Inventory numbers and repository

Recording in an edition the past and present inventory and catalog numbers associated with a text-bearing object can provide users of the edition essential information for locating the object for autopsy and for correlating references in publications and archival materials. Accordingly, TEI/EpiDoc requires some kind of manuscript identifier (<msIdentifier>) to be encoded as part of the manuscript description in any edition, as described in the TEI Guidelines section on the manuscript identifier and illustrated in the examples below.

Whenever possible, the <msIdentifier> will include information about the name and location of the instition or repository holding the object (using the <settlement> and <repository> elements), along with its inventory number (<idno>) and/or conventional name (<msName>). When the text-bearing object is not held in an institutional, civic, or site collection, as is often the case with inscriptions, it may only be possible to provide very minimal information. When a research institution has compiled and maintained a regional or thematic inventory for materials that are spread across a range of institutions or sites, this number may be preferred and the individual institutional, expedition, or site inventory numbers recorded also with the <altIdentifier> element. Note that, in the absence of an institutional inventory number (or to augment the institutional information provided) an <altIdentifer> may be added with <idno type="URI"> pointing to a Wikipedia article or other stable web resource about the object.

The following example illustrates the use of the <settlement>, <repository> and <idno> elements in a minimal inventory declaration for an item in a controlled collection:

<msIdentifier>
 <settlement>Sevastopol</settlement>
 <repository>National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos (НЗХТ)</repository>
 <idno>80/36504</idno>
</msIdentifier>

This next example treats the famous Rosetta Stone, expanding on the approach used above by providing the conventional name for the inscription, as well as a prior inventory number once used by the museum:

<msIdentifier>
 <settlement>London</settlement>
 <repository>The British Museum</repository>
 <idno>E24</idno>
 <msName>The Rosetta Stone</msName>
 <altIdentifier>
  <idno>BS.24</idno>
 </altIdentifier>
</msIdentifier>

The following example treats a free-standing monument (Trajan's Column) and illustrates the optional use of a Wikipedia URI to augment the information provided in the main portion of the <msIdentifer> element:

<msIdentifier>
 <settlement>Rome</settlement>
 <msName>The Column of Trajan</msName>
 <altIdentifier>
  <idno type="URI">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trajan's_Column</idno>
 </altIdentifier>
</msIdentifier>

The following example, drawn from the Corpus of the Inscriptions of Campā, illustrates several advanced, optional features in the encoding of object identifiers. These include:

<msIdentifier>
 <institution>EFEO</institution>
 <idno xml:id="inv-general">C. 152</idno>
 <altIdentifier type="cancelled">
  <institution>EFEO</institution>
  <idno>C. 166</idno>
 </altIdentifier>
 <altIdentifier type="museum-inventory">
  <settlement>Đà Nẵng</settlement>
  <repository>BTC</repository>
  <idno xml:id="inv-btc">BTC 86</idno>
 </altIdentifier>
 <altIdentifier type="museum-inventory-former">
  <settlement>Đà Nẵng</settlement>
  <repository>Musée Parmentier</repository>
  <idno xml:id="inv-musee-parmentier">45,2</idno>
 </altIdentifier>
</msIdentifier>

Responsibility for this section

  1. Gabriel Bodard, author
  2. Tom Elliott, author
  3. Arlo Griffiths, author
Date: 2014-02-09