Integrating Digital Epigraphies (IDEs)

Hugh Cayless (Duke)

Digital Classicist London & Institute of Classical Studies seminar 2015

Friday July 17th at 16:30, in Room G21A, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Video recording of seminar on YouTube

IDEs is being developed as a Linked Data platform for working with digital epigraphy. Our first round of development has focussed on Greek Epigraphy and on pulling together data from the Packard Humanities Institute's Searchable Greek Inscriptions project (PHI), the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum (SEG), the Claros concordance of epigraphical publication data, and articles in JSTOR related to epigraphy. This first phase of IDEs has two primary goals: the first is to provide a web interface via which the complex network of epigraphical citations may be navigated and the second is to expose APIs which other projects can use to link their epigraphic data to data in other resources. For example, a JSTOR article that cites inscriptions would be able to automatically link to the text of those inscriptions in PHI, any commentary on them in SEG, and any further bibliographic data from Claros. A PHI text could leverage our API to link out to the other resources. We plan to add links to photographs of inscriptions published in Flickr, translations hosted by Attic Inscriptions Online, and data from other projects.

Once the first phase is complete, we will add an editing interface which scholars will be able to use to correct or refine IDEs data, and APIs that will provide access to these updates to partner projects, enabling them to incorporate changes themselves. The ultimate goal is to apply Linked Data techniques to improve the navigability of epigraphic resources without having to aggregate all of the data into a single site. We hope to make the wide variety of epigraphy-related digital project work together more smoothly without having to compromise their own functionality or independance. This paper will discuss the technologies being employed in the development of IDEs, the difficulties inherent in parsing epigraphic citations from a variety of sources, and how our project philosophy differs from typical DH data publication efforts. Although IDEs will produce a new "epigraphic portal", its main goal is not to be yet another epigraphy site, but rather to disappear, to enable other projects to work better via its APIs rather than to replace them.


The seminar will be followed by wine and refreshments.