Unique Source Object
Learn more about Unique Source Objects.

What is a Unique Source Object?

Short description

A Unique Source Object is a source object with a uniquely existing content. It might be unique because the exact same words do not exist elswhere or because the document is handwritten and thus it is unique in its appearance. In this sense, anything that has been handwritten may be unique.

Advanced description

A Unique Source Object is a made-man physical Object, or a manifestation singleton. This means that it can have both a temporal and a material dimension, as well as a localisation.
In other words, a Unique Source Object is a physical object that carries a Source Content, which is unique. In this sense, anything that has been handwritten may be considered unique.
A Unique Source Object may for example be an archival document or an unpublished manuscript, or any other unique document such as a letter, an order or a modern unpublished work.
As well it is used for other forms of Unique Object like any kind of artwork, such as painting, drawing, statue, provided that it has been uniquely conceived.
Both historical documents and modern unpublished work preserved in archival repositories are considered to be Unique Source Object, as each document has no exact siblings. The same is true for an unpublished scientific manuscript, letter, clay tablets, epigraphical inscription etc.
Hint: You can simply add Type according to your research question, such as "Parchment", "Chronicle", "Clay tablets", etc. by using the Controlled vocabularies module.

Examples of types of Unique Source Objects

Examples of type of a Unique Source Object include:
  • Written document : A document written by hand.
  • Manuscripts : A document or book written by hand or typed. It could be an ancient manuscript written by hand before printing was invented.
  • Specific purpose document : A written document intended for a specific purpose, such as register, account, list, etc.
  • Archival document : A document kept in an archival repository with a specific inventory number.
  • Letter : A written message from a person to another person or institution, usually put in an envelope and sent by post.
  • Unpublished work : Unpublished written material or the original copy of a document or book before it is printed.
  • Clay tablets : Writing medium that has been preserved by firing, well known in the cuneiform world.
  • Epigraphical inscription : Inscription engraved on stone or wood.
  • The final clean draft sent by an author or a composer to a publisher.
  • Work of art such as painting, drawing, statue, provided that it has been uniquely conceived.
  • etc.
Hint: If you need inform about specific characteristics of your Unique Source Object (like its texture or materiality, sender/receiver of letters), check whether an appropriate profile exists and otherwise contact the Geovistory team to help you out.

Add a Unique Source Object

In this section learn by example how to add a Unique source object.

Example of 'The book of Kells'

1) Give a Name and a Definition to your Manuscript

The first step is to give your source a name. This can be a title or an archival reference. Also, it is important to add a small definition. This will allow other users to reuse your source if it is the same document, and also for you to find yourself in the future.
Create a Unique Source Object with a naming and a definition
The same document can have several names. In the case of the Book of Kells, it is also named the "Book of Columba" or "the Codex Caennensis". You can add as many "namings" as you want and specify the language for each one. Also, you can add a type to distinguish titles from archives numbers, for example.
The same source can have several naming
Hint: You can highlight a name by selecting it as a favorite by clicking on the tree points on the right. See "Mark as Favorite" in Hints & Tips.

2. Add a short title, a type & indicate the collection to which it belongs

In the basic field section, display empty fields by clicking on the right. You are now able to add a short title in order to facilitate your search, indicate to which collection, library or museum it belongs (here the Trinity College) and add a type depending on your need, for example "illuminated manuscript".
Learn here how to structure your collection if you want to specify that the Book of Kells is maintained in the "codex collection" of the Trinity College Library.
Use the field "belongs to" to refer to a collection or a repository

3. The Source Content

On the right, on the tab "Content", you will see that a "Source Content" was directly associated to your Unique Source Object.
Learn here more about the concept of Source Content.
Hint: Use the Source Content to digitally reproduce the content of your source object (or parts of it). Learn here how to do this.

4. Inform about the creation of a Unique Source Object

If you want;
  • to inform about the date of the creation of the manuscript (12th century),
  • or indicate its creators (Columban monastery),
  • or inform about the place it was created (Columban monastery),
--> you have to activate the profile "Intellectual and literary life". See here how to activate a profile.
It allows you to link your Unique Source Object with an event of Source Content Creation linked by the field "was created by".
In this field, inform about the temporality (has time-span), the person who has carried it out (carried out by) and the localisation (took place at).