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Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit


The database contains entries of each xylograph taken into consideration. Each entry includes the physical description of the text and a description of its content, a transliteration of incipit and colophon, the mark up of personal and place names and dates in colophons as well as information on paper and pigment analysis, if available. An authority file for each person and place not available in BDRC (Buddhist Digital Resource Center) is also created with information found in primary and/or secondary sources. This information will be integrated into BDRC as soon as possible.

Each entry is also displayed with pictures of the entire text, and if available, pictures of paper and pigment analysis, as well as the map of the printing house where the book was produced, if the location is known.

Data are created in XML based on the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) standard, in particular on the manuscript description module of the TEI (P5). Data are stored in an open source native XML database (eXist-db). A custom web application has been built on the database for querying and displaying the results of the project.

We used a customised editor which allows form based data entry (Authentic, a commercial editor from Altova, we mostly used the free “community version”).

All blockprints are displayed in full from a “deep zoom” image viewer. It is also possible to take measurements. This tool uses the “m” keypress to indicate a measurement. You need to press the “m” key for the start and again for the end. You will get a pop-up box which tells you the coordinates of the two readings, the distances, X and Y, and the diagonal distance.

Physical descriptions of the blockprints are provided by Michela Clemente, in collaboration with the paper conservator, Agnieszka Helman-Ważny, and the art historian, Filippo Lunardo. They cover paper analysis and some distinctive features of prints such as design of front page and layout.

Click here to go to the database search page.