Pietro Liuzzo edited this page May 2, 2018 · 37 revisions


NEW version of the GUIDELINES

please read the content at the following links before starting:

an overview of our current work can be found here

This example record contains information about a single place, at whatever granularity. It is thus important to state relationships with other places when possible and typologies.

Coordinates are used to display the place on a map and can be obtained from openstreetmap for example, adding a pointer for a place there.

It can be expanded with much more information, following TEI guidelines for place

            <place type="monastery">
 <placeName xml:id="n1" xml:lang="gez">አሲር፡ መቲራ፡</placeName>
               <placeName corresp="#n1" xml:lang="gez" type="normalized">ʾAsir Matirā</placeName>
               <placeName type="alt" xml:id="n2" xml:lang="gez">አሲር፡ መቲራ፡  ደብረ፡ ዓለማ፡ ቅድስት፡ ማርያም፡</placeName>
               <placeName type="normalized" corresp="#n2" xml:lang="gez">ʾAsir Matirā Dabra ʿĀlamā Qǝddǝst Maryam</placeName>
               <placeName type="alt" xml:id="n3" xml:lang="gez">አሲረ፡ መቲራ፡  </placeName>
               <placeName type="normalized" corresp="#n3" xml:lang="gez">ʾAsira Matirā</placeName>

                  <country ref="LOC3010Ethiop"/>
               <region notBefore="1991" type="RegionalState" ref="LOC5932Tegray"/>
               <settlement type="province" ref="LOC5932Tegray"/>
               <settlement when="2009-11-16" ref="LOC1564ASbiW" type="warada"/>
               <settlement when="2009-11-16" ref="LOC6526Asir" type="qushat"/>
                   <geo>51.969604 -2.893146</geo>
<relation name="gn:nearBy" active=“LOC00000sssss”
               passive="LOC1111sssss LOC2222ggggg”>
               <desc>It is always a nice idea to provide a description of this relations with a sentence or two.         

new records

Before creating new entities for PLACES like Stuttgart, Paris, London, etc. which unlike all institutions are very much unlikely to receive specific descriptions by this project, use external links to geonames ids as follows.

<country ref="gn:2017370"/> 
<settlement ref="gn:498817"/>

(same for placeName and region)

to decide whether to create a new place record or not if in doubt, try the following. check if there is a record already in our list

  • if yes, then
    1. check if there is also a wikidata item (you can simply google what you are looking for, open the correct wikipedia page you find and hit the wikidata item link on the left.
      • if yes add a @sameAs attribute with the Q id in the url or at the top of the item.
    2. check if there is also a record in
      • if yes add a @sameAs attribute to place linking to such geonames id.
      • if not leave the record
    3. add a ref to our record
  • if not, then
    1. check if there is also a wikidata item
    2. check if it is in
      • if yes add the uri in the @ref
      • if not (but check thoroughly, because it would be an exception) create a new place record

generally, when possible I would always prefer an external link to an authority file for places out of scope which we are not going to describe or give details about. If there is already a record, no need to delete it or update it. Simply add the geonames ID.

adding references to places not in our db:

  • for ancient places prefere pleiades, with namespace pleiades: e.g.
  • for places related to coptic literary tradition use PAThs paths:


Use @sameAs inside <place> to declare the authority file. prefer Wikidata if an item is present, otherwise use geonames.

<place type="region" sameAs="Q2894614">
               <placeName type="alt">Wäggära</placeName>

GN id number should use a prefix gn:.


typecontains a value from the controlled list of Qualifiers in relation allowed values of @name are

  • contains
  • nearBy
  • partOf

Please, refer to Institution below for geo location and administrative location. Also place records can be enriched with this information.


Coordinates must be provided latitude longitude and separated only by one white space.

 <geo>14.308833 39.378683</geo>

for regions, areas, and all polygons, use geo[@rend='polygon'] using one line for each point. please do not add spaces at the beginning and end of the series. You can draw your polygon with (this tool)[] and copy past directly from there. take care, please to remove the commas.

<!--polygon coordinates designed with after 
    suggestions on>
                  <geo rend="polygon">38.40271 12.9804713 
                     38.2626343 13.0580747
                     38.1170654 13.1463524
                     37.9138184 13.1543761 
                     37.7737427 13.0901794 
                     37.7160645 12.9885004 
                     37.6858521 12.8707149 
                     37.5979614 12.7421585 
                     37.6446533 12.6483782 
                     37.6693726 12.5438397 
                     37.7380371 12.3909763 
                     37.8506470 12.3426849 
                     37.9934692 12.2460756 
                     38.1692505 12.2111802 
                     38.4439087 12.2809664 
                     38.4521484 12.6162171 
                     38.4851074 12.7796608
                     38.4082031 12.9831477 
                     38.40271 12.9804713</geo>

specific encoding for repositories/institutions

For Institutions where manuscripts are preserved, some more information is required. Please, note the @subtype=‘institution’.

