Electra Atlantis: Digital Approaches to Antiquity

http://planet.atlantides.org/electra

Tom Elliott (tom.elliott@nyu.edu)

This feed aggregator is part of the Planet Atlantides constellation. Its current content is available in multiple webfeed formats, including Atom, RSS/RDF and RSS 1.0. The subscription list is also available in OPML and as a FOAF Roll. All content is assumed to be the intellectual property of the originators unless they indicate otherwise.

July 23, 2014

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Pinakes Πίνακες: Textes et manuscrits grecs

 [First posted in AWOL 6 July 2011, updated 23 July 2014]

Pinakes Πίνακες: Textes et manuscrits grecs

Nouvelle version de Pinakes !

Une nouvelle version de Pinakes a été développée et mise en ligne en mars 2014. Celle-ci présente de nouvelles fonctionnalités permettant de mieux décrire les textes et les manuscrits et, à terme, de faire de Pinakes un portail sur les manuscrits grecs. Les principales innovations sont les suivantes :
  • ajout d’une fonctionnalité de recherche croisée permettant la recherche de cooccurrence des textes dans les manuscrits ;
  • précision accrue dans la description codicologique et textuelle des manuscrits, sans pour autant viser à un catalogage détaillé ; un module de catalogage propre, adossé à la base, sera mis en ligne dans l’année qui vient ;
  • intégration directe des liens et des références bibliographiques à tous les niveaux de la base, permettant de structurer les ressources sur les bibliothèques, les catalogues et les numérisations de manuscrits grecs jusqu’ici accessibles à travers la page de liens.
Toutes ces informations ne seront que progressivement renseignées et harmonisées ; pendant la phase de transition, l'utilisateur rencontrera un certain nombre d'incohérences dans la base.
Avant toute utilisation, consulter le mode d’emploi (pas encore mis à jour).

Historique

La base Pinakes rassemble la tradition manuscrite des textes grecs antérieurs au XVIe siècle, principalement à partir des catalogues des bibliothèques du monde entier.
Elle a été constituée à partir de 1971 au Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies de Toronto. Depuis 1993, la Section grecque de l’Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes, à Paris, en assure la gestion et continue à l’enrichir.
La base a été mise en ligne pour la première fois en 2008.

Bibliographie

Le dépouillement systématique d'un certain nombre de périodiques est désormais assuré par la Section grecque, à partir de 2010. Pour plus d'informations sur les ouvrages dépouillés, voir la page de Présentation.
Si vous souhaitez que vos publications soient rapidement référencées dans la base, merci de nous les faire parvenir (IRHT – section grecque, 52 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 75005 Paris, France ; section.grecque@irht.cnrs.fr).
N’hésitez pas non plus à nous signaler toute publication ou revue dont l’ajout vous semblerait souhaitable : nous prendrons en compte votre suggestion, dans la mesure des moyens humains disponibles.

Collaborations

Avec le développement de la nouvelle version de Pinakes, la saisie des manuscrits hagiographiques est désormais facilitée. Les données sur les manuscrits hagiographiques qui seront progressivement versées dans la base proviennent en grande partie du fichier de la Société des Bollandistes, fruit de plus d’un siècle de dépouillement. Elles seront saisies grâce à un financement du labex Resmed.
Nous restons par ailleurs ouverts à toute proposition de collaboration pour l'enrichissement et la correction des données concernant les manuscrits ainsi que pour le développement de la bibliographie  (voir Révision des données). N'hésitez pas non plus à nous signaler des erreurs ou des propositions de correction.

Corinthian Matters

An Update on the Isthmus Project (and a promise to unleash some mid-summer Corinthiaka)

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know that I have slowly been making progress on a historical study of the Roman Isthmus. Every so often, I rehearse the background of the project and offer an update of how it has developed—mainly to apologize for the sporadic character of posts on this blog.

So, the rehearsal: The project began a little over a decade ago as a dissertation about the late antique landscape that centered on the survey data of the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey. In completing that project in 2006, I recognized that understanding the Isthmus in late antiquity demanded a real understanding of the region in earlier Roman times. But pushing into earlier centuries naturally ushered in the complex patterns of continuity and change in earlier periods. Before I knew it, my focused study of a late antique landscape had morphed into a century by century treatment of contingency and connectivity from the archaic age to the end of antiquity. The heart of the study is a fine-grained presentation of the EKAS survey data contextualized in terms of the primary textual sources for the period and synthetic summaries of archaeological investigations. My aim has been to show how connectivity in the landscape related to the broader interactions of the local, regional, and global: Roman imperialism, colonization, the visit of an emperor, Greek elite education, and foreign invasions were some of the short-term contingencies that affected the development of the region in the long term.

The good news (the update) is that I’m in the final stages of finishing this thing. I have a contract, a publisher (Michigan), and a manuscript that is taking its final shape. It’s been reviewed. A couple of times. In fact, I thought I was finished in January, but some late reviews from anonymous reviewers and friends encouraged me to add two more chapters. As I wrap up those final chapters, I’m hopeful that this will be in finished state (again) by the end of the year at the latest. Indeed, I have a strong incentive to finish by summer’s end since LP3 (Little Pettegrew #3) is due to arrive in early September just in time for the new school year. Of course, I’m almost always unrealistic about the time needed to finish projects so we’ll just see how it goes.

The chapter divisions and content as it currently stands—last minute reorganization could shuffle the content of Ch. 2-4:

1. Introduction

2. The Isthmos: conceptions and definitions of the isthmus in the Classical and Hellenistic era

3. The Crossroads: the physical developments of the regional structures from the archaic to Hellenistic periods

4. The Fetter: the Isthmus as it relates to the Roman destruction of Greek Corinth

5. The Portage: the interim period

6. The Bridge: the first century of the Roman colony

7. The Canal: the third quarter of the first century AD

8. The Center: late first to early third century

9. The Countryside: mid-third to late fourth

10. The Fortification: late fourth to early seventh

11. Conclusions

With some optimism about an end in sight, I’ll start releasing some of the Corinthiaka that I’ve been hoarding in recent months. Some of this will be familiar stuff to the Corinthian Studies FB group, so apologies to readers who are seeing old news in these posts.


dh+lib: where the digital humanities and librarianship meet

Intertwingularity with Digital Humanities at the University of Florida

Laurie N. Taylor (Digital Scholarship Librarian) and Blake Landor (Classics, Philosophy, and Religion Librarian) profile recent DH developments at the University of Florida. These interconnected developments, including the formation of a dedicated library group, the development of a training course for librarians, and the launch of the Scott Nygren Scholars Studio, draw on related and distributed expertise across the campus.

Background

The University of Florida is a comprehensive, public, land-grant, research university, among the largest and most academically diverse public universities in the US. The UF Libraries form the largest information resource system in the state of Florida (the third most populous state).

Part of the history of digital humanities at UF is deeply connected with the UF Digital Collections at the George A. Smathers Libraries at UF. The UF Libraries have a long history of collaboration using technologies for preservation and access, including international collaboration for microfilming. In the 1990s, the UF Libraries began experimenting with digitization to preserve materials held in the Latin American & Caribbean Collections—collections that were built over many decades, through much collaboration with partner institutions—and in 1999, the UF Libraries formalized ongoing support for digitization by creating the Digital Library Center.

Bodhisattva CAT Scan

Gilt Wood Seated Bodhisattva CAT Scan, for UF’s Korean Art: Collecting Treasures online exhibit.

In 2006, the UF Libraries launched the UF Digital Collections (UFDC) using the open source SobekCM content management system. UF and partners collaboratively developed the SobekCM software to meet shared needs, including a robust socio-technical (people, policies, and technologies) infrastructure for:

  • Digitization and digital curation (e.g., workflows, integrated tracking and reporting, integrated digital preservation); shared documentation; collaborative training programs; online tools for workflow needs including item creation, quality control, and metadata editing;
  • Hosting for online access for all material types; integrated and separately aggregated per curatorial needs; specialized viewers for materials; branding; specialized supports for patron, scholar, librarian/curator, and other external and internal user groups; integrated online mySOBEK tools designed for general users, internal production users, and curators and scholars;
  • Ongoing growth and development for needs related to institutions, collections, technologies, collaboration for growing capacity among all partners for new activities and for growing the collaborative community, new activities as with digital scholarship and data curation.

dLOC now has 38 international partner institutions, many scholar contributors, over a million user views each month, and is one of the largest Open Access collections for the Caribbean.

SobekCM also powers the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), for which the UF Libraries are one of the founding partners and the technical host partner. Started in 2004, dLOC now has 38 international partner institutions, many scholar contributors, over a million user views each month, and is one of the largest Open Access collections for the Caribbean. dLOC partners digitize materials, curate collections, and collaborate with scholars on intellectual infrastructure, context, growing and supporting Caribbean Studies, and new research initiatives.

Slide05

By 2011, thanks in large part to the community and collaboration with programs like dLOC, the UF Digital Collections boasted rich content and rich repository features supporting direct library needs and DH projects.[1] With the UF Libraries’s robust technical infrastructure, experience with collaborative projects, and a critical mass of digital library content, the UF Libraries recognized that the next steps required additional support to enable the UF Libraries, UF faculty and students, and others to grapple with ways of answering what do you do with it? and what next?

Answering these questions required changes in the socio-technical infrastructure for the human infrastructure in terms of positions, responsibilities, and organization. Within the existing structure, more steps were needed to build towards a comprehensive approach to address the place of subject and liaison librarians with data and DH.  It was at this point that the UF Libraries created the Digital Humanities Librarian position from a Digital Projects Librarian position within the Digital Library Center. In 2012, the DH Librarian position moved to the Scholarly Resources & Research group, reflecting the growth and changed focus from curation as part of production to part of research services, with a closer alignment with Subject Specialist/Liaison Librarians. The past and unfolding history of the UF Libraries in supporting DH continues to grow and connect with digital library activities and related work, including in data curation.

In 2013, dedicated and specific supports for all UF librarians for DH were not in place. The Digital Humanities Library Group began in 2014 as a direct outgrowth of UF’s Data Management/Data Curation Task Force (hereafter, DMCTF), a group with many campus representatives and a campus-wide scope.

Data Curation Task Force and Digital Humanities Library Group: Subject/Liaison Librarian Roles

The DMCTF was established in 2012 to address the needs of researchers on the UF campus for a coordinated approach and culture of support for data curation and management across disciplines (DMCTF Charge). The DMCTF has been responsible for sponsoring data-related events, making policy and procedure recommendations for developing human and technical infrastructures, providing information resources for the university community, and fostering collaborations and developing a full culture of support.

One of the DMCTF’s first recommendations was that Subject or Liaison Librarians develop a basic level of data literacy involving the skills necessary to effectively locate, analyze, manage, and interpret datasets, including (at a basic level) knowledge of data lifecycles; local and long-term storage options; knowledge of the DMPTool; awareness of data usage and practices in assigned subject areas; and awareness of tools and experts on campus to assist with data management for making appropriate referrals. At a more advanced level, the DMCTF recommended that Subject or Liaison Librarians have familiarity with analytical, statistical and visualization techniques and software.

One of the DMCTF’s first recommendations was that Subject or Liaison Librarians develop a basic level of data literacy.

The DMCTF was designed as an integrated group connecting other data activities and groups to enable full, campus-wide support in part by fostering a culture of radical collaboration. Although the DMCTF was somewhat too blunt an instrument to address the specific needs of digital humanists, especially in the development of training programs that centered on digital humanities, it was designed to be able to incubate new groups if appropriate. Two representatives from humanities disciplines sit on DMCTF: Laurie Taylor, Digital Scholarship Librarian (formerly called the “Digital Humanities Librarian”) and Blake Landor, the Classics, Philosophy, and Religion Librarian. Laurie is co-chair of DMCTF.

Laurie and Blake, authors of this post, discussed forming a separate, library-based group which focused on skills that library faculty and staff (especially Subject or Liaison Librarians) require to be effective supporters of digital humanities programs on campus as well as potentially involved themselves in digital humanities projects. We agreed that this group should function independently of DMCTF, while reporting back to DMCTF as input to policy recommendations. That conception was the origin of UF Libraries’ Digital Humanities Library Group (DHLG). Over the Winter Break this idea was developed into a proposal and submitted to the Library Administration; it was approved on January 29, 2014.

The DHLG was created without a specific charge other than to address/discuss issues in digital humanities and to schedule training in support of the group’s members. While the formation of the group was approved by Library Administration (with Blake in the role of Chair), it is very much a grass roots cohort of primarily Subject or Liaison Librarians brought together by a common interest. Laurie’s role has been as the administration liaison to the group as well as co-coordinator.

