Walters in Omeka

This evening I spent some time thinking about the best way to organize the Digital Walters data into Omeka.

I’ve already experimented with bulk ingesting all of the illuminations (pulling all the decoDesc tags from the TEI manuscript descriptions, and creating a record in Omeka for each one). You can see these in the Omeka instance (although it’s not very pretty). I realized that, as fun as that experiment was, in order for it to be useful I need to take a step back and reevaluate how best to move forward.

I created a record for one of the manuscripts: http://www.dotporterdigital.org/omeka/items/show/2618. It’s basic, including the Title (and the siglum under Alternative Title), links to the manuscript’s home on the Digital Walters site and its Bookreader version on this site (both under Description), and under Has Part, links to an illumination record in Omeka, an illumination that appears in that manuscript.

I want to do a few things to start out:

1) Create one record for each manuscript. I will do this using Omeka’s CSV plug-in… I’ve figured out how to pull all of the information I need from each of the TEI MS Description files, now I need to figure out how to pull all of it into one file and make that file a CSV file. Ithink I can use Xinclude to do that but I need to try more than I had time to tonight.

2) I would like to have a way to automatically attach the illumination records that are already in Omeka to the new manuscript records. The link that’s in the test record is one I added by hand, but Omeka has a collection hierarchy and I need to play with that to see if there might be something in there that can be used for this purpose. What I fear is that the hierarchy is only at the full level – that is, I can say that all of the illuminations are under all of the manuscripts, but I can’t say that some subset of the illuminations are under some particular manuscript. I will need to find out more!

It’s good to be back in the site. I still have an article to finish (and another already started) but I would like to make some progress on the Omeka catalog in the next month or so.

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