:id="n211.067357">
      <settlement xml:id="n211.067358">Baltimore</settlement>
      <repository xml:id="n211.067359">The Walters Art Museum</repository>
      <idno xml:id="n211.067360">W.586</idno>
  <!-- ... -->

Manuscript title Mapped to: title[@type="common"]



<titleStmt xml:id="n211.067311">
  <title type="common" xml:id="n211.067312">Walters Ms. W.586,
      Work on the duties of Muslims toward the Prophet Muhammad
      with an account of his life</title>
  <title type="work" n="item 17" xml:id="n211.067313">al-Shifāʾ fī
      taʿrīf ḥuqūq al-Muṣṭafá</title>
  <title type="work-vernacular" n="item 17" xml:lang="ara"
      xml:id="n211.067314">الشفاء في تعريف حقوق المصطفى</title>
  <!-- ... -->

Abstract mapped to: note[@type="abstract"]



<notesStmt xml:id="n211.067353">
  <note type="abstract" xml:id="n211.067354">
    This manuscript is an illuminated copy of the popular work on
    the duties of Muslims toward the Prophet Muhammad known as
    al-Shifāʾ by ʿIyāḍ al-Yaḥṣubī (d. 544 AH / 1149 CE). According
    to the colophon, it was completed in 1191 AH / 1777 CE by
    Salīm al-Rashīd. The text is written in Turkish naskh script
    in black ink with incidentals in red and gold. The dark brown
    leather binding is contemporary with the manuscript.</note>

Manuscript type mapped to: objectDesc[@form]



<objectDesc form="book" xml:id="n211.067378">

Authors, Scribes and Artists

Complex name data is collected on each artist, scribe, or artist responsible for the production of a manuscript.

The fields are:

  • Authority name: when available, an authority name is collected and the authority recorded.

  • Name as written: when the name of the person is inscribed in the book, the name as written is given

  • Name as supplied: when the name of the person is supplied from some secondary source, the name as supplied is given

  • Name in vernacular script: when the name is written in non-Latin script, the vernacular script and language are given

  • Alternate name: another name under which the person may be known (e.g., Justinian the Great for Justinian I, Emperor of the East, 483?-565)

  • Name note: an explanatory note about the name as, for example, when the cataloger wishes to supply corrections to authority name dates


Author names mapped to: the author element.


Name types are specified using the name element @type attribute. The possible types are:

  • authority
  • as-written
  • supplied
  • vernacular
  • alternate_name1_type, alternate_name2_type, and alternate_name3_type
  • note

The vernacular script language is specified in the name@xml:lang attribute using the three-character ISO 639-2 bibliographic language code. A list of the codes is maintained at the Library of Congress.


<author xml:id="author_3">
  <name type="as-written" xml:id="n211.067315">
    Abū al-Faḍl ʿIyāḍ ibn Mūsá al-Yaḥṣubī al-Bāhilī
  <name type="supplied" xml:id="n211.067316">
    ʿIyāḍ al-Yaḥṣubī (d. 544 AH / 1149 CE)
  <name type="vernacular" xml:lang="ara" xml:id="n211.067317" >
    ابو الفضل عياض بن موسى اليحصبي الباهلي
  <name type="note" xml:id="n211.067318">
     Author name supplied by cataloger

Scribes and artists mapped to: the respStmt element.


The role, scribe or artist, is specified in the contained resp elements. Scribe and artist names are marked up in the same way as author names.


<respStmt xml:id="scribe_4">
  <resp xml:id="n211.067319">scribe</resp>
  <name type="as-written" xml:id="n211.067320">
    Salīm al-Rashīd
  <name type="vernacular" xml:lang="ara" xml:id="n211.067321">
    سليم الرشيد

Each author, scribe, and artist is assigned a unique @xml:id, like author_12, scribe_234, artist_600, a combination of the creator’s type and an integer, which is the creator’s database identifier.


The primary and secondary languages of the manuscript’s text.

ISO 639-2 languages codes and English names are used for the text language. A main language is required for the manuscript, even for manuscripts without linguistic content, in which case ISO 639-2 code zxx No linguistic content; Not applicable is used. Any number of secondary languages may be used.


