Manuscript-level records in Omeka

I had some time tonight to figure out how to get the manuscript-level records into Omeka.

I’d already worked out the (very simple) XPath needed to pull out the few bits of information I wanted from the TEI msDesc: siglum, title, URL to the Walters data, BookReader URL, and URL to the first thumbnail image in the ms (which I’m just using as an illustration, a placeholder for the full ms). This evening I did the final checks to make sure the output was right, then just ran the XSLT against all the msDesc files and created .csv files for each one (there’s an Omeka plug-in that will accept CSV input, in order to bulk ingest metadata and files). I used the “insert file contents” function in TextWrangler (bless that program) to pull all of the individual CSV rows into a single document, then ingested that into Omeka. There were a few bugs, of course, but generally it was smooth. I’ve made a few of the records live, just those that already have illumination records tagged in Omeka too. What this means is that you can now go to the Omeka site, go to “Browse Items by Tag” (, and click on one of the larger tags (each ms and illumination is tagged with the ms siglum; the more illustrations there are, the larger the tag will appear in the browse list). At the moment the first entry in the list will be the record for the manuscript, followed by the record for the illuminations… although I don’t know if that’s just because the manuscript records are newer.

I would like to include each illumination in the ms records (HasPart) and the ms in the illumination records too (IsPartOf), but I am not certain that’s something I’ll be able to do programmatically. Anyway, I think that is the next thing on my list. That and tagging all of the other illumination records with the siglum (so they will be browseable with the manuscript).

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