Frequently Asked Questions

What is BaOBab?

The Biblissima toolkit contains a collection of resources, tools, guidelines and tutorials for collecting and producing data about the circulation of texts, the history of libraries and the transmission of knowledge in Europe from the 8th to 18th centuries. Many different kinds of resources and tools are listed, including those developed within the scope of the Biblissima project, others that have become part of the project after their development, and still others that are simply referenced here with a link to the resource or tool in question.

Who is it for?

The toolkit is designed for anyone with an interest in this field, from those who are just starting out to full-time researchers, including teachers and professors, as well as librarians, archivists, curators, etc.

How do I find the resource or tool I need?

The toolkit is organised by actions, which correspond to the different steps involved in studying medieval manuscripts, incunabula and early printed books (codicology, text, contents, etc.). Although these actions show a certain progression, users are free to pick and choose the steps they interested in: there is no preconceived path that should be followed when using the toolkit.

Actions: Getting Started, View, Describe, Find a record, Identify, Comprehend, Taking it further, Edit, Reference.

A single resource or tool may correspond to more than one action, in which case it will be found in all relevant sections of the site.

Each action is further divided into categories: the resources and tools are classified using a number of controlled vocabularies, which allows for more intuitive navigation within the main sections of the site (actions) and between them. Some categories can be found in more than one section of the site: “Manuscript”, “Incunable” and “Early Printed Book” are categories not only in the “View” section but also in the “Describe” and “Find a record” sections.

The “Getting Started” section is slightly different from the others in that it highlights a selection of resources and tools which are particularly accessible and easy to use for those who are perhaps just starting out and who wish to familiarise themselves with the field. This is also the place to find resources and tools that are considered essential in certain fields. The resources and tools in this section will also be accessible from other sections.

How does it work?

Navigating the toolkit is as simple as answering two questions:

  1. What do you want to do? (E.g.: identify)
  2. What do you want to identify? (E.g.: a text)

In addition to the main navigation (Action → category) there is series of filters, based on controlled vocabularies, displayed at the top of each page to refine the list of results. Again, these filters may be found in more than one category. These same filter criteria are also displayed as links on the record for each resource or tool: when clicked the user will have access to all the resources and tools that meet that particular criterion, regardless of which section of the toolkit they belong to.

Users who already know exactly what they’re looking for and already have the name of the resource or tool (but perhaps not the URL) can use the basic search form to find what they need, without having to navigate the different sections and then filter the results (this feature is still under development).

Each resource and tool will have a record which provides its name and a link to the website, at minimum. Depending on the available information, these records may be more or less detailed and complete. If the tool or resource has already been listed and described on another website or portal, the record will link to it so that the user can access this additional information.

When the user clicks on a record, it will be displayed on top of the results list. Closing the display will return the user to their results. It is also possible to navigate directly from one record to the next and when the toolkit is fully operational users will have the option to export a record as a PDF or print it. Each record also has a unique and stable URL so users can link to a resource or tool, or bookmark it for future reference.