            <place type="church dabr" subtype="institution">
               <placeName xml:id="n1" xml:lang="gez">ዓደቃሐርሲ፡ ጰራቅሊጦስ፡</placeName>
               <placeName corresp="#n1" xml:lang="gez" type="normalized">ʿĀddaqāḥarsi Ṗarāqliṭos</placeName>
               <placeName type="alt"  xml:id="n2">ዓደቃሐርሲ፡ መካነ፡ ህይወት፡ ጰራቅሊጦስ፡</placeName>
               <placeName type="alt" corresp="#n2">ʿAddaqāḥarsi Makāna Həywat Ṗarāqliṭos</placeName>
               <country ref="LOC3010Ethiop"/>
               <region ref="LOC5932Tegray"/>
                  <geo>14.308833 39.378683</geo>
                  <height unit="m">2437.0</height>
                  <date type="foundation" notBefore="1400" notAfter="1500">1400-1500</date>
                  <desc type="foundation">Existed aready in the pre-Christian time as the religious site of South Arabian migrants; the church was founded in a later period.</desc>
                  <ab type="history">Dabr. A new large church is under construction outside of the compound of the old church, both standing on the rock outcrop (below is the river of <placeName corresp="LOC6519Wafadabbo">Wafadabbo</placeName>).
                  <ab type="tabot">
                     <measure quantity="8"/>
                     Tabots of <persName ref="PRS5684JesusCh" type="tabot">Jesus</persName>, <persName ref="PRS10775Trinity">Trinity</persName>, <persName ref="PRS6819Mary">Mary</persName>, unidentified marble, 
                     <persName ref="PRS4377Gabriel">Gabriel</persName>, <persName ref="PRS10776Kidan">Kidāna Mǝḥrat</persName>, <persName ref="PRS7049Michael">Michael</persName>, 
                     <persName ref="PRS10774Paraq">Ṗarāqliṭos</persName>. The tabot of the local <persName ref="PRS10773SadeqP">Ṣādǝqān</persName> (Righteous Ones) was not mentioned, probably by mistake.</ab>
                  <ab type="description">52 Mss. photographed: <ref target="ESap001">AP-001</ref> "Missal"; <ref target="ESap002">AP-002</ref> "Hymnary"; <ref target="ESap003">AP-003</ref> "Four Gospels"; ...</ab>


administrative location

If you want to give other administrative location information, use settlement. One settlement for each set of information, but only one if there is only one set. Please do not remove text if it is there, simply mark it up as in the following example. If you are adding info and you want to do it more quickly you can also enter only empty placeNames withe corresp and type.

<country ref="LOC3010Ethiop"/>
<region ref="LOC5932Tegray"/>
<settlement when="2009-11-16">wäräda <placeName ref="LOC1564ASbiW" type="waradā">ʾAṣbi Wänbärta</placeName>, 
                  qušät <placeName ref="LOC6526Asir" type="qušat">ʾAsir Mätira</placeName> </settlement>

Place Names

a full example of how to encode the various possible placeNames is the following

<placeName xml:id="n1" xml:lang="am">አክሱም፡ ጽዮን፡</placeName>
<placeName corresp="#n1" xml:lang="am" type="normalized">ʾAksum Ṣǝyon</placeName>
<placeName xml:id="n2" xml:lang="gez" type="alt">ማርያም፡ ጽዮን፡</placeName>
<placeName corresp="#n2" xml:lang="gez" type="normalized">Māryām Ṣǝyon</placeName>
<placeName corresp="#n2" xml:lang="en">Mary of Zion</placeName>
<placeName xml:id="n3" xml:lang="gez" type="alt">ገበዘ፡ ጽዮን፡</placeName>
<placeName corresp="#n3" xml:lang="gez" type="normalized">Gabaza Ṣǝyon</placeName>
<country ref="LOC3010Ethiop"/>
<region notBefore="1991" type="RegionalState" ref="LOC5932Tegray"/>
<region notAfter="1974" type="Province" ref="LOC6556Tegre"/>

all placeName can take an xml:id if it is needed for referencing, following the above example. i.e. nothing prevents Mary of Zion to have a @xml:id='n5' AND @corresp='#n2'

You can enter into placeName a note element where to describe the denomination more in detail, see for example LOC1261Adulis

<placeName xml:id="n4" xml:lang="la" type="alt" source="#FattovichMunro">Adulitae
                     <note source="#Smith"><ref
                        >Ptolemy 4.7.8</ref></note><note source="#Epiphanius">
                     Epiphanius (listing nine kingdoms of the 'Indians', he refers to the Adulites
                     other then to the Aksumites)</note></placeName>
               <placeName xml:id="n5" type="alt" source="#FattovichMunro">WDTT <note
                     source="#FattovichMunro">The geographical lists of the Egyptian 18th
                     dynasty (<date when="-1450" precision="low">ca. 1450

use this especially if you need to provide specific sources for this name of the place