Shortly after the proposal was approved, an invitation to join the group went to the UF Libraries’s “All Librarians” email list and other email lists. Between 15 and 20 librarians and staff members responded to this invitation with the strong support of their supervisors to take the time off their normal schedules. The group participants include librarians and staff from various departments, including Special & Area Studies Collections, Humanities and Social Sciences, Fine Arts, Cataloging, and Administration. Since February, the group has met approximately every three weeks to discuss issues in digital humanities librarianship and define/plan a training course that would focus on digital humanities. As a model for our group to consider, Laurie developed a series of training modules or units that comprised the basic skill sets that our group agreed would give us a start on becoming well-rounded digital humanities Subject Librarians.

The Scott Nygren Scholars Studio

While this was taking place, two exciting, related developments occurred that reinforced the importance of what we were doing. The first was that UF Libraries’ Dean Judy Russell encouraged the group to explore the implementation of a Scholars Studio in our Social Sciences and Humanities Library (Library West). Dean Russell suggested that our newly-formed DHLG look into this idea and work up a proposal.  We called an outside expert, Alex Gil, Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Columbia University Libraries, who provided recommendations and suggestions, including recommending a Scholars Studio model with a BYOD (“bring your own device”) environment that would offer wall paint, projector, and tables forming a collaborative space for instructional activities and collaborative projects, and a staging area for digital humanities-related presentations and events.

With strong internal support and sponsorship, DHLG participants organized a subgroup to develop the proposal. The subgroup added to the basic design, identifying use cases that demonstrated the value of a LED multi-touch screen, a “smart” podium, and inviting furniture, in addition to the updates to transform what is currently a rather traditional classroom into a flexible studio space. In response to input from academic departments, we added three computers with dual monitors to the proposal, and by April our completed proposal for a Scholars Studio was approved by the Library Administration, and named as the Scott Nygren Scholars Studio.

DH Library Group and Developing Librarian Program: DH and Subject/Liaison Librarians

In addition to giving us advice about UF’s Scholars Studio, Alex Gil also shared some of his experience coordinating Columbia University’s Developing Librarian Project, which turned out to be the inspiration for the training program that the DHLG decided upon. The DHLG was especially convinced by the idea that training should not take place in a vacuum, but should rather be part of a collaborative project designed to improve library resources. The “learning by doing” motif has now formed the basis for the training program that DHLG devised. After much discussion, we decided to work on the curation of the Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales digital collection, a sub-collection of UF’s Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature collection.

Little brother & little sister and other tales, illustrated by Arthur Rackham (1917)

Little brother & little sister and other tales, illustrated by Arthur Rackham (1917)

In order to implement the Developing Librarian model, we drew on internal as well as external trainers, and applied for a library Mini-Grant in support of bringing in external trainers. The title of this one-year funding proposal, which references the Columbia University project, is “Developing Librarian Digital Humanities Pilot Training Project.” The proposed training schedule draws heavily on the training units that Laurie devised for our group and is centered on the curation of the Grimm Brothers’ digital collection as our specific focus. The grant proposal has been funded, with a funding period that will extend through June 2015.

The skill sets DHLG members hope to acquire with this pilot training project include, but are not limited to, project management and charters, content management systems (e.g. WordPress, SobekCM), TEI and metadata training, GIS, data mining and visualization, linked data, and online exhibit design and development. The overall program is being designed for participants to gain skills, experience, methodological knowledge, and confidence for learning new tools and for taking on leadership roles in initiating and collaborating on projects, developing training sessions for students and scholars, and addressing new needs as they emerge. Because DH is a growth area which potentially impacts a number of functional units in the library, and many departments outside the library, the wide interest in the DHLG’s training program is not totally surprising. However, not everyone who is interested in the training has time for the whole program, and so we are trying to make allowances to accommodate different needs.

From “Just in Case” to “Just in Time”

While the DHLG was getting started, planning was also underway for a graduate certification program in digital humanities. This idea started when Elizabeth Dale, Professor of History and Law, began working with the History Librarian, Shelley Arlen, on developing a digital humanities course for the fall of 2014, which includes a certificate upon completion of the course. A proposal to expand this idea to a graduate certification program in digital humanities is being worked on collaboratively by faculty members of the Departments of English and History, Laurie, Blake, and Shelley from the Libraries, and Sophia Acord, Associate Director of the Center for the Humanities & the Public Sphere. As a starting point, this program is leveraging courses currently being taught or in development. It has been instructive to learn during the early stage in the planning of this program the number (over 25) and variety of courses in numerous academic departments that offer digital humanities content. This is a fairly recent development and speaks to the timeliness of the new Scott Nygren Scholars Studio and developing librarian training program. When the DHLG proposal was submitted last January, to some extent we were in a “just in case” frame of mind (we need these skills just in case user demand for Subject Librarians with these skills ticks up). This has now turned into a “just in time” orientation; our training will be in full tilt just as the new DH graduate certificate program and the new Scott Nygren Scholars Studio are unveiled in the fall.

Thus, three separate concurrent developments at UF have been serendipitously dovetailing. Additionally, other work that builds from, informs, and connects to these developments includes activities to better formalize and support collaboration with Scholars Councils, across Florida with the nascent Florida Digital Humanities Consortium, integration and collaboration for teaching and research with the “Panama Silver, Asian Gold: Migration, Money, and the Making of the Modern” DOCC or Distributed Online Collaborative Course, and more.[2]

Being at the epicenter of several developments at their very inception and being closely connected and collaborating with many groups and individuals is an exciting place to be. We look forward to reporting back to this group in a few months, after these developments have had a chance to progress further.


[1] Other examples of digital humanities collaborations by UF Libraries

  • Diaries of a Prolific Professor: Undergraduate Research from the James Haskins Manuscript Collection online and print on demand edited collection by teaching faculty librarians, archivists, and student researchers; written based on the experience of processing and working in the archival collection; the book represents a new scholarly contribution and serves as an artifact of the collaboration.
  • Online exhibits, new Exhibits Coordinator, and Exhibitions Program: librarians have collaboratively created online exhibits with teaching faculty, students, and others from UF and beyond. In 2011, the UF Libraries created a new Exhibits Coordinator position to implement a full exhibitions program, which was necessary in part because of the consistently increasing in demand for collaboratively creating online exhibits as digital humanities scholarship.
  • UF Digital Humanities Librarian and DH Program: In 2011, the existing Digital Librarian position title was changed to reflect the transformed position focus, from building digital collections to taking digital collections—including new digital collections—as foundations and critical components in the larger work of digital humanities, digital scholarship, data curation, and scholarly cyberinfrastructure. In 2012, the Digital Humanities Librarian position moved from the Digital Library Center, aligned more with digital production, to report through the Associate Dean for Scholarly Resources & Services which includes collections, positioning the DH Librarian and DH activities with Subject and Liaison Librarians.
  • UF’s Digital Humanities Working Group (DHWG): UF’s DHWG began in 2011 when Sophia Acord, Center for the Humanities & the Public Sphere, and Laurie Taylor, Digital Humanities Librarian, jointly convened the inaugural meeting to discuss activities designed to build a community of practice at UF for exploring the humanities in and for a digital age. UF’s DHWG includes members from across campus, with many from within and outside of the UF Libraries.
  • UF Annual Digital Humanities Day: UF’s DHWG hosted the 1st  and 2nd annual UF DH Days in 2012 and 2013 saw over 120 people at each event, gathered enormously positive feedback from the post-conference attendee surveys, and abundant, positive anecdotes of new collaborations, projects, and practices from participants (2012 introductory slides and 2013 program materials) as well as several new DH projects like the collaborative grant with Museum Studies and Library faculty for “Archiving the Photographs of the First Transcontinental Railroad.” Perhaps most importantly, these events help support development of the DH community at UF.
  • THATCamp-Gainesville: the 3rd UF DH Day event was THATCamp-Gainesville, the first THATCamp for UF and Gainesville in April 2014, which received positive post-event participant evaluations and positive anecdotes across such a great variety of areas (program materials). We don’t yet have clear examples of new projects or initiatives that can be directly traced to THATCamp-Gainesville, but the event brought together attendees from across Florida and allowed for the next-step discussions on creating the Florida Digital Humanities Consortium, with that creation underway.

[2] Related, Connected, and Intertwingled Activities
Some of the related current work, with more details, includes:

  • Forging a Collaborative Structure for Sustaining Scholarly Access to the Baldwin Library for Historical Children’s Literature,” a project by Suzan Alteri, Curator of the Baldwin Library, to develop a Scholars Council for the Baldwin to formalize support to growth collaboration among the Baldwin Library and its scholarly community.
  • dLOC Scholarly Advisory Board Expansion, where UF is participating with the dLOC partners in developing plans for expanding the Scholarly Advisory Board (perhaps also having it become a Scholars Council) to best support and provide credit for the rich and abundant work already being done, and to support future growth.
  • Florida Digital Humanities Consortium,” with many institutions in Florida collaboratively planning the prototype or draft of the operational model to support the broad, rich, and deep collaboration and DH work in Florida. Discussions on statewide collaboration began at THATCamp-Florida hosted by the University of Central Florida and continued at THATCamp-Gainesville at UF. Now, UCF teaching faculty and UF teaching and librarian faculty are serving as core organizers for facilitating and launching the new initiative with the statewide community.
  • Panama Silver, Asian Gold: Migration, Money, and the Making of the Modern,” DOCC or Distributed Online Collaborative Course taught in fall 2013 by Rhonda Cobham-Sander with librarian Missy Roser at Amherst College, Donette Francis with librarians Beatrice Skokan and Vanessa Rodriguez at the University of Miami, and Leah Rosenberg with librarians Margarita Vargas-Betancourt and Laurie N. Taylor at the University of Florida. In designing the course, the scholars deliberately created the syllabus, modules, and teaching resources such that other teachers could easily use the materials to teach the full course or select specific lessons in the future with the clearly articulated goal to build intellectual infrastructure for Caribbean Studies by creating course materials, identifying materials for digitization, and creating new scholarly works with all added to dLOC (materials for teaching and research resulting from the course).
  • Piloting a Peer-to-Peer Process for becoming a Trusted Digital Repository:” the libraries of the University of North Texas and UF are collaboratively creating a pilot peer-to-peer process for TRAC to build towards becoming a Trusted Digital Repository, including using the process to build even stronger capacity locally and as a community for supporting collaborative needs related to preservation, governance, auditing, reporting, and other concerns.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

 

Blake Landor

I have been employed since 1990 as the Classics, Philosophy and Religion Librarian in Library West (the Social Science & Humanities library for the University of Florida), developing the collections in Classics, Philosophy, Religion, and General Humanities; offering specialized and general research assistance to faculty and students; and teaching subjected-related library instruction workshops and citation management workshops. Since 2005 I have been Coordinator of Collections for Library West. During the past few years, I have become more involved with Digital Humanities, being the PI in 2011 for a Mini-Grant funded project involving the cataloging of online Latin classical texts (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00000779/00001) and, more recently, the PI for the UF Libraries’ “Developing Librarian” Digital Humanities Pilot Training Project (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00022054/00001); coordinator (in 2012) of an ACRL Research Program on “Data Curation and Collaborative Research”; participant since 2012 in UF’s Data Curation/Management Taskforce; and (since January, 2014) chair and founder of UF Libraries’ Digital Humanities Library Group.

Laurie N. Taylor

Laurie N. Taylor, PhD, is the Digital Scholarship Librarian at the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida. Her work focuses on data curation, digital curation, and socio-technical needs for scholarly cyberinfrastructure. This includes work to build, preserve, and ensure findability and usability for digital humanities and other digital scholarship projects with digital collections. She works heavily with the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC), and the Open Source SobekCM software and tools. She is the Technical Director for the international collaborative Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC).

 

The post Intertwingularity with Digital Humanities at the University of Florida appeared first on dh+lib.

Source: Journalism Code, Context & Community

How We Made "Disappearing Rio Grande"

By Ryan D. Murphy

How We Made

Last December, Colin McDonald pitched an opportunity for The Texas Tribune to partner on an ambitious project–he kayaks, canoes, and walks the Rio Grande’s entire 1,900 course, and we create a platform that makes it possible for him and his team to publish their reports on the journey. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign, the Disappearing Rio Grande project was born.

Colin is no stranger to enterprising endeavors like this. In 2009, he kayaked the entire coast of Texas as the water reporter for the San Antonio Express-News. In 2010, he partnered with Eagle Scout Jonathan Smith to walk from one end of Big Bend to the other in twelve days. His credentials certainly checked out.

Early Mockups

One of the biggest inspirations brought to the table in early talks was National Geographic’s Out of Eden Project Walk project. In particular, we were fascinated by the "map room" version, which allows readers to follow the trail of the reporters and explore the posts geographically. In the beginning, many of our mockups revolved around this idea.

