LIBRARY - Database

Overview of the main bibliographic database

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What we call the "bibliographic database" is actually a sub-set of the single database that underpins the Mouritz website.

The key record-type is the Library Item, or "Reference record".  There are Reference records for:

  1. items in the Mouritz Bibliography
  2. items in the Mouritz Articles Collection
  3. reviews of books and other material in the Mouritz Bibliography
  4. references to other useful material

Regarding (4), the long-term is a comprehensive database or bibliography of all Alexander-Technique-related material, including academic theses, periodical articles, book chapters, and so on. If you are interested in helping build this bibliographic resource, please contact Mouritz via the Contact Form.

You can browse and search the full References record-set here.

Relationships between Reference records

Reference records can point to other reference records. This allows a simple hierarchical structure to be implemented: a record can be created for a "collection", and other records can point to it. For example, the records for a collection of articles can point to the record for the issue of the periodical in which they are published. Other examples of this include chapters pointing towards the book they are in, journal issues pointing towards the journal title, and so on.

Other ways that one reference record can point to another reference record include:

  • a book review pointing towards the record for the book being reviewed
  • a later edition of a book pointing towards the record for the original edition

These relationships are used to help build the Mouritz Bibliography.  They are also useful if you are looking at a Reference record that has other records associated with it. For example, if you look at the record for an issue of a periodical, you will see the list of articles in the issue if they have been added to the database.

Taxonomy and vocabulary

The website, and particularly the bibliographic database, makes extensive use of "controlled vocabularies".   The terms in these vocabularies are often referred to as "tags" in common world-wide web parlance. For simplicity, we normally use the the single word "vocabulary" and occasionally "taxonomy" to describe these pre-defined collections of tags.

Most of the vocabularies used on the website can be viewed at the Taxonomy Listing page. Note that the vocabularies have been designed for a larger range of content that the site currently hosts. Therefore, many terms will not, for the time being, have any content associated with them.

For a discussion of controlled vocabularies that also mentions the disadvantages of free tagging, where there is no control over the terms used, see the article "Taxonomies and controlled vocabularies best practices for metadata" in the Journal of Digital Asset Management.

Other record-sets

Reference records nearly always point to records in the People record-set.  This includes entries for authors, editors, illustrators and the like. You can browse the People record-set here.

Many Reference records also point to records in the Publisher record-set.  (The publisher is identified where the reference record is for a physical item such as a book, but it is not recorded for a part of a physical item, such as an article in a periodical or a chapter in a book).  You can browse the Publisher record-set here.

These relationships mean that when you view the record for authors (say) or publishers, you will also see the works in the References record-set connected to them.


Note that the following are not part of the  References record-set:

  • articles in the Mouritz Companion
  • links to useful resources and information

Schematic diagram

Data items in Reference records

For a listing of the data items ("fields") recorded in Reference records see the page About Reference record data.