Mapped to: textLang



<textLang mainLang="per" otherLangs="ara" xml:id="n273.001652">
  The primary language in this manuscript is Persian. The
  secondary language of this manuscript is Arabic.


The support material and brief description of the support.

The support material is one of paper, papyrus, or parchment.


Support material mapped to: supportDesc[@material]


Support description mapped to: support/p



<supportDesc xml:id="n211.067379" material="paper">
  <support xml:id="n211.067380">
    <p xml:id="n211.067381">Laid paper</p>
  <!-- ... -->


The following information is provided:

  • Extent formula, e.g., “Foliation: ii+243+ii”
  • Extent comments
  • Page height and width in centimeters
  • Written surface height and width in centimeters, taken at the level of the manuscript item

Formula mapped to: extent


Page dimensions mapped to: dimensions[@type='leaves']


Written surface dimensions mapped to: dimensions[@type='written']



<extent xml:id="n211.067382">Foliation: ii+243+ii
  <dimensions type="leaves" xml:id="n211.067383">
    <height unit="cm" xml:id="n211.067384">18.0</height>
    <width unit="cm" xml:id="n211.067385">10.5</width>
  <dimensions type="written" n="item 17" xml:id="n211.067386">
    <height unit="cm" xml:id="n211.067387">11.5</height>
    <width unit="cm" xml:id="n211.067388">5.5</width>

Comments mapped to: foliation



<foliation xml:id="n347.164824">
  Modern pencil foliation is followed rather than the fifteenth
  century foliation at center top margin of rectos. The gap in
  this latter foliation reveals the loss of seven leaves between
  present folios 24 and 25, which contained chapters 13 and 14 by
  Daniels' numeration. These evidently preceded his chapter 12 in
  our manuscript.

Note that dimensions[@type='written'] references msItem[@n='item 17'] via @n.


The following collation information is collected.

  • Collation formula
  • Catchwords
  • Signatures
  • Comments

Collation information mapped to the TEI in this way:

Formula mapped to: collation/formula


Catchwords mapped to: collation/catchwords


Signature mapped to: collation/signatures


Comments mapped to: collation/p



<collation xml:id="n347.164825">
    <p xml:id="n347.164826">
      <formula xml:id="n347.164827">
        i, 1-9 (8), 10 (6), 11-20 (8), 21 (7), i
      <catchwords xml:id="n347.164828">
        catchwords trimmed but visible in the lower margin of the
        verso of the last leaf of the quire
      In the last quire, the first two leaves are hinged together
      and attached to the last leaf. This last leaf is a later
      substitute on different vellum and in a smaller script of
      the missing end of chapter 34 of Daniels' edition.


The status and a brief description of the manuscript’s binding.

Status is one of ‘original’, ‘non-original’, ‘unknown’, and ‘none’. Status ‘unknown’ is used for those manuscripts that have a binding that cannot be determined to original or non-original. Status ‘none’ is used for loose leaves and manuscripts that lack any sort of cover. Manuscripts that have any sort of cover (such as a case) are said to have a binding.


Binding status mapped to: binding[@contemporary] as follows:

Status binding[@contemporary]
original true
non-original false
unknown unknown
none inapplicable


Binding description mapped to: binding/p



<bindingDesc xml:id="n211.067405">
  <binding contemporary="true" xml:id="n211.067406">
    <p xml:id="n211.067407">
      Dark brown leather (with flap); lobed central oval with
      cornerpieces and borders; doublures of red leather with
      gold-painted ovals and cornerpieces


History comprises information about the manuscript’s date and place of origin, provenance episodes, and acquisition. The following values are collected.