An early mockup

But we struggled to find a way to make this work best on mobile. Should a large map really be the primary method of navigation? What does it do to content being pushed down the page? (We concerned ourselves less and less with the concept of the "fold" as we progressed. (Don’t be afraid of scrolling!) We played with the idea of having a calendar navigation as well, but eventually settled on a tried and true format–the blog.

(For what it’s worth, the large map view is pending! We couldn’t deny how awesome it would be to see the entire journey on one large map. Coming soon.)

We were also pushed in this direction with the news that Erich Schlegel–an award winning photographer that has worked with National Geographic, The New York Times, and The Guardian, among others–would be joining the project. Erich’s photos were guaranteed to be fantastic, and it was vital to make sure they had the opportunity to shine.

Simple Works Best

Probably the biggest struggle with this project was ensuring that Colin, Erich, and Jessi Loerch–a friend of Colin’s and the project’s editor–had an easy way to update the site without any direct involvement from us. We wanted nothing more than to have control over the "publish" button. An editor on our side makes a sanity check on each piece of content in the morning and then flips the switch.

We also knew we were not going to be able to devote any staff time to designing pages. And because Colin and Erich would typically be uploading stories, photos, and data from a tent with an expensive satellite internet connection, page styles had to be functional and attractive enough to work for the entirety of the seven-month journey.

So we threw out the JavaScript photo slideshow that could potentially throw a fit if a funny photo size was thrown at it, and went with a Big Picture-inspired photo list. No matter what content was prepared for each day, there would be a defined order—posts always come first, then galleries, then measurements, and finally check-ins. Colin and the gang never have to worry about where their content was going, and just had to focus on making sure it made it to us.

The Beginnings of Something Better

The Texas Tribune’s News App team is still relatively new, and a big part of our focus this year has been on revamping our publishing process. Taking inspiration from our peers (namely, our friends on the NPR visuals team and Los Angeles Times Data Desk), we’ve moved to a two tier system.

Projects that can be static and standalone should be static and standalone, like our recent Hurting for Work investigative project. It’s nothing more than a collection of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files living in an S3 bucket.

Traditionally, the Tribune’s larger projects (AKA ones that require a database) all lived under the www.texastribune.org banner. Examples of this include the salary database, the public school explorer and the higher ed outcome explorer. While this has worked well enough so far, it comes with one serious drawback—any changes to these projects require deploys of the entire Texas Tribune site, meaning any bugs that have snuck into the code base from any of the numerous other projects also within the site could potentially get pushed live along with an app update.

The Rio Grande project is the first in a series of three larger projects that move away from that model. Rio Grande is admittedly a small scale effort—it didn’t require any beefy database or hosting plan to get it going. The app itself is plugging away on Heroku, and the PostgreSQL/PostGIS database is hosted on Amazon RDS.

Why not all Heroku (or all Amazon)? The simplest answer is because it was easy!

We needed the PostGIS support, and Amazon RDS makes it really simple to do. But we weren’t quite ready to jump head first into the Amazon EC2 pool, so we leaned on our familiarity with Heroku’s service to get the project online.

Tracking Progress in Real Time

One of the coolest parts of the project was one the simplest to implement—Colin’s occasional latitude/longitude checkins.

Using a SPOT GPS device, Colin is able to send out simple "I’m still alive" pings with a push of a button. Thanks to SPOT’s relatively solid API, we are able to periodically check Colin’s feed and collect the GPS data.

Where is Colin?

Because the app is running on Heroku, we take advantage of Heroku Scheduler (essentially a cron job) and fire off a Django management command every hour to see if there are any new points to collect.

The API gives us the last 50 check-ins. The command checks the IDs of each check-in against the database. Is it a point we already have stored? Do nothing. Something new? Create the model and save it.

Is it real time? Not exactly. But it’s good enough.

Who’s Responsible For This?

While I served as project lead, I definitely didn’t do it alone.

Shout-outs to Ben Hasson (@been_hussln), who spearheaded much of the design work, and Jessica Hamel (@jessihamel), who created the wonderful maps.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

The Hellespont Project: Integrating Arachne and Perseus

The Hellespont Project: Integrating Arachne and Perseus
http://hellespont.dainst.org/startpage/assets/greif.png
As a partner of the German Archaeological Institute, the CoDArchLab cooperates with the Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University to combine the digital collections of classical studies of both institutions. Thus one of the most comprehensive and free online collections of Greek and Roman antiquity will be available for public and scientific use.

The basis of the Hellespont Project is the combination of text and object data using the metadata format CIDOC CRM. The CRM mapping of the Arachne database is part of other projects of the CoDArchLab carried out at the moment. The use of CIDOC CRM to map ancient text content in order to build a bridge to other types of sources is a methodological innovation. 

The material world in Thucydides' Pentecontaetia (Thuc. 1,89 to 1,118) is the chosen starting point for the integration of both data sets; other parts of the text will follow at a later stage.

One task of the project consists in manually identifying entities representing categories in the archaeological and textual evidence (e.g. built spaces, topography, individual persons, populations) within the whole text of Thucydides' Pentecontaetia. These entities will be annotated according to the TEI guidelines, so as to enrich the text simultaneously with historical background information.
Event annotation is also performed simultaneously, taking as a basis the mainly discussed historical events of the text in modern research literature. At this level of analysis, the word strings annotated with TEI markup represent historical events according to the description of the ancient author, which finally ended in the political and military conflict between Athens and Sparta (Peloponnesian War). In the following part of the project, the main content of Thucydides' text will be mapped using the event-based CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model with reference to these word strings.


At the same time, supported by a CHS/DAI joint fellowship, the narrative and discursive structure of the text, as well as all its relevant linguistic features, are also being annotated. One of the goals of the linguistic annotation is to provide a more solid background for the aforementioned task of event identification. The linguistic annotation of Thucydides' Histories is performed according to the guidelines of the Ancient Greek Dependency Treebank, which provide a word-by-word analysis of the morphological and syntactical features of the text. A further level of linguistic analysis, namely the so-called "tectogrammatical annotation" on semantic and pragmatic aspects which are necessary to understand the event structure of a text, will be tested following the model of the Prague Dependency Treebank.

Furthermore, to open up the broader historical context of the related sources, we explore the idea of a VRE combining archaeological and philological data with secondary research literature and in particular journal articles, that will be collected in an automized way. This part of the research is carried out in the context of a PhD project at the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College (formerly the Centre for Computing in the Humanities) since January 2011 and in close cooperation with the Thucydides Project at the CoDArchLab. The combination of all available sources on a historical topic by means of a single Virtual Research Environment (VRE) will open up new perspectives and modes of research of the ancient greek and roman world.

Starting from October 2010, the project has been funded for three years by the NEH / DFG Bilateral Digital Humanities Program 'Enriching Digital Collections' that offers support for cooperations between U.S. and German scientists to develop research-related digitization projects for the humanities. Each of these projects will be jointly run by an American and a German institution.

Digital Humanities at Dickinson College

Fall 2014 Digital Dialogues season at MITH

 

The Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland in College Park has announced the lineup of speakers for their Fall 2014 Digital Dialogues season. The seven speakers come from a wide variety of research specialties ranging from Women’s Studies, Film & Digital Media,  Information Studies and gaming culture. They are:

Tuesday September 30, 2014: Alison Booth

Tuesday October 7, 2014: Stephanie Ceraso

Tuesday October 14, 2014: Marisa Parham

Tuesday October 21, 2014: Alexis Lothian

Tuesday October 28, 2014:  Andrew Johnston 

Tuesday November 4, 2014: Darius Kazemi

Tuesday, November 11, 2014: Alex Wright

Read more at Save the Dates! Here are MITH’s Fall 2014 Digital Dialogues speakers.

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Expertise and Audiophiles

Over the last few months, Scot Hull over at Parttime Audiophile has been putting together some very thoughtful posts on what it means to be an expert in the audiophile community. These posts were nominally in response to rather defeatist (or perhaps nihilistic) essay by Roger Skoff. Skoff basically argues that there is no such thing as an audiophile expert. This is a nice, democratizing sentiment, but unfortunately most of us know (and rely upon) expertise. Scot Hull responded with a five part reply: part 1, part 2.1, 2.2, part 3, part 4. The entire thing is worth reading and I wish I had the intellectual discipline to respond to his posts, but I don’t. Instead, I’m going to offer my take on the subject. I’m going to argue that expertise in the audiophile community is a key component in our community of practice and, my little essay will keep in the background lessons I’ve learned from Julian Orr’s landmark study of Xerox repair people

P1020110

Before anyone reads on, you should understand that of us who fussy and fiddle with our two-channel stereo systems obsessively are a strangle lot of people. We tend to have strong opinions about gear, sound, and music and support them with our (mostly) hard earned cash dollars. As a result, we tend to be a contentious lot and engage as much in debates about equipment over whose advice and opinions we should trust as experts.

The concept of being an expert on how high-end stereo equipment works and sounds is not all that difficult to grasp, of course. Folks who design and engineer equipment have a practical grasp of how to transform electricity into the sound that we’re willing to pay top dollar to enjoy. These individuals, however, are not the object of Mr. Hull’s thoughtful remarks because few would dispute their authority and understanding in matters of sound reproduction.

Mr. Hull sets his sights on the other, more ambiguous group of experts who fill paper and web pages with opinions and work at serious stereo stores all around the world. These individuals tout various products, communicate difficult and obscure technical details to the public, and engage in sometimes rancorous debates regarding the quality (and, less frequently, value) of particular equipment and approaches to sound. Sonic measurements, technical details, and other “objective” arguments animate discussions among audiophiles especially on hot-button issues like the value of expensive, highly-engineered cables, speaker design philosophies, or various room tuning devices.

The core of these audiophile conversations, however, is the description of sound using words. Most audiophiles love to listen to music and stereo equipment, but also love to read about, discuss, and even watch other people listen to stereo equipment and music. The interplay between our own listening and the listening of others provides a structured set of expectations way in the pages of audiophile magazines, websites, and in retail establishments. Audiophile experts deploy transferred epithets in a way that would make Homer (the poet, not the Simpson) proud. They easily talk about speakers being “bright”, headphones being “smokey”, amplifiers having “rhythm” and so much “intimacy” that it is sometimes hard not to blush. Parallel to and interspersed with this poetic language, is the technical language of “zero feedback”, “single-end triodes”, “jitter”, “dual resonant intermodulation minimization”, and, of course “illudium Q-36 explosive space modulators”.

P1020126

This is all to say that as audiophiles we both listen to music and read (and listen) to people talk about music. Within this community, experts carry authority primarily through how they write and talk about sound. There is a consistency in vocabulary and even in tone that characterizes audiophile conversations. Major consumer publications like The Absolute Sound and Stereophile have establishes standards for the kind of language used in the audiophile community. Major web publications like Scot’s Confessions of a Parttime Audiophile, the impossible to navigate 6Moons, or John Darko’s Digital Audio Review follow more or less along the same lines as the print publications. There is some little overlap between contributors to web and print publications, but authors and publishers of web concerns regularly contribute to other websites. Darko writes from TONEAudio and 6Moons. Scot Hull has written for the headphone-oriented Audio360 and The Absolute Sound. The ease with which authors can move across various sites both reflect and contributes to the common tone and approach to describing audio gear. Even the homey and relaxed tone of Jeff Day at his Jeff’s Place blog belies his contributor status at Positive Feedback Online.

The willingness and ability to communicate in a common language and tone is only part of what constitutes expertise in the audiophile community. Most experts in our hobby have access to more exotic brands which can have exorbitant costs and exceedinly limited distributions. Most of will not have the luxury of auditioning in our own home D’Agostino amplifiers or Wilson Speakers not to mention smaller more bespoke brands who create products when ordered or lack robust distribution networks. Experts in the audiophile community mediate access to expensive, rare, and high-quality gear through the use of a common language. As non-experts, we may not always agree with these experts in their opinions of high-end stereo equipment, but they nevertheless have access to equipment that we do not.

This intersection of readers and writers in the field of high-end stereo equipment creates what some have called a community of practice. These communities function through a series of shared expectations and mutually understood actions. Not all members of the community will share equally in the prestige within the community, access, or technical proficiency. In fact, the community includes both the audience for experts as well as the experts themselves.

This almost too long discussion (although not as long as Scot’s) is meant to contribute his efforts to define expertise in our hobby. That we have struggled to define the character of experts in our community is not a huge surprise. The conversation about audio gear depends on how we talk about equipment that in many cases we will never own or even hear. The nature of expertise in this context depends as much on how we talk about things as the things themselves.


Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan (BMSAES)

[First posted in AWOL 8 October 2009. Updated 23 July 2014]

British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan (BMSAES)
ISSN: 2049-5021 (on-line)
http://www.britishmuseum.org/images/ResPub_BMSAES_19_304x176.jpg
The British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan(BMSAES) is a peer-reviewed, academic journal dedicated to presenting research on all aspects of ancient Egypt and Sudan and the representation of these cultures in modern times.
BMSAES is open-access: all articles in this journal can be viewed and downloaded free-of-charge.
This journal offers scholars the opportunity to include a large number of colour images, and other multimedia content, where appropriate to the article. Accepted papers will be published as soon as possible: there is no defined publication schedule or deadlines, as with print journals. The articles do not need to concern British Museum objects or projects.
For more open access publications of the British Museum, see here.

Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

Unpublished homilies by Severian of Gabala which are not listed in the CPG?

I’m preparing to commission an English translation of CPG 4188, Severian of Gabala’s De Spiritu Sancto (=PG 52. 813-826).  While searching the web for any indication of an existing translation – for I wouldn’t want to duplicate – I came across an article by Danish scholar Holger Villadsen here.  Then, blessedly, I came across a draft of it here, OCR’d, thereby allowing me to use Google Translate to follow the text.

Villadsen was going to edit some of Severian’s homilies for a new volume in the GCS series, but was obliged to withdraw.  So he has some familiarity with the manuscripts, unlike myself.

He lists a couple of interesting-sounding homilies, which are not listed in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum, and have never been printed.

  • Contra Ioudaeos et Graecos.  Supposedly R.F. Regtuit of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam 1987, included the text of this in his dissertation.  Incipit=πάλιν Ιουδαϊκή κακία.  But Villadsen does not list Regtuit’s 1992 publication of an edition and translation of CPG 4204, In incarnationem domini.  I have this, and it is plainly a thesis.  So I wonder whether there is confusion here.  Unfortunately Regtuit’s book is not to hand.
  • Ad imaginem.  This apparently exists in manuscript cod. Paris. gr. 758, ff. 45-52v.  Incipit=Πρώην ἡμῖν ὁ λόγο.

Note that the original draft contained the incipit for both, which I give; but the (unspecified) font was pre-unicode and the text is gibberish.  If anyone reading this recognises the encoding, or can work out what the words must be, please add a note in the comments.

UPDATE: Fixed incipits – thank you (I presume “logo” should be “logos”!)

 

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Prazské egyptologické studie PES

 [First posted in AWOL 3 October 2009, updated 23 July 2014]

Prazské egyptologické studie PES
ISSN: 1214-3189
Pražské egyptologické studie (PES) jsou odborným časopisem vydávaným Českým egyptologickým ústavem FF UK. Časopis vychází pravidelně od roku 2002. V roce 2011 se stal recenzovaným periodikem. Posláním Pražských egyptologických studií je informovat českou a slovenskou veřejnost především o současných (nejen archeologických) výzkumech na území Egypta a Súdánu. První rubrika je proto věnovaná zprávám z terénního výzkumu, případně z konferencí a jiných zajímavých akcí. Další část představují jednotlivé studie zaměřené na různé aspekty dějin starověkého Egypta a bádání o něm, v nichž je záběr egyptologického bádání rozšířen díky příspěvkům z oborů historie, orientalistiky a přírodních věd.

Tom Brughmans (Archaeological Network Analysis)

Registration open The Connected Past @ Imperial College London

The programme has been finalised and it’s looking like it will be a great event. Time to plan your trip to London and register for The Connected Past conference and workshop at Imperial College London, 8-9 September 2014! Register here for this event. Outline The Connected Past: archaeological challenges and complexity is a one and […]

Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

Severian bibliography updated

A couple of tweaks to my Severian  bibliography.  As ever, this is not an academic bibliography but just something for my own use from which to commission translations.

UPDATE: Forgot to add notes from Homiliæ Pseudo-Chrysostomicæ.

The Signal: Digital Preservation

Future Steward on Stewardship’s Future: An Interview with Emily Reynolds

Emily Reynolds, Winner of 2014 Future Steward NDSA Innovation Award.

Emily Reynolds, Winner of 2014 Future Steward NDSA Innovation Award.

Each year, the NDSA Innovation Working Group reviews nominations from members and non-members alike for the Innovation Awards. Most of those awards are focused on recognizing individuals, projects and organizations that are at the top of their game.

The Future Steward award is a little different. It’s focused on emerging leaders, and while the recipients of the future steward award have all made significant accomplishments and achievements, they have done so as students, learners and professionals in the early stages of their careers. Mat Kelly’s work on WARCreate, Martin Gengebach’s work on forensic workflows and now Emily Reynolds work in a range of organizations on digital preservation exemplify how some of the most vital work in digital preservation is being taken on and accomplished by some of the newest members of our workforce.

I’m thrilled to be able to talk with Emily, who picked up this year’s Future Steward award yesterday during the Digital Preservation 2014 meeting, about the range of her work and her thoughts on the future of the field. Emily was recognized for the quality of her work in a range of internships and student positions with the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research, the University of Michigan Libraries, the Library of Congress, Brooklyn Historical Society, StoryCorps, and, in particular, her recent work on the World Bank’s eArchives project.

Screenshot of the Arab American National Museum's web archive collections.

Screenshot of the Arab American National Museum’s web archive collections.

Trevor: You have a bit of experience working with web archives at different institutions; scoping web archive projects with the Arab American National Museum, putting together use cases for the Library of Congress and in your coursework at the University of Michigan. Across these experiences, what are your reflections and thoughts on the state of web archiving for cultural heritage organizations?

Emily: It seems to me that many cultural heritage organizations are still uncertain as to where their web archive collections fit within the broader collections of their organization. Maureen McCormick Harlow, a fellow National Digital Stewardship Resident, often spoke about this dynamic; the collections that she created have been included in the National Library of Medicine’s general catalog. But for many organizations, web collections are still a novelty or a fringe part of the collections, and aren’t as discoverable. Because we’re not sure how the collections will be used, it’s difficult to provide access in a way that will make them useful.

I also think that there’s a bit of a skills gap, in terms of the challenges that web archiving can present, as compared to the in-house technical skills at many small organizations. Tools like Archive-It definitely lower the barrier to entry, but still require a certain amount of expertise for troubleshooting and understanding how the tool works. Even as the tools get stronger, the web becomes more and more complex and difficult to capture, so I can’t imagine that it will ever be a totally painless process.

Trevor: You have worked on some very different born-digital collections, processing born-digital materials for StoryCorps in New York and on a TRAC self-audit at ICPSR, one of the most significant holders of social science data sets. While very different kinds of materials, I imagine there are some similarities there too. Could you tell us a bit about what you did and what you learned working for each of these institutions? Further, I would be curious to hear what kinds of parallels or similarities you can draw from the work.

41-580x386

Image of a StoryCorps exhibit at the New Museum which Emily participate in.

Emily: At StoryCorps, I did a lot of hands-on work with incoming interviews and data, so I saw first-hand the amount of effort that goes into making such complex collections discoverable. Their full interviews are not currently available online, but need to be accessible to internal staff. At ICPSR, I was more on the policy side of things, getting an overview of their preservation activities and documenting compliance with the TRAC standard.

StoryCorps and ICPSR are an interesting pair of organizations to compare because there are some striking similarities in the challenges they face in terms of access. The complexity and variety of research data held by ICPSR requires specialized tools and standards for curation, discovery and reuse. Similarly, oral history interviews can be difficult to discover and use without extensive metadata (including, ideally, full transcripts). They’re specialized types of content, and both organizations have to be innovative in figuring out how to preserve and provide access to their collections.

ICPSR has a strong infrastructure and systems for normalizing and documenting the data they ingest, but this work still requires a great deal of human input and quality control. Similarly, metadata for StoryCorps interviews is input manually by staff. I think both organizations have done great work towards finding solutions that work for their individual context, although the tools for providing access to research data seem to have developed faster than those for oral history. I’m hopeful that with tools like Pop Up Archive that will change.

Trevor: Most recently, you’ve played a leadership role in the development of the World Bank’s eArchives project. Could you tell us about this project a little and suggest some of the biggest things you learned from working on it?

Julia Blase and Emily Reynolds present on “Developing Sustainable Digital Archive Systems.” at ALA 2013 Midwinter Meeting. Photo by Jaime McCurry.

Emily: The eArchives program is an effort to digitize the holdings of the World Bank Group Archives that are of greatest interest to researchers. We don’t view our digitization as a preservation action (only insofar as it reduces physical wear and tear on the records), and are primarily interested in providing broader access to the records for our international user base. We’ve scanned around 1500 folders of records at this point, prioritizing records that have been requested by researchers and cleared for public disclosure through the World Bank’s Access to Information Policy.

The project has also included a component of improving the accessibility of digitized records and archival finding aids. We are in the process of launching a public online finding aid portal, using the open-source Access to Memory (AtoM) platform, which will contain the archives’ ISAD(G) finding aids as well as links to the digitized materials. Previously, the finding aids were contained in static HTML pages that needed to be updated manually; soon, the AtoM database will sync regularly with our internal description database. This is going to be a huge upgrade for the archivists, in terms of reducing duplication of work and making their efforts more visible to the public.

It’s been really interesting to collaborate with the archives staff throughout the process of launching our AtoM instance. I’ve been thinking a lot about how compliance with archival standards can actually make records less accessible to the public, since the practices and language involved in finding aids can be esoteric and confusing to an outsider. It has been an interesting balance to ensure that the archivists are happy with the way the descriptions are presented, while also making the site as user-friendly as possible. Anne-Marie Viola, of Dumbarton Oaks, has written a couple of blog posts about the process of conducting usability testing on their AtoM instance, which have been a great resource for me.

Trevor: As I understand it, you are starting out a new position as a program specialist with the Institute for Museum and Library Services. I realize you haven’t started yet, but could you tell us a bit about what you are going to be doing? Along with that, I would be curious to hear you talk a bit about how you see your experience thus far fitting into working for the federal funding for libraries and museums?

Emily: As a Program Specialist, I’ll be working in IMLS’s Library Discretionary Programs division, which includes grant programs like the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program and the National Leadership Grants for Libraries. Among other things, I will be supporting the grant review process, communicating with grant applicants, and coordinating grant documentation. I’ll also have the opportunity to participate in some of the outreach that IMLS does with potential and existing grant applicants.

Even though I haven’t been in the profession for a very long time, I’ve had the opportunity to work in a lot of different areas, and as a result feel that I have a good understanding of the broad issues impacting all kinds of libraries today. I’m excited that I’ll be able to be involved in a variety of initiatives and areas, and to increase my involvement in the professional community. I’ve also been spoiled by the National Digital Stewardship Residency’s focus on professional development, and am excited to be moving on to a workplace where I can continue to attend conferences and stay up-to-date with the field.

Trevor: Staffing is a big concern for the future of access to digital information. The NDSA staffing survey gets into a lot of these issues. Based on your experience, what words of advice would you offer to others interested in getting into this field? How important do you think particular technical capabilities are? What made some of your internships better or more useful than others? What kinds of courses do you think were particularly useful? At this point you’ve graduated among a whole cohort of students in your program. What kinds of things do you think made the difference for those who had an easier time getting started in their careers?

Emily: I believe that it is not the exact technical skills that are so important, but the ability to feel comfortable learning new ones, and the ability to adapt what one knows to a particular situation. I wouldn’t expect every LIS graduate to be adept at programming, but they should have a basic level of technical literacy. I took classes in GIS, PHP and MySQL, Drupal and Python, and while I would not consider myself an expert in any of these topics, they gave me a solid understanding of the basics, and the ability to understand how these tools can be applied.

I think it’s also important for recent graduates to be flexible about what types of jobs they apply for, rather than only applying for positions with “Librarian” or “Archivist” in the title. The work we do is applicable in so many roles and types of organizations, and I know that recent grads who were more flexible about their search were generally able to find work more quickly. I enjoyed your recent blog post on the subject of digital archivists as strategists and leaders, rather than just people who work with floppy discs instead of manuscripts. Of course this is easy for me to say, as I move to my first job outside of archives – but I think I’ll still be able to support and participate in the field in a meaningful way.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

3D in 3dì: a Bologna tre giorni dedicati alla stampa 3D

3d-arte-bolognaLa società bolognese Eliofossolo, attiva nell'ambito della stampa 3D, organizza dall'8 al 10 settembre 2014 un evento dedicato "alle nuove opportunità di business aperte dalle tecnologie applicate alla stampa 3D". I primi due giorni, a Farete, il meeting point delle imprese a Bologna, promossa da Unindustria Bologna e giunta alla sua terza edizione, e il terzo giorno con una mattina convegnistica e un pomeriggio di workshop. Fashion, automotive, design, beni culturali sono i temi principali che saranno alla ‘guida’ della tre giorni.

Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

Severian of Gabala – On repentance and compunction – now online in English

Bryson Sewell has now translated for us Severian of Gabala’s sermon on repentance.  This is another rather splendid ancient sermon, as most of those attributed to Severian seem to be (so far!).  Whether they are really by Severian may reasonably be doubted a lot of the time, I admit.

