Grouping sub-objects and creating a date range

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    I have a two-part question:

    1. I’m creating a database of medieval manuscripts (Objects), each of which contains several texts (1 text = 1 Sub-Object). Some manuscripts are made up of bits of other manuscripts – that is, there might be an original manuscript with some pages inserted from a later time; or a manuscript might be composed of several bundles of pages, and it is unclear which (if any) is ‘original’. I’m seeking a way to represent this in my database – since composite manuscripts are the main point of my research – that will also eventually allow me to visualise these bundles, both within single manuscripts and across the whole corpus (e.g. visualise the number of manuscripts in my corpus that are composite, or the texts within a single bundle of pages in a composite). I think the easiest way will be to group my Sub-Objects (texts) together, so that one Object (composite manuscript) contains several groups of Sub-Objects. Is this the best way? And how can I do this? I cannot find the answer in the nodegoat guidelines.

    2. Manuscripts are dated using a special system. I can, if necessary, convert this system into a numerical range that I must define (since there exists no set numerical range, for example, for a manuscript dated very generally to between the end of the tenth century and the start of the eleventh). However, I cannot find a way to use the ‘Date’ Object Description for my Objects using my self-made numerical range. There seems to be no way to set the date as a range that does not include days and months (which are impossible to determine for the majority of manuscripts). And it must be a range – the most closely dated manuscripts are given in quarter-centuries; we usually can’t date them more precisely than that. A single year or even decade is therefore a useless descriptor. Currently my ‘date’ field is set to the Object Description ‘Text (Tags and Layout), into which I enter the range of years into which my manuscript falls. This is fine for now, but once I have entered all my data, will it allow me a) to search for a manuscript by date or date range, and b) to visualise my manuscripts across time? If not, how can I solve this problem?

    I would really appreciate help with these questions, since nodegoat has been, so far, the ideal solution for my database needs – unlike a host of other options I’ve tried. Apologies if the answers seem obvious!



    Thanks for the questions!

    1. To be more flexible with this, it might be an idea to create objects for each text as well by making a new type ‘Text’. This allows you to store all the in-depth information that you need for each text in this object and, should this be relevant, use one object of a text for multiple manuscripts (should a text be present in multiple manuscripts). You could then link to the objects of texts from the manuscripts (from sub-objects, or multi object descriptions). You could then also add an object description/sub-object that links from one manuscript to another. This would allow you to first compose a manuscript of texts and then use this manuscript as a part for another one (to be able to ‘group’ texts).

    Another approach would be to create a type ‘Text’, ‘Manuscript’ and ‘Usage in Manuscript’. Each object in the type ‘Usage in Manuscript’ would have an object description ‘parent manuscript’ to link to the relevant manuscript and the object descriptions ‘child text’ and ‘child manuscript’. This would allow you to describe the relation between a text/manuscript and manuscript in all its detail.

    2. Currently this is not possible, but it seems to be a good idea to implement this. We’ll add the functionality to use plain integers (i.e. no conversion to a date) as dates in the next update.

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