  • Date of origin: a single year, or range of years
  • Date of origin text: the manuscript’s origin expressed as free text
  • Place of origin
  • Provenance Episodes: a series of episodes recounting the manuscript’s history
  • Acquisition

Numerical date(s) of origin mapped to: origin[@when] for single years and origin[@notBefore] and origin[@notAfter] for date ranges


Date of origin text mapped to: origDate


Place of origin mapped to: origPlace


Provenance episisodes mapped to: sequential provenance elements


Acquisition mapped to: acquisition



<history xml:id="n348.045102">
  <origin notBefore="0875" xml:id="n348.045103" notAfter="0899">
    <origDate xml:id="n348.045104">
      Last quarter of the 9th century
    <origPlace xml:id="n348.045105">
      Freising, Germany
  <provenance xml:id="n348.045106">
    Created in Freising, Germany, ca. 865-75
  <provenance xml:id="n348.045107">
    Germany, nineteenth century (judging from first set of
  <provenance xml:id="n348.045108">
    Leon Gruel and Robert Engelmann, Paris, late nineteenth-early
    twentieth century, no. 78
  <provenance xml:id="n348.045109">
    Henry Walters, Baltimore, MD, February 19, 1917
  <acquisition xml:id="n348.045110">
    Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest

Genre and keywords

Selected genres and keywords for the manuscript.

Genre is one or more of:

  • Astrological
  • Devotional
  • Historical
  • Legal
  • Literary – Poetry
  • Literary – Prose
  • Liturgical
  • Philosophical
  • Scientific
  • Scientific – Medical
  • Scriptural
  • Sufi
  • Theological

Keywords fall into the categories:

  • Subject terms (e.g., Astrology, Devotion, Science)
  • Book identification terms (e.g., Genealogy, Prayer, Koran, Antiphonary)
  • Geographical terms
  • Cultural terms (e.g., Byzantine, Persian, Mughal)
  • Descriptive terms (e.g., Treasure Binding, Ornament, Textura)


The full set of genres is listed under taxonomy[@xml:id='genres']


Each genre mapped to: catRef[@scheme='#genres']



The full set of keywords is listed under taxonomy[@xml:id='keywords']


Each keyword mapped to: keywords/list/item



<profileDesc xml:id="n348.045288">
    <textClass xml:id="n348.045291">
        <catRef scheme="#genres" target="#genre_3" xml:id="n348.045292"/>
        <keywords scheme="#keywords" xml:id="n348.045293">
            <list xml:id="n348.045294">
                <item xml:id="n348.045295">Christian</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045296">Codex</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045297">Illumination</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045298">Manuscript</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045299">Miniature</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045300">Painting</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045301">Scripture</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045302">Walters Art Museum</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045303">German</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045304">Carolingian</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045305">Gospels</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045306">Germany</item>
                <item xml:id="n348.045307">Carolingian Minuscule</item>

In the above example, catRef[@target='#genre_3'] refers to

<taxonomy xml:id="genres">
  <!-- ... -->
  <category xml:id="genre_3">
      <catDesc xml:id="n348.045277">Scriptural</catDesc>
  <!-- ... -->


A list of bibliographic entries this manuscript.


mapped to: listBibl/bibl



 <listBibl xml:id="n211.067414">
   <head xml:id="n211.067415">Relevant Works</head>
   <bibl xml:id="n211.067416">
     Brockelmann, Carl. Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (New
     York; Köln: E.J. Brill, 1996), 1: 455, S1: 630.

Manuscript item level information

As noted above, the manuscript item is an intellectual unit within a single manuscript. Our cataloging policy is to make as few divisions as possible within a manuscript and the granularity of those divisions is determine based on codicological standards for the manuscript type and on project cataloging goals. A Koran, for example, will have a single manuscript item, while a gospel book with a number of items in addition to the gospels will have one item containing all four gospels and one item each for the supplementary sections.

Sometimes, a manuscript will have two or more major divisions, each with smaller subdivisions. For manuscripts that have subdivisions, a parent manuscript item, like Gospel Book is created, which contains several child items, like List of readings for the liturgical year, Jerome’s prologue to the Gospels (Plures fuisse), etc.

This method allows catalogers to note features associated with the mansucript item that apply to the larger manuscript item, like text block size, columns, and rulings, and then note divergent features or features particular to a child item.

A note on the TEI msItem element

Each msItem is assigned an @n which is used to identify it and link it to other elements in the TEI. The @n value is the word “item” followed by an arbitrary number assigned to that msItem, as shown in the following fragment.

