Individual Items in the Catalog

However robust the DLL Catalog’s framework of authority records might be, a framework is of little use without records of items that users can retrieve and read. Three content types within the DLL Catalog serve that purpose.

Digitized Books

The Item Record content type contains information about digitized books available in online repositories such as HathiTrust Digital Library (, The Internet Archive (, and Europeana (, among others. Priority has been given to cataloging items that are openly available and in the public domain. Instead of storing the files for these texts on the DLL’s server, item records point to the file in an external repository’s collection. In addition to that link, item records also include the following information: author(s) of work, title of work, editor(s), place of publication, date of publication, publisher, name of the repository, and a statement of the access rights. The records also include links to the DLL’s authority records for the author(s), title, and editor(s) so that each item will be retrieved in a search for those terms.

Digital Texts

The Web Page content type contains information about works available as text files in an online collection (e.g., PHI’s Classical Latin Texts). The main difference between Item Records and Web Pages is that the former reproduce books in a digital format through a static file format (e.g., PDF), but the latter are in plain text or a markup language and thus are searchable and, in some cases, available for copying or downloading for reuse. Each Web Page record contains information about the author of the text, the title of the text, the editor, the source edition (if known), the collection where the item can be found, a link to the item, and a statement about access rights. All items also include links to the DLL’s authority records for the author(s), title, and editor(s) so that each item will be retrieved in a search for those terms.


The most ambitious, and most challenging, part of this project cataloging manuscripts and early editions of Latin texts. Many manuscript repositories have been making good progress in publishing their collections, or at least a portion of them, on the internet. However, owing to differences in the systems used to catalog manuscripts, each site requires us to spend a significant amount of time developing a strategy for acquiring the data needed for the catalog. For that reason, this part of the catalog is the least developed so far.

There is a Manuscript content type in the DLL Catalog, but it is not yet available for public viewing. It is based on the minimum requirements of the Text Encoding Initiative’s Manuscript Description module. Ideally, the records of other institutions that use the same model will be relatively easy to import into the catalog, but that will depend on the availability and format of the data. The E-Codices collection ( is a good example. E-Codices aims to digitize and publish all of the manuscripts from late antiquity, the middle ages, and early modernity held by libraries and other collections in Switzerland. Because it uses the TEI’s module for manuscript description, we have been able to download 1,261 records for the DLL’s Catalog. We are currently processing the data and preparing to add the records to the DLL Catalog. We project that this project will be complete in the summer of 2019, at which point we will turn our attention to other collections.