On referring to places, please look carefully for available records. e.g.:

  • LOC6569Tegray (Tǝgrāy historical province) vs LOC5932Tegray (contemporary regional state)
  • LOC6568Amhara (ʾAmhārā historical province) vs LOC1426Amhara (contemporary regional state)
  • LOC3577Gondar (Gondar town) vs LOC6554GondarineK (Gondarine Kingdom)


For tābotat please use an ab[@type='tabot’] including the number of the tābots and persNames[@type='tabot'] for each of the dedicatory persons. Avoid using @type for other persons mentioned in the texts.

<ab type="tabot">
   <measure quantity="4"/>
   Tābots of <persName ref="PRS3249Cyriacus" type="tabot">Qirqos</persName>, <persName 
   ref="PRS9684Uriel" type="tabot">Urael</persName>, <persName ref="PRS6819Mary" type="tabot">Mary</persName>, <persName         
   ref="PRS10777Madhane" type="tabot">Madḫane ʿĀlam</persName>

If a tābot is dedicated to an inanimate entity, use a <ref> with appropriate type to point to a relevant ID, as in <ref type="authFile" corresp="Masqal">Cross</ref>

syriaca historical Geography schema alignment

to encode historical places we follow in the above and what follows the TEI manual for Historical Geography, with some divergences due to our project


You can use the attribute @source to point to any xml:id within the file, most typically a bibl element to which you have assigned one. This is especially relevant if evidence is not clear and needs to be clearly attributed to a bibliographic source.


<location source="#Smidt">
                  <geo>14.1666 38.8333</geo>
                  <height>1975 m</height>
               <listBibl type="secondary">
                  <bibl xml:id="Smidt">
                     <ptr target="bm:Smidt2010EnAeTegray"/>

relative location

If the location of an ancient place which does not exist any more is known only in relation to another place, you can use location[@type='relative'] and provide a description, for example "5 days walk from Gondar". You can encode with measure also the unit and quantity of the distance if you can and want to.


<place type="port" sameAs="Q378940">
               <location type="relative" source="#FattovichMunro"><desc>20 stades from the actual port</desc></location>
            <listBibl type="secondary">
               <bibl xml:id="FattovichMunro">
                  <ptr target="bm:FattovichMunro2003EnAeAdulis"/>

state and certainty

If the place does not exist any more, then you need to specify when it existed with a state element

<state type="existence" from="0410" to="0605">
		<certainty locus='value' match="@from" notAfter="0410"/>
		<certainty locus='value' match="@to" notBefore="0605"/>

Also the following is perfectly fine, and perhaps preferable, stating without further precision that the place is attested in one of the main periodizations, in this example Aksumite

<state type="existence" ref="Aks"/>

the ref points to an Authority list file Aks.xml which contains the permalink to the PeriodO definition, in this case

if this is an attested place only in one source, note down that as well in @source or in a desc or note. In the example below we found in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography the passage in Ptolemy where port of the Adulitae is mentioned and we have added a note about it linking to the bibl element as its source. The note has also a cRef to point to the exact passage in perseus.


<bibl xml:id="Smith">
               <ptr  target="bm:SmithGreekRomanGeo"/>
               <citedRange unit="item">s.v. Adu'le or Adu'lis</citedRange>
               <note source="#Smith"><ref cRef="">Ptolemy 4.7.8</ref></note>


Any event affecting the definition of the place can be encoded and described in an event element as below. Examples are made up and will be replaced by real one asap.

<event when="1201" source="#Eae3-author">
		<desc xml:lang="en">destruction of the city from the arabs</desc>

event can take also @notBefore and @notAfter, @from and @to.

<event from="1201" to="1256" source="#Eae3-author">
		<desc xml:lang="en">capital of the region</desc>


creating a new record or deciding between institution and place

All Monasteries and Churches in PLACES have also a parallel in Institutions. The two lists have different origins, PLACES comes from EA indexes, while the INSTITUTIONS list is an export of the records in EthioSPaRe for institutions.

Please, proceed as follows in case of doubt:

  1. if the institution record for the institution you need does not exist, create one and assign an id.
  2. leave the place record there, check the already existing references to this place. This can be done either with xpath in Oxygen or on the website looking at related entities.
  3. modify those references that actually point to an institution and not to a place, if any.

with regard to automatically creating an institution record for all churches and monastries in Places: is it true that all those with no exception are also institutions holding manuscripts?

Please, markup entities referred to in the text of the fields into note as described in the guidelines A template with comments for a place description is available here

A template with comments for an Institution description is available here

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