<msItem xml:id="n348.044941" n="item 169">
   <locus from="1r" to="215v" xml:id="n348.044942">fols. 1r - 215v</locus>
   <title type="work" xml:id="n348.044943">Gospel Book</title>
   <incipit xml:lang="lat" xml:id="n348.044944">
      Incipiunt capitula lectionum evangelii
   <note type="text" xml:id="n348.044945">Complete.</note>
   <msItem xml:id="n348.044946" n="item 136">
     <locus from="1r" to="18v" xml:id="n348.044947">fols. 1r - 18v</locus>
      <title type="work" xml:id="n348.044948">
         List of readings for the liturgical year
      <incipit xml:lang="lat" xml:id="n348.044949">
         Incipiunt capitula lectionum evangelii
      <note type="text" xml:id="n348.044950">
         Complete; List of pericopes for the liturgical year
   <!-- ... -->

Notice that msItem @n="item 169" Gospel Books, contains msItem @n="item 136" List of readings for the liturgical year.

Elsewhere in the same TEI file, other elements that document the characteristics of an msItem will use the same @n attribute. For example, the following dimensions element, under manuscript’s extent description, documents the size the text block of item 169:

<dimensions type="written" xml:id="n348.044985" n="item 169">
   <height unit="cm" xml:id="n348.044986">12.0</height>
   <width unit="cm" xml:id="n348.044987">7.5</width>

Manuscript item title

As a matter of policy a manuscript is given a descriptive title. In order to emphasize the manuscript as a unique object, the manuscript is the name of the object, and not necessarily of the work or works in the manuscript. For this reason, W.589 is called Two Works on Precious Stones, and W.4 is called Gospels of Freising.

Work titles are given at the level of the manuscript item. The first work in W.589 is Sirr al-asrār fī maʿrifat al-jawāhir wa-al-aḥjār and is given as the title of the first manuscript item of W.589. The second work is Kitāb al-aḥjār which is the title of the second manuscript item of W.589.

The manuscript item title fields are:

  • Title, as written or supplied: the work title in Latin script
  • Title, in vernacular script: the work title in vernacular script (e.g., in Greek or Arabic script)
  • Title vernacular language: the language of the vernacular title (e.g., Arabic, Persian, Ethiopic)
  • Detailed notes: cataloger supplied information about the title

The work title appears under the TEI msItem and as part of the fileDesc/titleStmt as a ‘work’ or ‘work-vernacular’ title and linked to the msItem via the @n attribute.

Under msItem the title fields are mapped as follows.

Title as written or supplied mapped to: msItem/title[@type='work']


Title in vernacular script mapped to msItem/title[@type='work-vernacular']


Title in vernacular script language mapped to: msItem/title/@lang


Detailed notes mapped to: title/note[@type='title']



<msContents xml:id="n7.118021">
  <!-- ... -->
  <msItem xml:id="n7.118023" n="item 12">
    <!-- ... -->
    <title type="work" xml:id="n7.118025">
      Sirr al-asrār fī maʿrifat al-jawāhir wa-al-aḥjār
    <title type="work-vernacular" xml:lang="ara" xml:id="n7.118026">
      سر الاسرار في معرفة الجواهر والاحجار
    <title xml:id="n7.118027">
      <note type="title" xml:id="n7.118028">
        Title given in preface and titlepiece (fol. 1a); a later
        hand inscribed the title on front flyleaf iia: Kitāb
        al-asrār fī khawāṣṣ al-jawāhir wa-aḥjār
    <!-- ... -->
  <!-- ... -->

Under the fileDesc/titleStmt the title values are repeated and linked to the appropriate msItem via the @n attribute. The titles have the same @n attribute as the msItem.

Title as written or supplied mapped to: title[@type='work']


Title in vernacular script mapped to: title[@type='work-vernacular']


Title in vernacular script language mapped to: title/@lang


Detailed notes mapped to: title/note[@type='title']



Walters Ms. W.589, Two works on precious stones Sirr al-asrārfī maʿrifat al-jawāhir wa-al-aḥjār سر الاسرار في معرفة الجواهر والاحجار <note xml:id='n7.117974' type='title'> Title given in preface and titlepiece (fol. 1a); a later hand inscribed the title on front flyleaf iia: Kitāb al-asrār fī khawāṣṣ al-jawāhir wa-aḥjār </note>

Notice that this repeats the titles from the previous example and shows the linking to the msItem elements using @n.

