Repositories in Gramps

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Repositories can be thought of as a collection of sources and can be seen as representing the origin and location of a specific version of a source. After creating a Repository, references to it document the collective Data Provenance common to a set of sources.

Each source can reference one or more Repository: this association is made in the Repositories tab in the Source editor.

Repositories example

To better illustrate some of the possible use scenarios, consider the following disorganized data that we want to record in Gramps:

A Baptismal record was found for Raphael Hythloday on page 66 covering the 20th of February in the year 1480 volume of the books of the Baptism Records of the Parish of Belém in Santa Maria de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal. (To take advantage of existing illustrations, we will pretend the book had been reprinted and was acquired by the New York Public Library under catalog item "CA-123-LL-456".)

Single Repository

Fig. .1 New Repository - editor dialog - example

With the above information the following structure can be deduced, from the higher level Repository information to the actual Source' specific page citation in the birth event:

Repository: New York Public Library; Call Number CA-123-LL-456
Source: Parish of Belém Baptism Records
Citation: In the "Vol/Page" field input "Year 1480, page 66"
Event: Baptism; 20 Feb 1840; Santa Maria de Belém, Portugal
Person: Hythloday, Raphael
Fig. .2 "Repositories" tab from "New Source" - dialog - example

It becomes apparent that the Repository is ultimately the "physical" location of the sources - truly physical in this example since it represents a specific building of a specific institution, but could also have been a Web repository where the page citation was a URL.

Multiple Repositories for the same Source

The example above has as source a Baptism Record book of a Parish. While this is the source of the baptismal event - and possibly others - it is possible that multiple representations of this single source exist. Let's consider a not unusual scenario:

  • The book itself in the New York Public Library, as already mentioned.
  • The original in the Parish Archives
  • A microfilm of Baptism Records of the same Parish covering 1480-1500 is present in the Lisbon District Archive, with the number MF-123456
  • A scanned image and transcription of the same baptism record is available online in the National Archive webpage.
  • A digital copy of the book was acquired for your personal digital library in the Zotero Document Management database

The source itself remains the same: the Baptism Books of the Belém Parish, so it is hardly practical or necessary to add different Sources to represent the different mediums in which the information lies. It is however useful to record that the information is available in different ways and forms - it might, for example, be necessary to get a copy of the Baptism record at a latter time.

Repositories - and the associated reference in the Sources - fulfil this task: they represent different origins and representations of the same source. Using the above information 5 different Repositories exist:

  1. The already added NY Public Library
  2. Parish of Belém Archives
  3. The Lisbon District Archive
  4. The National Archive Digital Repository
  5. <your name> personal Zotero Repository

The same source - the already referenced "Parish of Belém Baptism Records" - should be added to all five. When a source is added to a Repository a Repository Reference is created. This reference shows the shared Repository information - that is the same for all the Sources in the same Repository - and also a Reference Information section that is specific to the Source and that includes "Media Type" and "Call Number". This is where the information that is required to locate the source in the repository should be entered. Following our example:

  1. The mass distribution copies of the Baptism books would have as Repository the NY Public Library. The "Media Type" in the Repository information would be set to "Book" and the call number would match that library's catalog identifier.
  2. The Baptism books "proper" would have as Repository the Parish of Belém Archives. The "Media Type" in the Repository information would be set to "Book" and the call number empty.
  3. The microfilm would have as Repository the Lisbon District Archive. The "Media Type" would be "Microfilm" and the call number "MF-123456".
  4. The scanned image available online would have as Repository the national Archive. The "Media Type" would be "Web page" (or perhaps "Digital image") and the call number the URL where the image is available.
  5. The digital book is available in your synched Zotero under a specific document identifier.

See also