Biblioteca Digital del Pensamiento Novohispano

General description: The Biblioteca Digital del Pensamiento Novohispano (BdPn) has been conceived as a laboratory for the academic research of modern texts in New Spain. In this regard, it is composed in two levels. In the first one, the BdPn is a collection of digital editions of diplomatic transcripts of texts taken from books and documents of the 17th century on the practices of astrology and astronomy in Mexico. These editions are marked in TEI/XML. On the second level, the BdPn is a group of digital tools for research that offers:
The automatic indexing of terms, references, names and dates marked in texts.
A group of resources that utilizes indexes to offer information on the people, works, quotes, old Spanish words and astronomical and astrological terms that appear in the works.

Implementation description: The categories used by the Biblioteca Digital del Pensamiento Novohispano are a specific application of the TEI Lite version. The decision to use this version is based on two reasons. Firstly, it presents a simplified TEI version that is enough to cover all the needs of the Library. Moreover, it does so in such way that it illustrates the text markup process with enough clarity to be followed by those who don’t have a background in TEI and the markup process. Its open structure and the possibility to add different types of attributes to the categories enable the generation of the necessary variants to practically mark everything we wanted to inside the texts.

To mark up the text, the following categories are used:
a) The text <text></text> this shows the beginning and ending of the marked text.
b) The cover <front></front> this marks the cover or front of the document in print.
<titlePage></titlePage> marks the page that contains the title of the work, which may coincide with the cover.
<docTitle></docTitle> marks the title of the document as seen on the cover.
<docImprint><docImprint> marks the place and publisher of the text.
<docDate></docDate> marks the date of the text.
c) The body of the document
<body></body> corresponds to the body of the text in its entirety.
<p></p> is a central category. It marks the beginning and ending of each paragraph. On the documents of the library, when paragraphs don’t end within the same page they started in, it is still necessary to use this tool to mark the ending of the paragraph on the first page, right before the inclusion of the </div> command. A new paragraph must be marked in the following page, after <div>, to complete the paragraph.
<div></div> marks the start of a division. In the library, it is used to separate texts into folia. Folia are, along with the paragraphs, the reference unit in the texts of this library.
<term></term> marks a word, a group of words, a symbolic designation or the use of a technical term. It is a central markup category, as it allows for the identification of words and expressions that are used in the text and whose study and recovery are relevant. This command accepts 7 Type attributes: medical (Med), astrological (Astro), astronomical (Astron), philosophical (Philo), mathematical (Mathe), theological (Theolo) and Old Spanish (OldSp). In all cases, a “reg” may be included to unify terms using modern spelling as a basis. This is especially important in the case of old Spanish words, in which the use of “reg” is compulsory.


<term type="astro" Reg="Juicio">juizio</term>
<term type="astro" Reg="Venéreo">Venereo</term>
<term type="med">peste</term> (this doesn’t need “reg" as there is no need for the standardization of the spelling of the word)

<foreign></foreign> identifies terms or groups of terms in a language that is different to the one the text was written in. It accepts the lang attribute (language). For the most commonly occurring language, Latin, we use the lat attribute.


<foreign lang="lat">Laus Deo</foreign>

<date></date> allows us to mark dates on the text. When we find expressions such as “the year of the Lord 1654” or “the year of 1204”, we will only mark the number. When we find expressions such as “the past year”, or “two years ago”, we will mark the entire expression, but a “reg” attribute must be used too to mark the year in number format. When the expression of the date includes days and/or months, these elements will be marked, too.


Este año de <date>1682</date>
…año del Señor de <date>396</date>
As most comets mentioned in the texts were named in regard to the dates they were seen, we will use “type” and “comet” to mark this information.


como el del año del señor de <date type="comet">396</date>
<abbr></abbr>marks an abbreviation. Abbreviations are not regularized nor expanded in the mark-up; in other words, they are marked up just as they appear in the text.

<pb></pb> marks the number of the folia or of the page, if this information is available in the text.

<name></name> marks the proper names of people, gods, and places; it accepts the use of the “type” attribute along with the following: person, planet, place, inst (institution), constellation, zodiacal, CathDiv (catholic divinity). Also, “reg” is used to standardize names according to their contemporary usage.


<name type="person" reg="Aristóteles">Aristoteles</name>
<name type="constelation"">Capricorno</name>
<name type="planet">Saturno</name> En todos los casos se marcan como planeta Luna y Sol, además del resto de los planetas mencionados
<name type="place" reg="Holanda">Olanda</name>

<q></q> identifies the textual citing that appears within a text and in which bibliographical references don’t occur. These attributes must be placed at the beginning and at the ending of each quotation.
<cit></cit> is used to mark the title of a work that is mentioned within a text. In the marking of these titles, “reg” may be used to make a standardization based on the modern name of the work.
<refTitle></refTitle> Se utiliza para marcar el titulo de una obra dentro de un texto. Acepta reg para estandarizar el nombre moderno de la obra.
<head></head> is used to identify subtitles in the text.

Related resources: Transcription Criteria
Sobre astros, astrónomos y computadoras.Biblioteca Digital del Pensamiento Novohispano
Editores amigos de la tecnología: cómo pasar del PDF a la verdadera edición digital.
Wikipedia. Biblioteca Digital del Pensamiento Novohispano
TEI como una nueva práctica de lectura;jsessionid=63CCC5737EDC75121BE696914AB4D522?id=34
Finding support for disruption: developing a digital humanities project in Mexico DOI (Permanent URL): 10.1108/00012531211196738

Copyright information: Creative Commons Atribution Non Commercial


Ernesto Priani Saisó
Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. Circulito Escolar S/N Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Coyoacán, Distrito Federal.
Telephone: 01 55 5542 1612 12

Last recorded change to this page: 2014-07-01  •  For corrections or updates, contact