Manuscript item description

The manuscript item’s rubric, incipit, and loci.

The fields are:

  • Rubric
  • Rubric language
  • Incipit
  • Incipit language
  • Loci the folio numbers for the item’s locus with in the manuscript

Rubric mapped to: rubric


Rubric language mapped to: rubric/@xml:lang



<rubric xml:lang="dut" xml:id="n397.220724">Januarius</rubric>

Incipit mapped to: incipit


Incipit language mapped to: incipit/@xml:lang



<incipit xml:lang="per" xml:id="n289.171596">الهى خنده ام را نالكى ده ...</incipit>

Locus mapped to: msItem/locus


Locus from mapped to: msItem/locus/@from


Locus to mapped to: msItem/locus/@to



 <locus from="1b" to="21b" xml:id="n289.171593">fols. 1b - 21b</locus>

Authors, scribes, and artists

Author, scribe, and artist information is entered at the manuscript level. At the manuscript item level authors, scribes, and artists are assigned to items. This allows for a single list of manuscript creators to be assigned to any number of manuscript items in any number of ways.

For each manuscript item, WECT users are shown a list of all the manuscript’s authors, scribes, and artists. Under each category, the user checks each creator that belongs to that manuscript item. For parent manuscript items, users select the responsible party on the parent item if possible, and on the child item only when needed.


Manuscript item level authors, scribes and artists are linked to manuscript level author and respStmt elements using the @sameAs attribute pointing to the creator’s @xml:id in the titleStmt.

Author mapped to: msItem/author/@sameAs



<msItem n="item 34" xml:id="n289.171592">
  <!-- ... -->
  <author sameAs="#author_177" xml:id="n289.171597"/>
  <!-- ... -->

Scribe and artist mapped to: msItem/respStmt/@sameAs



<msItem n="item 34" xml:id="n289.171592">
  <!-- ... -->
  <respStmt sameAs="#scribe_178" xml:id="n289.171598">
      <resp xml:id="n289.171599">scribe</resp>
      <name xml:id="n289.171600"/>
  <respStmt sameAs="#artist_226" xml:id="n289.171601">
      <resp xml:id="n289.171602">artist</resp>
      <name xml:id="n289.171603"/>
  <!-- ... -->

Notice that each respStmt has resp and name elements. The resp identifies the role. The name is required by the TEI and is given as empty, since its value is that same as its referent.


The following colophon information is provided when available.

  • Locus as a single folio or range
  • Colophon in transliteration
  • Colophon in vernacular script, with vernacular language
  • Colophon translated
  • Description

Colophon mapped to: msItem/colophon


Colophon locus mapped to: locus/@from and, if locus is has a range, locus/@to



Colophon in transliteration mapped to colophon/note[@type='colophon-transliterated']


Colophon in vernacular script mapped to colophon/note[@type='colophon-vernacular']


Colophon translated mapped to colophon/note[@type='colophon-translated]


Description mapped to: colophon/note[@type='colophon-comment']



<colophon xml:id="n289.171604">
  <locus from="21b" xml:id="n289.171605"/>
  <note type="colophon-transliterated" xml:id="n289.171606">
    Aḥqar ʿibād Allāh ibn Sayyid Murād al-Ḥusaynī bar sabīl-i
    yādkārī /1/ bi-jihat-i mānī al-zamānī afz̤al al-muṣavvirīn
    Ustād Muḥammad /2/ ʿAlī Naqqāsh-i Mashhadī marqūm qalam-i
    shikastah /3/ raqm kardānīd taḥrīran ghurrah-i Ṣafar sanat
    1068 /4/
  <note type="colophon-translated" xml:id="n289.171607">
    The most lowly servant of God ibn Sayyid Murād al-Ḥusaynī
    copied it with a broken pen as a souvenir for the Mani of the
    time, the most excellent of painters, master Muḥammad ʿAlī,
    the painter from Mashhad. It was copied in the first of the
    month of Safar in the year 1068 [November 1657].
  <note type="colophon-comment" xml:id="n289.171608">
    Gives the name of the calligrapher, the painter, and the date
    of completion of the copy

Text features

A list of item content and a note on the text.