Anyway here it is.  It’s also at Archive.org.  As ever, these are public domain.  Use them however you like.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Una giornata aperta a tutti per la digitalizzazione dei reperti del Museo Archeologico dell'Umbria

3D-virtual-museum-perugiaIl 5 agosto si terrà a Perugia "3DVirtualMuseum @ Perugia" evento "che mira a coinvolgere la comunità nella creazione di contenuti multimediali per valorizzare al meglio il grande patrimonio archeologico della città. L’obiettivo è di realizzare modelli 3D di una selezione di reperti conservati nel Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell’Umbria e di renderli liberamente fruibili online in un museo virtuale".

Pompei, Ercolano e Stabia partecipano a Wiki Loves Monuments

ercolano-wikimediaI siti archeologici di Pompei, Ercolano, Stabia, Oplonti e Bosco reale entrano nell’elenco dei monumenti che aderiscono a Wiki Loves Monuments Italia. La Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici ha infatti concesso il permesso alla fotografia di questi importantissimi siti archeologici patrimonio dell'umanità. 

Morgantina a colori: per una riscoperta della policromia nell’antica città siculo-greca

morgantina-coloriIn occasione del convegno "La geoarcheologia come chiave di lettura per uno sviluppo sostenibile del territorio", tenutosi il 4 luglio 2014 presso il Museo archeologico di Aidone (Enna), sono stati presentati i primi risultati degli studi condotti nell’ambito del progetto “Morgantina a colori” curato e coordinato dall’archeologo Dr Serena Raffiotta e condotto in collaborazione con la Direzione del Museo Archeologico Regionale di Aidone.

July 22, 2014

eClassics Forum

Metropolitan Museum of Art

If you're in the are this summer, check some of this exhibitions in New York's Met:

Design Motifs in Byzantine Art (through August 3rd, 2014)

http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2013/design-motifs-in-byzantine-art

Or Coming in September:

Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age

http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2014/assyria-to-iberia

And did you catch Cleopatra's Needle?

http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2013/cleopatras-needle

No of any related museum exhibits in your area?  Let us know!

Shawn Graham (Electric Archaeology)

Topic Modeling Greek Consumerism

I’m experimenting. Here’s what I did today.

1. Justin Walsh published the data on which his book, ‘Consumerism in the Ancient World’, rests.

2. I downloaded it, and decided I would topic model it. The table, ‘Greek Vases’, has one row = one vase. Let’s start with that, though I think it might be more useful/illuminating to decide that ‘document’ might mean ‘site’ or ‘context’. But first things first; let’s sort out the workflow.

3. I delete all columns with ‘true’ or ‘false’ values. Struck me as not useful. I concatenated all columns into a single ‘text’ column. Then, per the description on the Mallet package page for R, I added a new column ‘class’ which I left blank. So I have ‘id’, ‘class’, ‘text’. All of Walsh’s information is in the ‘text’ field.

4. I ran this code in R, using R studio:

## from http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/mallet/mallet.pdf
library(mallet)
## Create a wrapper for the data with three elements, one for each column.
## R does some type inference, and will guess wrong, so give it hints with "colClasses".
## Note that "id" and "text" are special fields -- mallet will look there for input.
## "class" is arbitrary. We will only use that field on the R side.
documents <- read.table("modified-vases2.txt", col.names=c("id", "class", "text"),
                        colClasses=rep("character", 3), sep="\t", quote="")
## Create a mallet instance list object. Right now I have to specify the stoplist
## as a file, I can't pass in a list from R.
## This function has a few hidden options (whether to lowercase, how we
## define a token). See ?mallet.import for details.
mallet.instances <- mallet.import(documents$id, documents$text, "/Users/shawngraham/Desktop/data mining and tools/stoplist.csv",
                                  token.regexp = "\\p{L}[\\p{L}\\p{P}]+\\p{L}")
## Create a topic trainer object.
num.topics <- 20
topic.model <- MalletLDA(num.topics)

## Load our documents. We could also pass in the filename of a
## saved instance list file that we build from the command-line tools.
topic.model$loadDocuments(mallet.instances)

## Get the vocabulary, and some statistics about word frequencies.
## These may be useful in further curating the stopword list.
vocabulary <- topic.model$getVocabulary()
word.freqs <- mallet.word.freqs(topic.model)

## Optimize hyperparameters every 20 iterations,
## after 50 burn-in iterations.
topic.model$setAlphaOptimization(20, 50)

## Now train a model. Note that hyperparameter optimization is on, by default.
## We can specify the number of iterations. Here we'll use a large-ish round number.
topic.model$train(200)

## NEW: run through a few iterations where we pick the best topic for each token,
## rather than sampling from the posterior distribution.
topic.model$maximize(10)

## Get the probability of topics in documents and the probability of words in topics.
## By default, these functions return raw word counts. Here we want probabilities,
## so we normalize, and add "smoothing" so that nothing has exactly 0 probability.
doc.topics <- mallet.doc.topics(topic.model, smoothed=T, normalized=T)
topic.words <- mallet.topic.words(topic.model, smoothed=T, normalized=T)

## What are the top words in topic 7?
## Notice that R indexes from 1, so this will be the topic that mallet called topic 6.
mallet.top.words(topic.model, topic.words[7,])

## Show the first few documents with at least 5
head(documents[ doc.topics[7,] > 0.05 & doc.topics[10,] > 0.05, ])

## End of Mimno's sample script(Not run)

###from my other script; above was mimno's example script
topic.docs <- t(doc.topics)
topic.docs <- topic.docs / rowSums(topic.docs)
write.csv(topic.docs, "vases-topics-docs.csv" ) 

## Get a vector containing short names for the topics
topics.labels <- rep("", num.topics)
for (topic in 1:num.topics) topics.labels[topic] <- paste(mallet.top.words(topic.model, topic.words[topic,], num.top.words=5)$words, collapse=" ")

# have a look at keywords for each topic
topics.labels
write.csv(topics.labels, "vases-topics-labels.csv") ## "C:\\Mallet-2.0.7\\topics-labels.csv")

### do word clouds of the topics
library(wordcloud)
for(i in 1:num.topics){
  topic.top.words <- mallet.top.words(topic.model,
                                      topic.words[i,], 25)
  print(wordcloud(topic.top.words$words,
                  topic.top.words$weights,
                  c(4,.8), rot.per=0,
                  random.order=F))
}

And this is what I get:
Topic # Label
1 france greek west eating grey
2 spain ampurias neapolis girona arf
3 france rune herault colline nissan-lez-ens
4 spain huelva east greek drinking
5 france aude drinking montlaures cup
6 spain malaga settlement cup drinking
7 france drinking bouches-du-rhone settlement cup
8 france cup stemmed herault bessan
9 france marseille massalia bouches-du-rhone storage
10 spain ullastret settlement girona puig
11 france settlement mailhac drinking switzerland
12 spain badajoz cup stemless castulo
13 spain ampurias settlement girona neapolis
14 france beziers drinking cup pyrenees
15 spain krater bell arf drinking
16 transport amphora france gard massaliote
17 france settlement saint-blaise bouches-du-rhone greek
18 france marseille massalia west bouches-du-rhone
19 spain jaen drinking cemetery castulo
20 spain settlement abg eating alicante

The three letter acronymns are ware types. The original data had location, context, ware, purpose, and dates. Still need to figure out how to get Mallet (either on the command line or in R) to treat numerals as words, but that’s something I can ignore for the moment. So what next? Map this I guess, in physical and/or temporal space, and resolve the problem of what a ‘document’ really is, for archaeological topic modeling. Here, look at the word clouds generated at the end of the script whilst I ruminate. And also a flow diagram. What it shows, I know not. Exploration, eh?justin-walsh-data-flow

Rplot4

Rplot3Rplot2Rplot1


dh+lib: where the digital humanities and librarianship meet

RECOMMENDED: Wrapping Up DH2014, Lausanne (Part 2)

In the eleven days since the end of the international Digital Humanities conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, participants have been posting wrap-up reports, slides, and posters. We highlighted the first batch in last week’s Part 1. Further reports that have caught our attention in the intervening days:

DH2014 was a jam-packed conference, with more than two dozen pre-conference workshops, eight or nine paper and panel sessions running concurrently, two poster sessions, daily lunch meetings, and four keynotes. Notes kept by Geoffrey Rockwell (University of Alberta) and James Baker (The British Library) provide insight into some of the many paths one could take through the sessions. See the DH2014 Book of Abstracts for further details. Baker has also posted an overview of observations from DH2014.

This year saw the inaugural meeting of the GeoHumanities special interest group, an introductory workshop on GIS, and many presentations that incorporated spatial aspects. An excellent overview by Susanna Ånäs (Wikimedia Suomi) highlights and categorizes these sessions, concluding with her picks of “very interesting projects presented at the conference.”

Additional links to papers and reflections:

  • Bethany Nowviskie (University of Virginia) has posted slides & audio from the DH2014 keynote, “Digital Humanities in the Anthropocene,” read at DH2014 by Melissa Terras (University College London). Though she was unable to present the talk in person at the conference, Nowviskie created a recording of her own reading.
  • Demmy Verbeke (University of Leuven) has shared slides from his paper, “The opportunistic librarian: A Leuven confession.”
  • Élika Ortega (CulturePlex Lab, University of Western Ontario) and Silvia Gutiérrez (Universitat Wurzburg) have posted the slides and paper for their project, “MapaHD: Exploring Spanish and Portuguese Speaking DH Communities.” In their survey of practices among Spanish and Portuguese speaking DHers, Ortega and Gutiérrez asked participants to indicate all the disciplines they associated their work with. Their results showed that participants who reported working on LIS consistently picked more disciplines than others, suggesting that their work not only tends to be more interdisciplinary but also they are more aware of this interdisciplinarity.
  • A collaborative paper on last year’s One Week | One Tool experience, “Play as Process and Product: On Making Serendip-o-matic,” was presented in three parts, and notes/slides from each have been posted by Scott Kleinman (California State University, Northridge), Mia Ridge (Open University), and Brian Croxall (Emory Center for Digital Scholarship).
  • Élika Ortega describes a grassroots program to translate conference sessions in her recent post, “Whispering/Translating During DH2014: Five Things We Learned.”

The post RECOMMENDED: Wrapping Up DH2014, Lausanne (Part 2) appeared first on dh+lib.

POST: Weaponizing the Digital Humanities

Geoffrey Rockwell has written a short post calling attention to Jan Christoph Meister’s reflection from the last day of the DH2014 conference, “Weaponizing the Digital Humanities.”

Meister relates his experience in a conference session in which another attendee appeared to work for a US intelligence agency. He writes:

[T]he more attention DH researchers invest in Big Data approaches and anything that might help with the analysis of human behaviour, communication and networking patterns, semantic analysis, topic modeling and related approaches, the more our field becomes interesting to those who can apply our research in order to further their own goals. 

This is the nature and dilemma of all open research: we are an intellectual community that believes in sharing, and so unless we decide to become exclusive, there’s no stopping someone from exploiting our work for other purposes.

As Rockwell notes:

Meister rightly opens the ethical issue of whether our organization should have a code of ethics that touches on how our research is used. We have a code of conduct, should it extend to issues of surveillance?

The post POST: Weaponizing the Digital Humanities appeared first on dh+lib.

RESOURCE: On Being a Hub: Some Details on Providing Metadata for the DPLA

The latest issue of D-Lib magazine includes a piece by Lisa Gregory and Stephanie Williams, of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, addressing their recent work as a service hub for the Digital Public Library of America.

On Being a Hub: Some Details on Providing Metadata for the Digital Public Library of America,D-Lib Magazine Volume 20, Number 7/8 (July/August 2014): doi:10.1045/july2014-gregory

Abstract:

After years of planning, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) launched in 2013. Institutions from around the United States contribute to the DPLA through regional “service hubs,” entities that aggregate digital collections metadata for harvest by the DPLA. The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center has been one of these service hubs since the end of 2013. This article describes the technological side of being a service hub for the DPLA, from choosing metadata requirements and reviewing software, to the workflow used each month when providing hundreds of metadata feeds for DPLA harvest. The authors hope it will be of interest to those pursuing metadata aggregation, whether for the DPLA or for other purposes.

The post RESOURCE: On Being a Hub: Some Details on Providing Metadata for the DPLA appeared first on dh+lib.

CFParticipation: Digital Preservation Outreach + Education Training Needs Assessment

Barrie Howard (Library of Congress) has written a post inviting participation in the 2014 Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE) Training Needs Assessment Survey.

The DPOE Program of the Library of Congress is concerned with “building a collaborative network of instructors and partners to provide training to individuals and organizations seeking to preserve their digital content.” The survey aims “to scan the information sector to get a sense of the state of digital preservation practice, and identify the capacity of organizations and professionals to effectively preserve digital content.” Results will inform future developments in the curriculum and training modules of the program.

