The Cover PagesThe OASIS Cover Pages: The Online Resource for Markup Language Technologies
Advanced Search
Site Map
CP RSS Channel
Contact Us
Sponsoring CP
About Our Sponsors

Cover Stories
Articles & Papers
Press Releases

XML Query

XML Applications
General Apps
Government Apps
Academic Apps

Technology and Society
Tech Topics
Related Standards
Last modified: February 10, 2001
Manuscript Access through Standards for Electronic Records (MASTER)

[February 10, 2001] MASTER (Manuscript Access through Standards for Electronic Records) "is a European Union funded project to create a single on-line catalogue of medieval manuscripts in European libraries. This project has developed a single [XML-based] standard for computer-readable descriptions of manuscripts. It has created software for making these records, and tested the standard and the software on descriptions of some 2000 manuscripts. Many of these records will be mounted in a single networked catalogue, available to everyone. MASTER is funded under the Framework IV Telematics for Libraries call. Partners in the project are: The Centre for Technology and the Arts, De Montfort University (leader); the Royal Library, the Hague; the Arnamagnaean Institute, Copenhagen; L'Institut de recherche et d'histoire des textes, Paris; the National Library of the Czech Republic, Prague; the University of Oxford. The Bildarchiv Foto Marburg, Germany, and IBM UK are also partners in MASTER. In addition, several other major libraries are associated partners in the project: these include the British Library, the Vatican Library, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, and the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The project also has strong links to several North American manuscript projects and to the international Text Encoding Initiative, through a TEI workgroup on manuscript descriptions. The project commenced on 1 January 1999. It is being led in De Montfort University by Dr Peter Robinson of the Centre for Technology and the Arts, a joint enterprise of the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Computing Science and Engineering."


  • MASTER Project home page

  • "MASTER: A gentle introduction." From Centre for Technology and the Arts, De Monfort University. "This document is intended to provide experts on manuscript description, who may know little of computers or of computer encoding, with an outline introduction to the proposals of the partners in the European Union funded MASTER project, for Manuscript Access through Standards for Electronic Records (in consort with the Text Encoding Initiative workgroup on manuscript descriptions)." [cache]

  • MASTER XML DTD. Note that an SGML DTD is also available. The entity file expoits a well-known trick for accommodating both SGML and XML handling: <!ENTITY % mm "- -">. [cache XML DTD 2001-02-10; cache SGML DTD]

  • "Initiatives Towards a Standard Encoding for Manuscript Descriptions." By Peter Robinson, et al. DRH '99 presentation. "Over the last five years, there has been increasing interest in the development of an agreed standard for encoding of machine readable manuscript descriptions. This interest has been driven by several factors. One is the rise of the World Wide Web, with its promise of a single point of access to online resources. Another factor is the success of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) in defining encodings for a wide variety of humanities texts, and the promise that SGML/TEI-based manuscript descriptions might find common acceptance where the many database formats for manuscript descriptions developed in the last decades have not. A third factor is the advent of digital imaging, and the recognition that the combination of online manuscript descriptions and digital images of manuscripts could vastly increase the access by scholars and others to the manuscripts and their study. This panel will report on major initiatives, both in Europe and North America, towards achievement of the aim of a standard encoding for manuscript descriptions." [cache]

  • Reference Manual for the MASTER Document Type Definition. Discussion Draft. January 2001 or later. Edited by Lou Burnard for the MASTER Work Group. [Production note for those interested in literate programming style: "This document is maintained in XML, using a partial implementation of the TEI ODD2 system designed by Michael Sperberg-McQueen and Lou Burnard. The XML source of the whole manual together with a set of XSL stylesheets written by Sebastian Rahtz are available from The HTML version which you are (probably) reading is automatically generated from the XML source, as are the DTD fragments which make up the DTD itself..."

  • MASTER Project participants

  • MASTER workshops

  • "Towards a European Standard for Manuscript Description:the MASTER project." 1999. Originally written in English by Lou Burnard and Peter Robinson. Translated into French by Muriel Gougerot and Elizabeth Lalou. PDF and HTML formats. Available also in French. "This paper describes the MASTER project, an EU-funded project which in consort with several other related initiatives is attempting to define and implement a general purpose XML-based standard for the description of manuscript materials. We explain briefly the background and history of the project and discuss its links with other groups pursuing the same aim. At the time of writing, a preliminary draft of the MASTER standard is nearing completion; some indication of its underlying design principles and likely content is also included..."

  • MASTER - Slide Presentation. 17 slides (PPT). By Peter Robinson (Centre for Technology and the Arts De Montfort University, Leicester, UK). Summary: "We will develop a SGML/XML standard; We will work with the Text Encoding Initiative workgroup; We will develop software to make records in this format; We will make the records; We will put the records on the internet."

  • MASTER design meetings

  • MASTER and the TEI

  • TEI Medieval Manuscripts Description Work Group (TEI MMSS). "The tasks assigned to this work group include: (1) devising a set of tags suitable for descriptions of medieval western manuscripts (2) ensuring that the interests of relevant constituencies [in particular, as represented by the Digital Scriptorium, the Electronic Access to Medieval Manuscripts, MASTER, and other projects in the area] are all addressed." [cache, meeting minutes]

  • Sample documents

Hosted By
OASIS - Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards

Sponsored By

IBM Corporation
ISIS Papyrus
Microsoft Corporation
Oracle Corporation


XML Daily Newslink
Receive daily news updates from Managing Editor, Robin Cover.

 Newsletter Subscription
 Newsletter Archives
Globe Image

Document URI:  —  Legal stuff
Robin Cover, Editor: