Every now and then we hear tell of people using the TEI
<msDesc> element to represent bibliographic information
about things that are not strictly speaking manuscripts at all.
I'm looking at a project which wants to encode very detailed
information about specific copies of printed books (page layout,
binding, ownership etc.) and I am wondering if there's a consensus
out there about how to tweak <msDesc> for the purpose.
Specifically, today I am wondering how people go about recording
detailed notes about the printing of books, that is notes that say
"226 copies printed; 5 copies in-quarto, raisin on imperial
Japan, with 2 original engravings, numbered from I to V, plus an
author's copy ex-series numbered 0; 20 copies in-quarto, raisin
on Hollande Van Helder, with 2 original engravings, numbered from
VI to XXV; 200 copies in-octavo Jesus on laid Alfa numbered
from 1 to 200"
[This is my translation of the original,
which reads "5 ex. in-quarto raisin sur Japon impérial avec deux
gravures originales de Henri Laurens, numérotés de I à V ainsi
qu'un ex. d'auteur hors série numéroté 0 ; 20 ex. in-quarto
raisin sur Hollande Van Gelder avec deux gravures originales de
Henri Laurens, numérotés de VI à XXV ; 200 ex. in-octavo Jésus
sur Alfa vergé numérotés de 1 à 200"]
I guess I could just wrap the whole thing in a <note
type="copies"> but that seems a bit dull and doesn't capture
the structure. Moreover, this is summary information about three
(or possibly four) *groups* of copies, so it's not copy-specific
in quite the same way as the physDesc of a msDesc would be. Did
someone say "frbr"?
 this is the name of the paper size, if you're wondering. Or
so I learn from the internet "In olden times, a pattern or a
letter drawn from the daily life of the paper makers and
imprinted in the paper used to give it its name. People used to
buy raisin paper (50 x 65cm) as it bore the imprint of a bunch
of grapes, coquille paper (44 x 56cm), Jesus paper (56 x 76cm)
with the imprint of Jesus' monogram – JHS –grand aigle paper (75
x 110cm), etc."