Literary Traditions

A literary tradition (instance of syriaca:LiteraryTradition) is a type of work record which groups together multiple works so closely associated that they are often not distinguished from one another. This may include different recensions of a work or different tellings of a narrative, and so on. (See also Composite URIs.)



Requirements for Creating a Literary Tradition Record

A record should be created for a literary tradition only when there are already one or more work records that will be related to it. (See Relating Literary Traditions to Other Works below.)

Designating a Literary Tradition

Work records of the literary tradition type should be designated in the record in both a human-readable and machine-readable way:

Human-Readable: Add " (literary tradition)" to the end of the record title (/TEI/teiHeader/fileDesc/titleStmt/title) and the English headword work title (/TEI/text/body/bibl/title[@xml:lang='en' and contains(@syriaca-tags,'#syriaca-headword')]). For example,

<title level="a" xml:lang="en">Alexandra (literary tradition) — <foreign xml:lang="syr">ܐܠܟܣܢܕܪܐ</foreign></title>


<title xml:id="name2057-2" xml:lang="en" source="#bib2057-1" syriaca-tags="#syriaca-headword">Alexandra (literary tradition)</title>

Machine-Readable: The main bibl node (/TEI/text/body/bibl) should have @type='syriaca:LiteraryTradition'. This allows it to be visualized correctly and to be serialized into RDF with the correct class. For example,

<bibl xml:id="work-2057" type="syriaca:LiteraryTradition">

Relating Literary Traditions to Other Works

Conceptual Issues

Works may be related to literary traditions in one of two ways: as a specific text or narrower literary tradition exemplifying the literary tradition (skos:broadMatch) or as another literary tradition contained within the literary tradition (dct:isPartOf). This is well illustrated in the complex case of the Bible (see diagram below).

Literary Traditions and Works

TEI Encoding

Record the relationship between a literary tradition and other works using a <relation> element in the record defining the smaller, more specific, or narrower work -- thus, the work that is an example of the literary tradition or the literary tradition that is part of a larger literary tradition.

As with all relation elements, the @ref attribute should have an RDF property for which the entity in @active is the subject and the entity in @passive is the object. In this case the RDF property is either skos:broadMatch or dct:isPartOf, depending on the type of relation (see above).

For example,

<relation active="" ref="skos:broadMatch" passive="" source="#bib410-1"/>

Expected Search and Browse Behavior

We anticipate that in most cases users looking for works will search for broad literary traditions (such as "Syro-Hexapla") rather than granular level texts. For this reason, search and browse results should default to showing top-level literary traditions, but not works that are contained in or exemplify them. Users should be provided the option of including these hidden works in the results. Works that do not have a relation/@ref='dct:isPartOf' or relation/@ref='skos:broadMatch' pointing to a literary tradition should still be displayed by default in search results.