The post CFParticipation: Digital Preservation Outreach + Education Training Needs Assessment appeared first on dh+lib.

JOB: University Archivist + Digital Curator, U of Winnipeg

From the announcement:

Position Description

Reporting to the Dean of the Library, the University Archivist and Digital Curator will be responsible for managing, building and strengthening the University Archives and library special collections, while playing a leadership role in the Library’s development of a digital infrastructure for the University of Winnipeg that will support teaching and research on campus.

Main responsibilities:

  • Manage the operations of the University Archives to ensure the preservation, accessibility, relevance and research value of the University of Winnipeg’s archival and special library assets.
  • Nurture and further develop a collection development mandate and strategy that will build strong university and private collections.
  • Develop and oversee an innovative, collaborative digital plan for the Library that enhances online access to archival, library and scholarly multimedia and born-digital materials.
  • Liaise with the Information and Privacy Officer on developing a records management strategy that ensures the ongoing preservation of the University’s official records.
  • Develop partnerships with key stakeholders on and off campus on projects that will promote and enhance the University of Winnipeg’s print and digital archival and special library holdings.
  • Work with the Head of Systems to enhance the Library’s capacity to support data management, open access publishing and digital humanities initiatives.
  • Work with faculty to increase student usage of primary resource materials.
  • Supervise the Archives Technician, Archives Assistant, and other archives and library staff as required.
  • Work with the Copyright Officer to ensure access permissions and compliance with copyright legislation.
  • Participate in Library and University committees, working groups and other initiatives as desired or needed.

The post JOB: University Archivist + Digital Curator, U of Winnipeg appeared first on dh+lib.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Zeitschrift für Indologie und Iranistik

Zeitschrift für Indologie und Iranistik
Zeitschrift für Indologie und Iranistik / hrsg. im Auftr. der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft. Leipzig : [Brockhaus [in Komm.], 1922 - 1936

Réseaux sociaux et contraintes dans l'Antiquité Tardive. Actes de la journée d'études (Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, 27 juin 2013)

Revue des Études Tardo-antiques Supplément 1 (2013-2014)
http://recherche.univ-montp3.fr/ret/templates/businesscolourfull/images/logo.png
Réseaux sociaux et contraintes dans l'Antiquité Tardive. Actes de la journée d'études (Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, 27 juin 2013)édités par ARIANE BODIN et TIPHAINE  MOREAU, juillet 2014, 331 p. (ISSN 2115-8266).
[publication en ligne : 21/07/2014]

Sommaire

 Préface par Ariane Bodin et Tiphaine Moreau - p. 3-6.

Introduction

TIPHAINE MOREAU

Contraintes et réseaux familiaux
CHRISTOPHE BADEL
AbstractThe question of the constraint in the familial strategies appears as a good instrument to detect the tensions within the familial networks. It is not easy to know if the constraints has increased at the end of the Antiquity, in the case of the ascetic vocations as the young girls’ kidnappings. The same goes for the conflicts’ intensity. If the resistance of young ascetics against the parental authority appears as a topos of the hagiographical texts, some modern historians see only about it a rhetorical trick and stress on the contrary the strategies of évitement and wait-and-see policy, of the parents as the children. The familial network mobilized on occasions was restricted to the nuclear family and the close collaterals, but the father did not really control all the process, because of the effective wife’s role.

ARIANE BODIN
AbstractEven though during the Roman Republic the pagan Roman aristocrats were used to remind the social origin of a grandfather or great-grandfather to establish their legitimacy, the Christian clerics of the late antique period would brag about their female ancestors to build up a Christian family history. From the mid-fourth century, they sang the praises of all the family members who were said to have deliberately chosen the second conversion, i. e. asceticism and chastity. In 1987, Claude Lepelley asserted that Augustine had no choice but to convert to Christianity in 386, and after him, we shall analyse whether the family members of clerics had other options than to choose sanctum propositum. The network approach was useful as it helps avoiding clerical discourses, that tended to present the second conversion as a purely individual and spiritual path. But these people were inserted into a Christian network that seemed to give them a little latitude. This paper shall examine some families of late-antique Italian and African bishops, including those of Damasus of Rome, Ambrose of Milan, Augustine of Hippo and Gregory the Great.

MARIE ROUX
AbstractThis study deals with the usurpations which affected the Gallic dioceses during the fifth century and especially on their repercussions on the destiny of the plotters’ progeny and parents. Having in one’s gens a plotter or even a usurper compelled to set up diverse strategies to live down or bowdlerize this embarrassing episod and, at the end, to get back central autorities’ favours and to keep one’s place into the Gallic aristocratic groups. This compromising past had various consequences from one man to the other. After a probationary time, some of them could access leading political offices anew because they had succeeded in repositioning themselves in aristocratic groups and in regaining central power’s trust. Others, less visible in the sources, had less favorable fates since they were excluded from the political scene and from the most influent aristocratic groups. Therefore, this study will try to highlight the variety of such career paths.

Contraintes comportementales au sein des réseaux
TIPHAINE MOREAU
AbstractThis study looks at books 14 to 16 of Ammianus Marcellinus’ Res Gestae; it investigates the various compulsions that evolve from the social networks of officials under Constantius II between 353 and 357. As a protector domesticus attached to the magister equitum Ursicinus, the Antiochene historian Ammianus is a keen observer, who himself is involved in social interactions at the highest level of the Roman state. Hostile to the Emperor Constantius (337-361) and favorable to his immediate successor Julian (361-363), Ammianus offers us a dedicated and critical perspective on the social networks of the Roman elite. For Ammianus, social coercion results from interactions and behaviour that he considers unjust, inappropriate, and detrimental forgroups of elite individuals, whether they are connected through official hierarchies, family ties, or personal relationships. He argues that cruelty, injustice, and the vices of those in power - Constantius, Gallus and their officials - create fatal compulsions within the networks of social relations.

VINCENT GONCALVES
Otium et decus. Les contraintes du « devoir de loisir » dans les réseaux aristocratiques de l'Occident romain tardif (IVe - Ve s. ap. J.-C.) - p. 137-156.
AbstractThis article analyses the function of domestic leisure in the “being” and “seeming” of aristocracies of Late Antiquity in the West. In order to outline a new approach to the « ideology of otium », and its importance in belonging to an aristocratic network, this scheduling article seeks to connect the political rhetoric and use of the concept of otium with descriptions of concrete practices of leisure. I would consider domestic leisure as an issue of social and cultural changes of Late Antiquity.

Contraintes chez les lettrés et les fonctionnaires impériaux 

BERNADETTE CABOURET 
Réseau social de Libanios à travers sa Correspondance et les contraintes de la rhétorique - p. 159-176.
AbstractBasing on some 1544 Libanius’letters (dated from 355 to 365 and from 388 to 393) which have come down to us, we can gather information about the relationships between the Antiochian rhetorician, devoted to the civic ideal, and the other members of the Eastern society, sophists, students, civil servants, ministers, princes’ advisors etc. They maintain ties of different kinds, such as friendship, intellectual complicity and common service. But the letters obey strict literary rules, as it is defined by epistolary tracts, and social duties. Due to the interdependance of networks, one needs diplomatic skills and cleverness. The purpose of such networks may be direct (e. g. letters of recommendations), or indirect, glorifying the recipient and shaping the author’s self-image, the henceforth immortal Libanius.

VINCENT PUECH
AbstractThe coercion on religious life exercised by late antique emperors has often been studied from a merely institutional point of view. It should not be forgotten, however, that the emperor was also able to mobilize social networks in order to ensure the enactment of his decisions. Taking as its starting point volumes II and III of the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire by J. R. Martindale, this study will focus on the lay representatives of the emperor. It shows that all the dignitaries and officials were concerned with religious policy. Whilst this confirms the sanctity of the court, acts of religious coercion take on different forms according to the hierarchy of courtiers. In addition, individual religious beliefs and geographical origins played a role in the emperor’s choice of his representative. Finally, we will consider the real failures of imperial power in the field of religious coercion.

Pouvoirs et contraintes religieuses
CAMILLE GERZAGUET
AbstractThis article focuses on the part played by Ambrose of Milan in the construction of an episcopal network in Northern Italy which was supposed to fight against Arianism. To control of these new bishops, whose sees had been recently created, Ambrose took advantage of unequal relations between debtors and creditor produced by the episcopal election. The letters clearly reflect how Ambrose made use of these bishops who were in his debt (Felix of Como, Bassianus of Lodi, Gaudence of Brescia) so as to achieve the objectives of the network. By taking its inspiration from the patronus-cliens relationship and from the aristocratic amicitia, the ambrosian leadership maintained the cohesion of this network that was a centralized and hierarchical one, though made up of peers from an ecclesiastical point of view.

CLAIRE FAUCHON-CLAUDON
Contrainte(s) et réseau(x) dans les Vies des saints orientaux de Jean d’Éphèse - p. 241-272.
AbstractThe Lives of the Eastern Saints by John of Ephesus (507-586) is one of the main sources at our disposal in Syriac language which allows us to know anti-chalcedonian circles. Closely related to the miaphysite sphere, John of Ephesus nevertheless strictly converted to the chalcedonian doctrine the populations of Asia Minor that Justinian had entrusted him to (re) convert. Thus, John of Ephesus gives us both an inner and external outlook upon the miaphysite movement. The pressure is exerted in different ways on the antichalcedonian circles, affecting them at several levels. Following the Concile of Chalcedon (451), whole provinces go over to miaphysitism. The emperors’ policies concerning anti-chalcedonians waver between expressions of Union and periods of coercion and repression, which gradually push miaphysites to organize themselves into networks to survive. The birth of these networks thus depends on the constraints bearing on these communities. One should not forget however the other side of the coin, that is the constraints or obligations that these new networks impose on their members. First of all, we will see how, according to John of Ephesus, the miaphysite network was born under constraints and how the constraints that gradually weighed on the network led to the diversification of the initial network, causing its splitting into several entities and the (re)definition of distinct lines of doctrinal thought. Secondly we will examine the constraints exerted within every community organized as a network, in order to examine what the specificity of the miaphysite identity might be. The study of the link between constraint and network in the Lives of the Eastern Saints by John of Ephesus allows us to consider how a writer presents the elaboration of a network. There still remains to know how far this process of interiorization of the constraints implies a conscious project of propaganda and to what extent John of Ephesus is one of the leading elements in this ideological construction.

HERVÉ HUNTZINGER
AbstractEugippius’ Vita Seuerini features un peculiar model of leadership in the end of the 5th century. Indeed Severinus, though concealing his aristocrat origin and refusing to accept any institutional position, both civil and ecclesiastical, constrains roman ciues and even Rugi from the cities of Noricum to adopt new religious and social practices (fasting, praying, paying tithe). A careful examination of the document shows that he places himself in the centre of a network, not because he would simply create links with the network members, but because each link he builds allows him to strengthen another link. Thus he manages to give a coercive force to his “advices” by systematically backing them on the intervention of a third party, who clasps the one to whom the order was given in a binding network of constraint.

CAPUCINE NEMO-PEKELMAN
AbstractCould Jewish judges have had a strong hold on their litigants in the context of Roman hegemony? Since the beginning of the Principate, the Roman Legislation had ruled that the ius gladii exclusively belonged to the provincial tribunals. But there was a gap between these official statements and their local application. As recent scholars have pointed out, municipal magistrates and sub-political communities settled disputes not only in minores but also in majores causae, with the use of coercive forces. In Palestine, during the 3rd and the 4th centuries, rabbinic judges seem to have forced defendants to appear in court and to have enforced judgments, even if, as Hayim Lapin suggests, this power was « episodic and rather fragile ». Another question should also be raised, what would have been the power of Jewish judges, other than the rabbis, the patriarchs, who were the leaders of synagogal communities in the provinces? We hold an imperial constitution given in 392 in Constantinople that ruled they were allowed to settle disputes in religious matters. Such a delimitation could not function as an efficient guarantee for the Jewish courts as religious Jewish rules dealt not only with ritual and purity but also with civil and penal matters. Indeed conflicts of laws and jurisdictions persisted after 392, as attested by imperial constitutions from 393 and 398. The actual power of the judges strongly depended on circumstance and in particular on the political relays and social networks they could activate in both the provincial and central administrations.

Conclusions
ARIANE BODIN
 Réseaux sociaux et contraintes dans l'Antiquité Tardive - p. 307-331.

Mia Ridge (Open Objects)

How did 'play' shape the design and experience of creating Serendip-o-matic?

Here are my notes from the Digital Humanities 2014 paper on 'Play as Process and Product' I did with Brian Croxall, Scott Kleinman and Amy Papaelias based on the work of the 2013 One Week One Tool team.

