MESA Required and Recommended Fields

This post lists all MESA fields, required and not required, and describes their format and purpose in the system. This list should be useful for those interested in having their projects included in the MESA federation.

Required Fields

CUSTOM NAMESPACE

CUSTOM NAMESPACE actually consists of two parts – the Custom namespace and rdf:about

Custom namespace is a short code to identify the project. It is formatted as two pieces of text separated by a colon. The text before the colon identifies the main project or collection; the text after the colon identifies the collection or subcollection.

examples:

walters:wam
rose:book
rose:illus
diamm:diamm

rdf:about is a URI, a code in the format of a URL that uniquely identifies the record. Should not be the same as the URL pointing to the object. Based on a pattern incorporating a unique identifier for the object.

examples:

http://thedigitalwalters.org/Data/WaltersManuscripts/ManuscriptDescriptions/W683 (for a manuscript)

http://thedigitalwalters.org/Data/WaltersManuscripts/ManuscriptDescriptions/W4/n348.024549 (for an illustration)

http://thedigitalwalters.org/Data/WaltersManuscripts/ManuscriptDescriptions/W683/n411.046871 (for a text)

ARCHIVE

A shorthand reference to the contributing project or collection. Single word (no spaces)

examples:

DIAMM
WALTERS
BL

TITLE

Title of the object. Format will depend on the type of object, and its context. Titles may be created by combining fields from the source metadata.

examples:

Laylá and Majnūn reunited in the wilderness, W.605, fol. 100a (Walters)
Pierre Alexandre, Praelectiones de matrimonio (Parker)
Wing, right (fragment of a diptych), 1 register, 1 arch across (plaquette) (Courtauld)
Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 48 : Chaucer, Canterbury Tales (to l. 1061) (e-codices)

TYPE

A value (may be more than one) to describe the medium or format of an object, drawn from a controlled list

Available Type Values
Codex
Collection
Drawing
Illustration
Interactive Resource
Manuscript
Map
Moving Image
Periodical
Physical Object
Roll
Sheet
Sound
Still Image
Typescript

ROLE

Used to identify individuals or institutions involved in the creation of an object. There may be multiple roles identified.

Examples:

Author
Editor
Publisher
Artist
Collector

There is a complete list on the Collex Wiki.

DISCIPLINE

Identifies disciplines that may be interested in the object. Drawn from a controlled list.

Examples:

History
Law
Manuscript Studies
Literature
Religious Studies

There is a complete list on the Collex Wiki.

GENRE

Basic descriptive genre for the object. Drawn from a controlled list.

Examples:

Scripture
Sermon
Poetry
Visual Art

There is a complete list on the Collex Wiki.

DATE

MESA prefers both a label and a machine-readable date, although only one is required.

Labels can be any human-readable date, and will be displayed in MESA.

Examples:

14th century
not before 1475
c. 1100
1300-1350

Machine-readable dates must be either

  • a four-digit year, e.g. “1425″ or “0850″
  • two four-digit years, separated by a comma, indicating a span of time e.g. “1425,1450″
  • three digits followed by “u”, indicating a decade, e.g. “145u”
  • two digits followed by “uu”, indicating a century, e.g. “08uu”

Machine-readable dates are not displayed, but are used in MESA for searching. If no machine-readable date is provided, the object will not be find-able through a date search.

SEE ALSO

This is the most important field in MESA: the field that contains the URL that points from MESA to the digital object described in the record. Preferably this would be a PURL or Handle (that is, a URL that will never change, and can always be guaranteed to point to the same object no matter what happens to the system storing that object), but it should at least be a URL.

Examples:

http://parkerweb.stanford.edu/parker/actions/page_turner.do?ms_no=483&page=1r

http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/csg/0090

http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1261835

LANGUAGE

Not required, but recommended

MESA requires using the language codes from the ISO 639-2 Language Code List. The content of dc:language may be either from the first column (ISO 639-2 Code), the third column (English name of Language), or the fourth column (French name of Language).

Examples:

French, Middle (ca.1400-1600)

frm

PROVENANCE

Not required, but recommended
A statement of any changes in ownership and custody of the object since its creation that are significant for its authenticity, integrity, and interpretation. Includes origin.

Examples:

Netherlands

Old shelf mark on the tail edge reading 2987

FREECULTURE?

Is the digital version of the object “free”, i.e. in the public domain or released under an open access license? Yes or No.

FULL TEXT

Not required, but recommended

Data in this field will be available for full-text searching in MESA.

You can either point (using a URL) to a plain text (not encoded) transcription or description located somewhere on a web server, or place that plain text in the FULL TEXT field

MESA has many examples of FULL TEXT being used in different ways:

  • incipit and explicit only (St. Gall)
  • transcription of manuscript (Rose)
  • full manuscript description (Walters, DIAMM)
  • keywords, various description information (Courtauld)

IMAGE

Not required, but recommended

Points to the web-accessible, full-size digital image of the object.

Providing IMAGE enables the collection to be used in the Exhibit Builder area of Collex.

THUMBNAIL

Not required, but recommended

Points to the web-accessible, thumbnail-sized digital image of the object.

Providing THUMBNAIL means a small version of the object will be visible for browse and search results

For those projects that are unable to provide thumbnail images of objects, we use a logo (either a project logo – BL, Courtauld – or the MESA logo)

FEDERATION

The federation is MESA

Not Required

ALTERNATIVE TITLE

An alternative title, for example a nickname for a manuscript when the official title is provided in TITLE.

Example

Old English Illustrated Hexateuch (when TITLE is BL Cotton Claudius B iv.)

SOURCE

Title of the larger work, resource, or collection of which the present object takes part. Can be used for the title of a journal, anthology, book, online collection, etc.

Rarely (if ever) used in MESA. Could be used to identify the name of the project, if it were different from the name of the archive.

SUBJECT

Subject keywords that can be used for searching. Not currently displayed. May be populated from a project’s existing keyword lists. This is a more formal alternative to FULL TEXT SEARCH described below

SOURCE XML

Points to the web-accessible source code for the data in XML format.

Use for example if you have a TEI-XML encoded manuscript description available in source

Example:

http://thedigitalwalters.org/Data/WaltersManuscripts/ManuscriptDescriptions/W683_tei.xml

SOURCE HTML

Points to the web-accessible source code for the data in HTML format.

Use for example if you have an HTML version of a manuscript description

Do not use if it is the same as the object you are pointing to

Example:

http://thedigitalwalters.org/Data/WaltersManuscripts/html/W683/description.html

(Rarely used in MESA)

OCR

Not required

Was the FULL TEXT created using OCR? Yes or No. (Not used so far in MESA)

IS PART OF

Not required

Provides the value of CUSTOM NAMESPACE rdf:about (the unique identifier of the record) for the record that the current record is a child of. For example, a record describing an illustration for a manuscript would point to the unique identifier for the record of the manuscript.

HAS PART

Not required

Provides the value of CUSTOM NAMESPACE rdf:about (the unique identifier of the record) for the record or records that are children of the current record. For example, a record describing a manuscript would point to the unique identifier for records describing illustrations contained in the manuscript, or texts contained in the manuscripts.

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