MyManuskrip (Malaysian Manuscripts): a Digital Library

General description: The objectives of MyManuskrip are: (a) to find out the current state of manuscript collection management and practices in selected libraries; (b) to identify the problems faced by manuscript repositories; (c) to study the metadata schema used by repositories to describe their manuscript collections, and (d) to identify a suitable open source digital library to support a digital library of manuscripts. The study gather qualitative data from an open ended questionnaire distributed to five manuscript librarians. Cataloguing practices by the manuscript repositories are observed and the open source digital library Greenstone was studied for suitability. The information gathered and observed helped determine the requirements of a digital library that empowers repositories in building, storing, preserving and disseminating information about manuscript collections is developed. Users are also empowered with better access options. Malay manuscripts are found in the Malay World, that is, the Malay Archipelago of Malaya, Borneo, Sumatra, Riau, and Indonesia. These items can also be found in repositories and Museums in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Detailed description of these manuscripts becomes essential to distinguish between the many versions of a single title held in various collections within Malaysia and abroad. No two manuscripts are alike. All these factors make cataloguing of manuscripts a challenging task. MyManuskrip aims to support a more detailed description and categorizations. It was found that the TEI meta tags are not found in the tag sets available in Greenstone. The TEI tag sets are added and used in the Greenstone digital library environment.

Implementation description: This project used a selection of the TEI metadata schema indicated by the tool ROMA. The TEI ROMA tool basically contains 63 fields, and MyManuskrip adopts 25 fields to describe Malay manuscripts.

1. Title: A title given to the resource.
2. AltTitle: Another or alternative name the manuscript is known as, or nickname
3. Shelf Mark: Call number, shelf mark, accession number to identify the manuscript
4. Creator: A person primarily responsible for making the content of the
manuscript, the copier
5. Category: Controlled terms that indicate a category of the manuscript (Hikayat,
Syair, Historiography, Religious Text, etc)
6. Repository: Name of library or repository within which the manuscript is held
7. OrigDate: Contain any form of date, used to identify the date of origin for a
manuscript or manuscript part, date begin, date ending
8. OrigPlace: Place of origin for a manuscript
9. Dimensions: Contains a dimensional specification
10. Foliation: Numbering system used to count the leaves or pages
11. Layout: Description about ruling techniques, layout of text on the pages
12. TextLang: Names of languages used in the manuscript
13. Material: A word or phrase describing the form a manuscripts are stored
14. Condition: Description of the physical conditions of the manuscript
15. DecoNote: Informative description about the decoration or illustration available
16. Support: Contains a description of the materials, etc which make up the physical support for the written part of a manuscript
17. Surrogate: Describe the digital or photographic representation of the manuscript
18. Incipit: Opening words of the text proper
19. Explicit: Ending words or phrases of a text
20. Subjects: Describes the intellectual content of a manuscript
21. Summary: Brief summary of the content provided by the cataloguer
22. Watermark: A word of phrase describing a watermarks identified in the pape
23. Source: Describes the original source that contains information about the
24. Acquisition: Indicates acquisition history
25. Additional: Additional bibliographic sources related to the manuscript

Related resources: Zainab, A.N., A. Abrizah, M.R. Hilmi. 2009. What a Digital Library of Malay Manuscripts Should Support: An Exploratory Needs Assessment, Libri [Accepted for publication for 2009]


Zainab A.N.
University of Malaya
Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology
Digital Library Group
50603 Kuala Lumpur

Last recorded change to this page: 2009-08-12  •  For corrections or updates, contact