Scott has blogged his notes about the first part of our talk, Brian's notes are posted as '“If hippos be the Dude of Love…”: Serendip-o-matic at Digital Humanities 2014' and you'll see Amy's work adding serendip-o-magic design to our slides throughout our three posts.

I'm Mia, I was dev/design team lead on Serendipomatic, and I'll be talking about how play shaped both what you see on the front end and the process of making it.

How did play shape the process?

The playful interface was a purposeful act of user advocacy - we pushed against the academic habit of telling, not showing, which you see in some form here. We wanted to entice people to try Serendipomatic as soon as they saw it, so the page text, graphic design, 1 - 2 - 3 step instructions you see at the top of the front page were all designed to illustrate the ethos of the product while showing you how to get started.


How can a project based around boring things like APIs and panic be playful? Technical decision-making is usually a long, painful process in which we juggle many complex criteria. But here we had to practice 'rapid trust' in people, in languages/frameworks, in APIs, and this turned out to be a very freeing experience compared to everyday work.
Serendip-o-matic_ Let Your Sources Surprise You.png
First, two definitions as background for our work...

Just in case anyone here isn't familiar with APIs, APIs are a set of computational functions that machines use to talk to each other. Like the bank in Monopoly, they usually have quite specific functions, like taking requests and giving out information (or taking or giving money) in response to those requests. We used APIs from major cultural heritage repositories - we gave them specific questions like 'what objects do you have related to these keywords?' and they gave us back lists of related objects.
2013-08-01 10.14.45.jpg
The term 'UX' is another piece of jargon. It stands for 'user experience design', which is the combination of graphical, interface and interaction design aimed at making products both easy and enjoyable to use. Here you see the beginnings of the graphic design being applied (by team member Amy) to the underlying UX related to the 1-2-3 step explanation for Serendipomatic.

Feed.

serendipomatic_presentation p9.png
The 'feed' part of Serendipomatic parsed text given in the front page form into simple text 'tokens' and looked for recognisable entities like people, places or dates. There's nothing inherently playful in this except that we called the system that took in and transformed the text the 'magic moustache box', for reasons lost to time (and hysteria).

Whirl.

These terms were then mixed into database-style queries that we sent to different APIs. We focused on primary sources from museums, libraries, archives available through big cultural aggregators. Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America have similar APIs so we could get a long way quite quickly. We added Flickr Commons into the list because it has high-quality, interesting images and brought in more international content. [It also turns out this made it more useful for my own favourite use for Serendipomatic, finding slide or blog post images.] The results are then whirled up so there's a good mix of sources and types of results. This is the heart of the magic moustache.

Marvel.

User-focused design was key to making something complicated feel playful. Amy's designs and the Outreach team work was a huge part of it, but UX also encompasses micro-copy (all the tiny bits of text on the page), interactions (what happened when you did anything on the site), plus loading screens, error messages, user documentation.

We knew lots of people would be looking at whatever we made because of OWOT publicity; you don't get a second shot at this so it had to make sense at a glance to cut through social media noise. (This also meant testing it for mobiles and finding time to do accessibility testing - we wanted every single one of our users to have a chance to be playful.)


Without all this work on the graphic design - the look and feel that reflected the ethos of the product - the underlying playfulness would have been invisible. This user focus also meant removing internal references and in-jokes that could confuse people, so there are no references to the 'magic moustache machine'. Instead, 'Serendhippo' emerged as a character who guided the user through the site.

moustache.png But how does a magic moustache make a process playful?

magicmoustachediagram.jpgThe moustache was a visible signifier of play. It appeared in the first technical architecture diagram - a refusal to take our situation too seriously was embedded at the heart of the project. This sketch also shows the value of having a shared physical or visual reference - outlining the core technical structure gave people a shared sense of how different aspects of their work would contribute to the whole. After all, if there aren't any structure or rules, it isn't a game.

This playfulness meant that writing code (in a new language, under pressure) could then be about making the machine more magic, not about ticking off functions on a specification document. The framing of the week as a challenge and as a learning experience allowed a lack of knowledge or the need to learn new skills to be a challenge, rather than a barrier. My role was to provide just enough structure to let the development team concentrate on the task at hand.

In a way, I performed the role of old-fashioned games master, defining the technical constraints and boundaries much as someone would police the rules of a game. Previous experience with cultural heritage APIs meant I was able to make decisions quickly rather than letting indecision or doubt become a barrier to progress. Just as games often reduce complex situations to smaller, simpler versions, reducing the complexity of problems created a game-like environment.

UX matters


Ultimately, a focus on the end user experience drove all the decisions about the backend functionality, the graphic design and micro-copy and how the site responded to the user.

It's easy to forget that every pixel, line of code or text is there either through positive decisions or decisions not consciously taken. User experience design processes usually involve lots of conversation, questions, analysis, more questions, but at OWOT we didn't have that time, so the trust we placed in each other to make good decisions and in the playful vision for Serendipomatic created space for us to focus on creating a good user experience. The whole team worked hard to make sure every aspect of the design helps people on the site understand our vision so they can get with exploring and enjoying Serendipomatic.

Some possible real-life lessons I didn't include in the paper

One Week One Tool was an artificial environment, but here are some thoughts on lessons that could be applied to other projects:
  • Conversations trump specifications and showing trumps telling; use any means you can to make sure you're all talking about the same thing. Find ways to create a shared vision for your project, whether on mood boards, technical diagrams, user stories, imaginary product boxes. 
  • Find ways to remind yourself of the real users your product will delight and let empathy for them guide your decisions. It doesn't matter how much you love your content or project, you're only doing right by it if other people encounter it in ways that make sense to them so they can love it too (there's a lot of UXy work on 'on-boarding' out there to help with this). User-centred design means understanding where users are coming from, not designing based on popular opinion.you can use tools like customer journey maps to understand the whole cycle of people finding their way to and using your site (I guess I did this and various other UXy methods without articulating them at the time). 
  • Document decisions and take screenshots as you go so that you've got a history of your project - some of this can be done by archiving task lists and user stories. 
  • Having someone who really understands the types of audiences, tools and materials you're working with helps - if you can't get that on your team, find others to ask for feedback - they may be able to save you lots of time and pain.
  • Design and UX resources really do make a difference, and it's even better if those skills are available throughout the agile development process.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Commodity Prices in Babylon 385 - 61 BC

Commodity Prices in Babylon 385 - 61 BC 
Author: R.J. van der Spek 
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
The datafile: spreadsheet (.xls, 1.15 Mb)    |   Bibliography
1. Introduction
The economic historian of the Ancient World is confronted with a lack of numerical data on wages and prices. There is of course evidence (see in general HEICHELHEIM 1930), especially from Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt (DREXHAGE 1991; MARESCH 1996; CADELL & LE RIDER 1997) and Delos (REGER 1994), but not on a regular year to year basis. However, there is one notable exception: late Achaemenid and Hellenistic Babylon. From this city in South Iraq we have the most detailed dataset of the ancient world, which can compete with datasets from modern history.

1.1. The sources
We owe this precious information to the conscientious work of Babylonian astronomers. Probably from the reign of the Babylonian king Nabonassar (747-743 BC), and at the instigation of this king, Babylonian astronomers started to make a daily record of the starry sky. These astronomers were professional scholars. From a tablet in Yale (YBC 11549) dating to the early Hellenistic period we know that at least 14 of them were fully employed by the temple. They each received 180 litres of barley per month (BEAULIEU, forthcoming). From a couple of very late texts (127-119 BC) we know that the job was hereditary on condition that the scholars were capable to do the job. They received an annual salary from the temple (60 - 120 shekels of silver = ca. 120 - 240 drachms = 500 to 1,000 grams of silver) plus the revenue of some tract of arable land (VAN DER SPEK 1985: 548ff). It is interesting to see how the payment in grain shifted to payment in money.

The records, usually called Astronomical Diaries, consisted of daily information on the position of the moon (rise and setting) and the planets in relation to the fixed stars, and from the early fifth century in relation to zodiacal signs. In addition, solstices and equinoxes, Sirius phenomena, meteors, comets and flashes and strokes of lightning were recorded. The diaries give also information on the weather (e.g. "clouds were in the sky; I could not watch") and the level of the Euphrates. At the end of a monthly section some historical events were recorded (mainly on campaigns of the king, visits of the king or high officials to Babylon, cultic events, etc.) and the prices of six commodities were given: barley, dates, "mustard?", "cress?", sesame and wool. Barley and dates constituted the main diet of the Babylonians. For more information on the diaries, see: Astronomical diaries.
The earliest diary we have dates to 651 BC, but we have only a more or less regular record from 385 BC on. Hence, our list starts in this year. Michael Jursa (Vienna) is presently studying the prices of the earlier periods of Babylonia. He is the leader of a project on the economy of first millennium Babylonia. More on this project: Wittgenstein-Preisträger.
Dr. Gerfrid Müller has written a Habilitationsschrift about the development of the economy and the prices in the period just prior to our dataset (MÜLLER, forthcoming; non vidi)...

Kristina Killgrove (Powered by Osteons)

How long was the average Roman foot, and what was their shoe size?

Archaeologist Eric Poehler just keeps coming with the questions about Roman walking and feet.  Today, he wanted to know the size of the Roman foot.  In my last post, I'd kind of given up on the idea of figuring out foot size, since I didn't think I had any foot measurements.  Then I remembered this morning that of course I have calcaneus maximum length.  The trick was to find a formula using calcaneus maximum length to approximate foot size.

Sandaled foot from the Augustan period (Met Museum)
This was more difficult than you'd think.  There are a metric TON of articles that relate shoe/foot size to stature, but you have to have the shoe/foot (these are useful in forensic contexts, of course).  So I could use long bones to calculate stature and then use stature to calculate approximate foot size, but that would introduce one more level of error than I need.  It seems like no bioarchaeologists care about estimating foot size from foot bones, which surprised me because I'd assumed at least comparative primate morphologists would be interested in this.  (Now, of course, there is growing interest in Roman walking because of databases like Stanford's ORBIS.)

I did find what I was looking for, though, in literature related to lower leg changes in polio: Anderson, M., M. Blais, and W.T. Green. 1956. Growth of the normal foot during childhood and adolescence. Length of the foot and interrelations of foot, stature, and lower extremity as seen in serial records of children between 1-18 years of age. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 14(2):287-308.  This article is helpfully available for free via PDF here.  If you scroll through to page 306, there's a handy chart that gives you the percentage of the foot made up by the "calcified os calcis" (what we now simply call the calcaneus).  Taking 18-year-olds (as the authors have concluded that the foot is no longer growing at this point), we find that the calcaneus makes up 30.2% (+\- .1) of the male foot and 28.9% (+\- .1) of the female foot.  Spiffy!

Now, we take the maximum calcaneus lengths from the population I studied at the Imperial-era Casal Bertone cemetery, 2km east of Rome. The male average was 80mm (8 cm), and the female average was 75mm (7.5 cm).  Using the power of multiplication, the average Roman male foot was 26.5cm, and the average Roman female foot was 25.9cm.  If you want to go a step further (ha!), this means the average Roman male from Casal Bertone wore a US 8.5 / EU 42 shoe, and the average female a US 10 / EU 41 shoe.  Boom -- calculating calcanei!

The female numbers seem too long, honestly, but I can believe the male numbers.  If you recall my previous post, the average male stature from this site was about 167cm, and female stature was 157cm.  So (using Imperial measurements now, sorry, but I'm American!) a 5'6" man could easily wear an 8.5 US shoe.  But a 5'2" woman would not wear a 10 US shoe.  I'm 5'9" and I wear a 10.

If there really aren't equations other than this to approximate foot size from calcaneal length, I suddenly have an MA project in mind for an interested student... And the correlations between bone length and shoes (as from Vindolanda) have lots of potential as well!

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Containers and Connectivity

If you haven’t read Andrew Bevan’s recent article in Current Archaeology, you should drop everything and read it now. It’s titled “Mediterranean Containerization” and presents a concise history of containers for trade in the Mediterranean basin from prehistory to modern times. His article begins with amphora and moves to barrels, crates, modern shipping containers, and, of course, wood pallets. His main focus is on liquid products, olive oil and wine, and his argument centers on the “precocious” character of these containers in a Mediterranean context. I won’t even attempt to summarize his intricate arguments on this blog post, but I want to highlight a few things from it.

1. Mediterranean connectivity (or liquidity in Bevan’s terms, a clever play on the liquid in Mediterranean containers and the liquid state of the sea through which these containers travelled). Bevan makes the point that the connection between various Mediterranean regions created an environment susceptible for certain parallel strategies to mediate interregional contact. While Bevan is careful to avoid any kind of environmental determinism, he does note that the need to communicate through the network of Mediterranean places (and here we can clearly see the shadow of both Horden and Purcell’s and Cyprian Broodbank’s works)  required certain technological solutions. The development of the ceramic amphora and certain changes of these vessel shapes, capacity, and distribution demonstrate the shifting contingencies of the political, economic, and social life in the Mediterranean basin. 

