Report on Digital Classics panel, Classical Association 2013
What Should Gregory Crane Do? DCA Wrap-Up
From a UCL press release:
A grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation will create an online digital library containing rare books and art works related to Greek history and culture which will be available to everyone, across the world.
For the first time, hundreds of key texts by the notable Greek mathematician, Euclid will be made available to all. Other materials will include copies of early Greek bibles, illustrations and plaster models created by John Flaxman, a key figure in the development of British Neo-classicism and excavation reports from Greek and Roman archaeological sites.
The material on the Digital Library website will be accompanied by information and commentary written by UCL academics to enhance engagement and understanding. The digital capture and curation proposed will allow wider, easier, long-term access to these extraordinary materials which will benefit UCL staff, students, scholars from the international community, school children and the general public.
In particular, widening access to these materials for scholars will yield more interdisciplinary and innovative research projects and more unique research papers. The new digital library will create a virtual community of scholars and interested individuals and therefore encourage debate. UCL plans to work closely with partners like the British Library and the Institute of Classical Studies to share this new resource as widely as possible.
The material will also be used by UCL and other universities in schools to inspire children and young people to take an interest in subjects like Ancient History and enhance their understanding of the unique opportunities university provides. Members of the public across the world will have online access to hundreds of fascinating texts and artworks at the touch of a button.
Dr Stelios Vasilakis, Senior Program Officer for Strategy & Initiatives at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, said: “The grant reflects the Foundation’s commitment to educational projects that can benefit as wide of an audience as possible. We are very pleased that our support will help create a digital library, making a large number of rare books and artefacts accessible to scholars, students and the general public alike.”
Paul Ayris, Director of UCL Library Services, said: “When Euclid was alive, only a tiny number of people would have been privileged enough to read his works. Today, thanks to the generosity of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, we are able to make these available for the whole world. I am very much looking forward to working with the Foundation to create this wonderful new resource for everyone who is passionate about Greek history and culture the world over.”
About the Stavros Niarchos Foundation: The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is one of the world’s leading international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare. The Foundation funds organizations and projects that exhibit strong leadership and sound management and are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive social impact. The Foundation also seeks actively to support projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as effective means for serving public welfare.
A few items that are ‘project related’ have been laying in my mailbox for various lengths of time and it seems useful to gather them together in one post.
First, a tip ‘o the pileus to Charles Jones for alerting us (via his AWOL blog today) of this very interesting and potentially useful (French) web project dealing with cataloging curse tablets from various parts of the Roman world. The Tabella Defixionis Project seems to be a work in progress, and not every entry has a photo, but there is some very useful bibliography for each one. Some areas of the greco-roman world have better coverage than others (Israel seems a bit scant). Whatever the case, check it out at:
Next, we have the Online Coins of the Roman Empire project, which was actually announced a couple of weeks ago (and plenty of people have nudged me about it), but I was unable to connect to it for ages for reasons unknown. Its goals are to publish every type of Roman Imperial coin out there and link to images of them whenever possible. It has search capabilities and is very clearly laid out. It’s definitely off to a good start, with over 8000 items already cataloged:
Fulfilling the scholastic rule of three, Stephen Jenkin of Classics Library fame tweeted about UPenn’s Vergil Project, which actually began years ago (before the turn of the millennium, in fact) but which seems not to have had much publicity along the way. Here’s their official description:
The Vergil Project is a resource for students, teachers, and readers of Vergil’s Aeneid. It offers an on-line hypertext linked to interpretive materials of various kinds. These include basic information about grammar, syntax, and diction; several commentaries; an apparatus criticus; help with scansion; and other resources.
… and what you get is the Latin text on the left side, with numerous useful linked things in the sidebar, including commentaries (including Servius), a concordance, translations (both ‘nice’ and ‘literal’) and other things of use. Definitely worth a look and possibly the sort of thing that should be emulated for other works (it seems to make use of Perseus’ materials, but I might be wrong with that). All that’s missing (in my view) would be a continuously-updated bibliography and/or comment facilities (but given the nature of the internet, comments might not be a good thing).
That said, perhaps some central agency could organize a project whereby a particular Classics department did one or two authors, perhaps based on the interests of some senior academics, in a similar format? Might be a good project for some upper level undergraduates … just sayin’. In any event, here’s the link:
While watching the Jane Draycott interview (below) I notice I seem to have missed another Classics Confidential interview with Sebastian Heath of ISAW fame talking about what he does and that #lawdi thing we were following on Twitter a short while ago.