[INDOLOGY] 3-year position within the Qalamos cataloguing project at the Bavarian State Library

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Tue Jul 4 19:32:28 UTC 2023

Please convey my apologies to Dr Rauch for jumping to conclusions from the
job advertisement.  I wish the project every success.  I hope Qalamos and
MyCoRe give a relational approach to data capture and storage.  Once one
gets beyond cataloguing a few hundred Indian manuscripts, it becomes
exponentially harder to keep the data consistent and coherent unless each
data point is stored in one place only, i.e., in a normalised relational

It is good to learn that MyCoRe makes data publicly available.  One
prominent application of MyCoRe mentioned in the Wikipedia page is the "The
International Treasury of Islamic Manuscripts", but I am unable to find a
working website for that project.  If anyone has a working link, please

And may I add that *any* cataloguing of Indic manuscripts is highly

Dominik Wujastyk

On Tue, 4 Jul 2023 at 18:21, Roland Steiner via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Christoph Rauch (Head of the Oriental Department, State Library Berlin)
> has asked me to send the following message to the list.
> Best regards,
> Roland Steiner
> * * *
> Dear Prof Wujastyk, dear readers,
> I would like to comment briefly on your post on the job announcement of
> the Bavarian State Library in Munich.
> The Qalamos <https://www.qalamos.net/> project has been running for three
> years with the support of the DFG. The goal is to create records of all
> Oriental manuscripts preserved in German institutions. This is done by
> retroconversion of printed catalogs but also by integration of existing
> electronic catalogs such as KOHD-Digital
> <https://orient-mss.kohd.adw-goe.de/content/index.xml>.
> In recent years, the focus has been on Islamic manuscripts. We now hope to
> create metadata of similar quality for South Asian manuscript traditions by
> 2026.
> Qalamos does not run on Aleph, but on a MyCoRe
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyCoRe> repository. I cannot address here
> the BSB's peculiarity of primarily recording its own holdings in the
> classical library catalog, but all data will finally be integrated in
> Qalamos.
> We welcome suggestions, ideas and exchange with the
> South-Asian-Studies-community!
> Kind regards
> Christoph
> ------------------------------------
> Christoph Rauch
> Head of the Oriental Department
> Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz -
> Potsdamer Str. 33
> D-10785 Berlin
> Tel +49-(0)30-266 43 5800
> https://spk-berlin.webex.com/meet/christoph.rauch
> christoph.rauch at sbb.spk-berlin.de
> http://staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/
> https://www.qalamos.net
> https://od-portal.hypotheses.org/
> * * *
> ----- Nachricht von Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> ---------
>      Datum: Mon, 3 Jul 2023 18:23:33 +0200
>        Von: Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
> Antwort an: Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>
>    Betreff: Re: [INDOLOGY] 3-year position within the Qalamos cataloguing
> project at the Bavarian State Library
>         An: vincent.tournier at lmu.de
>         Cc: indology at list.indology.info
> Oh dear.  They're retro-cataloguing into Aleph, an obsolete, flat-file
> library system from the 1980s.  What a waste of time and effort, creating
> yet another ghetto of non-linked, unintelligent data.  Manuscripts *are
> not printed books*. Every manuscript is a unique antiquity.  Library
> systems are not the right tool for the job.
> May I say clearly for all to hear.  Information concerning manuscripts,
> the literary works they supprt, locations, authors, scribes and owners
> should be recorded in a normalized
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_normalization> relational
> database system.  Ideally, there should also be XML import and export
> (report) facilities, or the whole database may be an XML system.
> A model for how to do this properly is the PanditProject
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_normalization>.   There is, in
> fact, no reason that the Bayerische SB shouldn't retrospectively catalogue
> their Indian manuscripts into PanditProject itself.  That would actually be
> of huge immediate value to the international academic community of S. Asia
> scholars.  But an institution of the SB's size is probably too rule-bound
> and inflexible to consider such a procedure.
> Best,
> Dominik Wujastyk
> University of Alberta
> ----- Ende der Nachricht von Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> -----
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