A contents list might be:

  • “Fol. 10r: [Prologue to Matthew] Matheus ex iudea sicut [Stegmüller 590]; fol. 11r: [29 Chapter list to Matthew] Nativitas Christi. Magi cum muneribus; Fol. 16r: Initium sancti evangelii secundum matheum; Matthew; fol 64r: [Prologue to Mark] Marcus evangelista dei et petri [Stegmüller 607]; fol. 64v: [13 Chapter list to Mark] De iohanne baptista et victu; fol. 68r: Mark; Fol. 101r: [Prologue to Luke] Lucas syrus antiocensis arte medicus [Stegmüller 620]; fol. 102r: [22 Chapter list to Luke] Zacharias uiso angelo quia; fol. 108r: Luke; fol. 159v: [Prologue to John] Hic est iohannes evangelista unus ex discipulus [Stegmüller 624]; fol. 160r [13 Chapter list to John] Phariseorum levitae interrogant; fol. 162: John.”

Text notes include:

  • “Text begins abruptly; no continuous narration from one leaf to another, implying that the leaves were selected and bound at random.”
  • “Entire text in one volume; insertions in text on fols. 30b, 39b, 63b, 112a, 121a, 129a, and 179a; corrections on fols. 4b, 25a, and 51a”
  • “Incomplete; only contains incipit pages for Luke, fols. 1v-2v; incipits for John, fols. 3v-4v”
  • “Complete”

Contents mapped to: msItem/note[@type='contents']



<msItem n="item 168" xml:id="n352.014699">
  <note type="contents" xml:id="n352.014702">
    Fol. 10r: [Prologue to Matthew] Matheus ex iudea sicut
    [Stegmüller 590]; fol. 11r: [29 Chapter list to Matthew]
    Nativitas Christi. Magi cum muneribus; Fol. 16r: Initium
    sancti evangelii secundum matheum; Matthew; fol 64r: [Prologue
    to Mark] Marcus evangelista dei et petri [Stegmüller 607];
    fol. 64v: [13 Chapter list to Mark] De iohanne baptista et
    victu; fol. 68r: Mark; Fol. 101r: [Prologue to Luke] Lucas
    syrus antiocensis arte medicus [Stegmüller 620]; fol. 102r:
    [22 Chapter list to Luke] Zacharias uiso angelo quia;
    fol. 108r: Luke; fol. 159v: [Prologue to John] Hic est
    iohannes evangelista unus ex discipulus [Stegmüller 624];
    fol. 160r [13 Chapter list to John] Phariseorum levitae
    interrogant; fol. 162: John.

Text note mapped to: msItem/note[@type='text']



<msItem xml:id="n347.164808" n="item 85">
  <note type="text" xml:id="n347.164812">
    References in this description of the text are to Daniels'
    edition of 1939. The text lacks the prologue, and chapters 13
    and 14, and is incomplete at the end, lacking chapters
    35-57. The order of chapters 23-24 is inverted.


Information about the layout of this manuscript item.

When parent and child items are present, parent layout features are assumed unless different information is provided for the child item.

The following values are given.

  • Written surface dimensions, height and width
  • Number of layout columns, a single value or min and max values
  • Number of ruled lines per folio, a single value or min and max values
  • Layout description

Written surface dimensions mapped to: extent/dimensions and linked to the msItem by the @n attribute; dimensions @type is written (extent/dimensions[@type='written']/@n).


Height and width mapped to: dimensions/height and dimensions/width.




<extent xml:id="n211.067382">Foliation: ii+243+ii
  <dimensions type="leaves" xml:id="n211.067383">
    <height unit="cm" xml:id="n211.067384">18.0</height>
    <width unit="cm" xml:id="n211.067385">10.5</width>
  <dimensions type="written" n="item 17" xml:id="n211.067386">
    <height unit="cm" xml:id="n211.067387">11.5</height>
    <width unit="cm" xml:id="n211.067388">5.5</width>

Layout information mapped to: layoutDesc/layout;



<layoutDesc xml:id="n211.067392">
  <layout n="item 17" columns="1" xml:id="n211.067393"
    Framing lines in gold, red, and black

Hand description

Description of scripts and hands in the manuscript.

When parent and child items are present, parent hand description is assumed unless different information is provided for the child item. As a rule script information precedes information about individual hand information in any hand note.


Hand and script information mapped to: handDesc\handNote and linked to the msItem by the @n attribute.



<handDesc xml:id="n347.001793">
  <handNote xml:id="n347.001794" n="item 85">formal gothic bookhand</handNote>


A general comment on the manuscript decoration at the manuscript item level (as opposed to the folio level).

Illuminated folios are cataloged individually. Manuscript item decoration comments are made where folio level comments are not appropriate.


Example one:

<decoDesc xml:id="n211.067396">
  <decoNote n="item 17" xml:id="n211.067397">
    Illuminated headpiece; framing lines in gold, red, and black
  <!-- ... -->

Example two:

<decoDesc xml:id="n289.171628">
  <decoNote n="item 34" xml:id="n289.171629">
    Eight miniatures (fols. 5a, 9a, 10b, 13a, 14a, 16a, 17b, and
    19b); illuminated incipit with headpiece (fol. 1b);
    illuminated tailpiece with colophon (fol. 21b); interlinear
    illumination; framing lines in blue, gold, and red; small
    rectangular and triangular pieces with polychrome floral and
    scrolling vine motif on gold ground on text pages
  <!-- ... -->

Manuscript piece level information


Cataloging of the manuscript piece’s decoration.

The information includes:

  • Title: a title for the piece; e.g., “Illuminated incipit with headpiece,” “Youth confesses his falling in love to his father”

  • Text Identifier: identification of the associated text; e.g., “Sūz va gudāz (Burning and melting)”, “Chapter 1”, “Opening of Matthew’s Gospel”

  • Form: the form of the decoration; e.g., “Incipit”, “Full-page miniature”, “Historiated initial D, 14 lines, with marginal illustrations”

  • Label: label text describing this describing; e.g.,”This illuminated incipit with headpiece bears the basmalah in the lower rectangle.”

  • Inscriptions: a description of inscriptions on this piece; e.g., “Inscription reads: “Holy Bishop Nicolaus.” Scs. Nicolaus eps.”

  • Iconography: a description of the iconography on this piece; e.g., “The image comprises two scenes that illustrate separate events: Luke 24:12 (in the foreground) and Luke 24:15-17 (in the background). The village of Emmaus is in the upper left corner.”

  • Style: a comment on the style of the decoration on this piece

  • Comment: a general comment on the piece’s decoration; e.g., ” While the composition of this miniature dates to 10th century AH / 16th CE, elements of the illustration were repainted in the 13th century AH / 19th CE.”


A note on linking: All manuscript piece-level cataloging is given in the TEI decoNote element. Recall that at the item level, the item decoNote is linked to the corresponding msItem via the @n attribute (e.g., <decoNote n="item 17">...</decoNote>). The manuscript piece decoNote uses the @n to link it to the corresponding facsimile/surface element which links the TEI to the piece’s images.

Title mapped to: decoNote/title


Text identifier mapped to: decoNote/note[@type="text-identifier"]


Form mapped to: decoNote/note[@type="decoration-form"]


Label mapped to: decoNote/note[@type="decoration-label"]


Inscriptions, iconography, style, and comment mapped to: decoNote/note[@type="decoration-comment"]


Note: Each of inscriptions, iconography, style, and comment is intended to be a separate paragraph in a single multi-paragraph comment on the piece’s decoration. Each of the paragraphs is optional.


