Handling primary sources in TEI XML

18. Why are manuscript descriptions special?

  • Manuscripts are unique objects, sometimes (though not always) of great cultural or political value
  • Books, by contrast, exist in multiple copies, and can be described adequately by well-established and formalized bibliographic conventions.
  • For manuscripts, there are several traditions, often descriptive or belle lettriste, and little consensus.

Similar concerns apply to other text-bearing objects.

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