<decoNote xml:id="n468.133949" n="fol. 5v">
  <title xml:id="n468.133950">
    Canon Table with Isaiah
  <note type="text-identifier" xml:id="n468.133951">
    Canons 2 and 3
  <note type="decoration-form" xml:id="n468.133952">
    Full-page miniature
  <note type="decoration-comment" xml:id="n468.133953">
    <p xml:id="n468.133954">Isaiah holds a scroll reading "Behold
    a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call"
    Isaiah 7:14</p>


Each manuscript is accompanied by images of each of its parts, including the binding. All images are listed in the manuscript’s TEI file’s facsimile section, as shown here:

<facsimile xml:id="n7.118265">
  <surface xml:id="n7.117421" n="Upper board outside">
    <graphic url="master/W589_000001_1050.tif" xml:id="n7.117422"/>
    <graphic url="300/W589_000001_300.tif" xml:id="n7.117423"/>
    <graphic url="sap/W589_000001_sap.jpg" xml:id="n7.117424"/>
    <graphic url="thumb/W589_000001_thumb.jpg" xml:id="n7.117425"/>
  <surface xml:id="n7.117426" n="Upper board inside">
    <graphic url="master/W589_000002_993.tif" xml:id="n7.117427"/>
    <graphic url="300/W589_000002_300.tif" xml:id="n7.117428"/>
    <graphic url="sap/W589_000002_sap.jpg" xml:id="n7.117429"/>
    <graphic url="thumb/W589_000002_thumb.jpg" xml:id="n7.117430"/>
  <surface xml:id="n7.117431" n="Front flyleaf ia flap closed">
    <graphic url="master/W589_000003_936.tif" xml:id="n7.117432"/>
    <graphic url="300/W589_000003_300.tif" xml:id="n7.117433"/>
    <graphic url="sap/W589_000003_sap.jpg" xml:id="n7.117434"/>
    <graphic url="thumb/W589_000003_thumb.jpg" xml:id="n7.117435"/>
  <surface xml:id="n7.117436" n="Front flyleaf ia">
    <graphic url="master/W589_000004_525.tif" xml:id="n7.117437"/>
    <graphic url="300/W589_000004_300.tif" xml:id="n7.117438"/>
    <graphic url="sap/W589_000004_sap.jpg" xml:id="n7.117439"/>
    <graphic url="thumb/W589_000004_thumb.jpg" xml:id="n7.117440"/>
  <surface xml:id="n7.117441" n="Front flyleaf ib">
    <graphic url="master/W589_000005_525.tif" xml:id="n7.117442"/>
    <graphic url="300/W589_000005_300.tif" xml:id="n7.117443"/>
    <graphic url="sap/W589_000005_sap.jpg" xml:id="n7.117444"/>
    <graphic url="thumb/W589_000005_thumb.jpg" xml:id="n7.117445"/>
  <surface xml:id="n7.117446" n="Front flyleaf iia">
    <graphic url="master/W589_000006_525.tif" xml:id="n7.117447"/>
    <graphic url="300/W589_000006_300.tif" xml:id="n7.117448"/>
    <graphic url="sap/W589_000006_sap.jpg" xml:id="n7.117449"/>
    <graphic url="thumb/W589_000006_thumb.jpg" xml:id="n7.117450"/>
  <surface xml:id="n7.117451" n="Front flyleaf iib">
    <graphic url="master/W589_000007_525.tif" xml:id="n7.117452"/>
    <graphic url="300/W589_000007_300.tif" xml:id="n7.117453"/>
    <graphic url="sap/W589_000007_sap.jpg" xml:id="n7.117454"/>
    <graphic url="thumb/W589_000007_thumb.jpg" xml:id="n7.117455"/>
  <surface xml:id="n7.117456" n="fol. 1a">
    <graphic url="master/W589_000008_1050.tif" xml:id="n7.117457"/>
    <graphic url="300/W589_000008_300.tif" xml:id="n7.117458"/>
    <graphic url="sap/W589_000008_sap.jpg" xml:id="n7.117459"/>
    <graphic url="thumb/W589_000008_thumb.jpg" xml:id="n7.117460"/>
  <surface xml:id="n7.117461" n="fol. 1b">
    <graphic url="master/W589_000009_525.tif" xml:id="n7.117462"/>
    <graphic url="300/W589_000009_300.tif" xml:id="n7.117463"/>
    <graphic url="sap/W589_000009_sap.jpg" xml:id="n7.117464"/>
    <graphic url="thumb/W589_000009_thumb.jpg" xml:id="n7.117465"/>
  <!-- ... -->