2. Reuse. For Bevan, the significance of containers extends well beyond their primary use as transport vessels. Storage vessels designed for large scale transport of goods around the Mediterranean basin often enjoyed long lives as local storage containers, burial pots, and even houses. The ubiquitous character of these transport amphora and other containers created a kind of utilitarian koine built around the adaptive reuse of these objects. In modern times, the reuse of shipping containers and (yes!) wooden shipping pallets, provides a good example about how the containerization of transport creates a medium for other expressions of culture. My pallet project and studies of the famous “blue tarp” follow certain lines by showing how these ubiquitous aspects of global transport culture have created distinct modes of expression characteristic of our contemporary culture.

P1060941

3. Amphoras and Other Transport. One thing that Bevan notes is that amphora were not the only way in which commodities were moved around the Mediterranean landscape. I can’t recommend enough my buddy Scott Gallimore’s recent article in the most recent ZPE on some ostraka from Chersonesos on Crete. Scott argues that these ostraka (as well as some from near Carthage in North Africa) were chits used to record the transfer of wine from skins used in overland transport to amphora for overseas exports from Crete. The use of wine or oil skins to transport goods from small producers overland is something often overlooked by scholars who have tended to see amphoras almost exclusively as the marker of trade contacts. 

This has particular significance for my site of Pyla-Koutsopetria on Cyprus where we have a superabundance of Late Roman 1 amphora. It may be that these locally produced amphora (although not at our site) received olive oil from the region around Koutsopetria and it was transferred to amphora for export at our site, and this accounts for the massive quantity of amphora sherds at our site.

4. Responses and a Reply. I really liked the format of the article which included several responses which almost read like peer reviews of the article. The editors let Bevan reply to the critiques and he clarified some of the more controversial or opaque statements. The conversational aspect of the article expanded how I read his work. In particular, some of the respondents showed interest in thinking about how these containers manifested a Latourian sense of agency. Bevan does not talk in any great detail about this but the first respondents clearly thought that this was a productive route for further inquiry transforming the meaning of the article through their research interests.

The wealth of this article is almost impossible to summarize. It is among the most stimulating articles I’ve read for quite some time. As with most of Bevan’s stuff, his work is grounded in empirical research, and while there are a few little issues that our hardcore ceramicists (Mark Lawall’s comments demonstrate this) will pick up on and dispute, it is more important to appreciate the larger concepts involved his efforts. And even if you disagree with all of his conclusions, you have to admire his willingness to present in an article a synthetic overview of something as profoundly significant as containerization in a Mediterranean. His work will at very least be a point of departure.


Jason Heppler (History in the Digital)

First Draft Podcast: Humanities Savior Narrative →

Friend of the show Glen Worthy joins us to talk about DH14, the popularity of digital humanities projects, the humanities savior narrative, and ‪#‎dhsheep‬.

Katy Meyers (Bones Don't Lie)

Weddings and the Dead

I’ve been thinking about weddings a lot recently. It’s not just that I’m planning my own wedding which is less than ten weeks away, I’m also in my little brother’s […]

ASOR Blog (American Schools of Oriental Research)

“The Legacies of Herod the Great,” featuring Professor Barbara Burrell

Near Eastern Archaeology, Volume 77, Issue 2 was a special issue focusing on Herod the Great. Herod has been described in many ways, from the greatest builder in Jewish history, to the slaughterer of innocents. So, we decided to give University of Cincinnati professor, Barbara Burrell a call to discuss her NEA article, “The Legacies of Herod the Great.”

From her faculty page:

Professor Burrell is a Roman archaeologist who has dug at sites across the Mediterranean, including Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Israel. It may have been this diversity that has led to her being chosen as editor of the forthcoming Blackwell’s Companion to the Archaeology of the Roman Empire. She is also in the midst of writing and co-editing the two-volume final report of her excavation of the Promontory Palace at Caesarea Maritima in Israel, and publishing the coins found at Mount Lykaion in Arcadia, Greece. Beyond fieldwork, her interests include reception and interpretation of the ancient city in the Roman empire, and Roman provincial coins, architecture, and art.  

The Signal: Digital Preservation

Digital Preservation 2014 in Three, Two, One…

Community Center Free - everybody welcome.

Community Center Free – everybody welcome. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3f05316

And we’re off! Digital Preservation 2014 starts today and we’re really excited to welcome our colleagues from near and far to Washington DC this week for a full and packed program!

Digital Preservation 2014, the annual meeting of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, provides opportunities to identify key work and developments in digital preservation guidelines, practices and standards throughout the commercial content and cultural heritage communities.

For the next three days (July 22-24), policy makers, librarians, archivists, curators, technologists, educators and students from the federal, non-profit, private and commercial sectors with a range of digital preservation and stewardship interest will hear from a range of experts and practitioners about the latest trends, developments and project outcomes in the past year.

The main meeting will take place today (7/22) and tomorrow (7/23).  July 24 will be an all-day CURATEcamp on Digital Culture, which is co-hosted by the Catholic University of America’s Department of Library and Information Sciences and will take place at the Catholic University of America, Columbus Law School in Washington, DC.

For years, this meeting has served as a forum for sharing information about concepts, tools and practices to help support a community of practice. And this year we are pleased with the range and depth of speakers and presentations on the program. I encourage you to check out the Agenda (PDF) and Program Guide (PDF) for all the details.

During the past couple of weeks on The Signal we’ve published an ongoing series of posts to highlight and preview the program.  You can find a list of those relevant posts on the digpres14 meeting page.

You can follow the event on Twitter at #digpres14. And if you can’t make it, all plenary talks and panels will be videotaped and will be rolled out online starting next month.  Presentations will be posted on the digpres14 meeting page next week.

We look forward to seeing you either at the meeting or virtually!

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Digitale Keilschriftbibliothek Lexikalischer Listen aus Assur

Digitale Keilschriftbibliothek Lexikalischer Listen aus Assur
http://keil.uni-goettingen.de/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/front.jpg
Das Projekt „Digitale Keilschriftbibliothek Lexikalischer Listen aus Assur (DKB-LLA)“ ist ein Gemeinschaftsprojekt des Seminars für Altorientalistik (Assyriologie) der Universität Göttingen und der Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung Göttingen (GWDG).

Ziel des Projektes ist die philologisch-wissenschaftliche Aufbereitung aller lexikalischen Texte aus den Ausgrabungen, die in den Jahren 1903-1914 unter der Leitung von Walter Andrae in Assur (Nordikrak) durchgeführt wurden, und die heute im Vorderasiatischen Museum zu Berlin liegen. Der Teil der Texte aus Assur, die sich heute in den Archäologischen Museen zu Istanbul befinden, wird zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt nicht in den Bestand der „Digitalen Keilschriftbibliothek“ aufgenommen.
Die Publikation soll einem wissenschaftlichen Publikum einen schnellen und unkomplizierten Zugriff auf das Korpus der lexikalischen Texte aus Assur ermöglichen. Daneben sollen allgemeine Informationsseiten die Bedeutung und den Stellenwert dieses Textkorpus für die mesopotamische Geistesgeschichte auch Studierenden sowie einem allgemein interessierten Publikum verdeutlichen.
Das Korpus der DKB-LLA umfasst 410 Tafeln und Fragmente, die zu 18 unterschiedlichen Serien lexikalischer Listen gehören. Nur rund 60% dieser Texte wurden in früheren Veröffentlichungen (z.B. in den Materialien zum Sumerischen Lexikon, Chicago) publiziert, davon ist bisher jedoch auch nur ein Teil in Handkopien veröffentlicht worden.
Alle Texte werden in fachüblichen Bearbeitungen durch Transliterationen sowie zusätzlich durch Fotos und kurze Kommentare, darunter auch Zitate der Listeneinträge in den Wörterbüchern „Akkadisches Handwörterbuch (AHw)“ und „The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (CAD)“ sowie der Angabe einer möglichen Bedeutung jedes Listeneintrags im Internet veröffentlicht und langfristig verfügbar gemacht.

July 21, 2014

NEH Office of Digital Humanities Update

NEH Staff at the Digital Preservation 204 Meeting

By NEH Staff

Staff from the Office of Digital Humanities along with their colleagues from NEH Division of Preservation and Access will be attending the Digital Preservation 2014 meeting sponsored by National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance from July 22-23, 2014 in Washington, DC.

The Signal: Digital Preservation

Digital Preservation 2014 Session Preview: Preserving and Rescuing Heritage Information on Analog Media

The following is a guest post by Dr. Elizabeth Griffin, Volunteer Visitor at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Canada, and Chair of the CODATA “Data at Risk” Task Group.  This is part of an ongoing series of posts to highlight and preview the Digital Preservation 2014 program.   Elizabeth previews the session she’s helped organize, “Preserving and Rescuing Heritage Information on Analog Media,” scheduled for Wednesday, July 23 from 9-10:15 am.

"The first pictures with sound." Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

“The first pictures with sound.” Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The Natural Sciences and the Arts are often perceived as two contrasting strands of the human environment: the factual versus the fanciful, the technological versus the intangible.  However, in the realm of historic observations, the two disciplines share more than is usually credited.  In particular, they share a common need to access “data” (= information = measurements, records or descriptions) that pre-date the digital era.  This session will examine the interplay entailed.

All studies of long-term changes, whether in the natural physical world or in respect of the humans that live in it, need access to historic data.  Only the older data can inform about past conditions reliably enough for accurate research into changes and evolution.  Most evolutionary changes – whether in the Earth’s atmosphere, land or oceans, or in what lives and grows there – are gradual, so data spanning many decades are required to inform models adequately.

But though the world is rich in such historic data, it is poor in its ability to access them, even today.  Researchers need their data in digital form, but very many essential historical data are only in their original analog states so they are effectively unusable.  Because of this, our basic scientific knowledge and our grasp of true cultural developments suffer.  Born-digital data are at most only 20-30 years old; without access to older scientific data, forecasts of change in the physical world must involve some guesswork..  Nor would students of History, the Arts or the Humanities dream of extrapolating backwards in order to understand how and why events occurred in the way that they did.  This session will illustrate those needs with specific examples.

Scientific measurements made 50-100 years ago constitute an invaluable resource for understanding the natural world and for assessing the impacts of more recent human behavior upon Earth’s vital resources, but their management requires not only scientific acumen but also considerable assistance from archivists, librarians, the general public and even the media.  Historic scientific data are also sources for cultural research: how observations were made and stored, by whom, their context, precision, and their technical limitations.  Understanding and theories were strongly geared to what observations could show, and observations were strongly limited by the precision or availability of then current technology.  Appreciating the context of those limitations is a non-negligible component of modern re-interpretations of those data, both in the Sciences and in the Humanities.

Heritage cultural data offer a parallel yet different route to understanding the evolution of human knowledge.  Demographics pattern developments in mankind’s activities, characteristics, tendencies and directions.  Cultural signals gleaned from historical data and artefacts reveal how our present and our future are shaped, and also how our scientific thinking evolved.  More varied in location and kind, but less so in exactness, those data are not necessarily as objective as purely scientific ones, so their interpretations are broader but fuzzier.

Accessing heritage information correctly and comprehensively is a multi-faceted challenge, involving expert treatment of media such as photographic images, ageing papers and books, early digital devices (tapes, cylinders, optical disks), and confronting other problems with data that cannot be reproduced by one-stage copying.  This session will examine some of those challenges.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Roman Provincial Coinage Online

Roman Provincial Coinage Online
http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/rpc_online.png
The aim of the Roman Provincial Coinage series is to produce a standard typology of the provincial coinage of the Roman Empire from its beginning in 44 BC to its end in AD 296/7. The current Roman Provincial Coinage Online project is confined to the Antonine period (AD 138–192), but it is intended that it will form a model for putting other periods online in the future.

The database is based on the ten most important and accessible collections in the world, and on all published material. It comprises one of the largest collections of images and related inscriptions from the ancient world which is searchable by iconography, place, and time.

The database contains information on 13,729 coin types, based on 47,536 specimens (9,061 of which have images).

Source: Journalism Code, Context & Community

Event Roundup, July 21

By Erika Owens

Event Roundup, July 21

(Ben Grey via Flickr)

Deadlines

Know of any upcoming fellowship or conference proposal deadlines? Have an upcoming event? Let us know: source@mozillafoundation.org.

Kristina Killgrove (Powered by Osteons)

How long was the average Roman stride?

Eric Poehler (@Pompeiana79) posed this question on Twitter this morning. Katy Meyers (@BonesDoNotLie) and Keith Chan (@ChekeiChan) commented that there are formulae to estimate stride based on height. The forensic articles I found were actually going in the reverse -- from footfalls/strides to height (which makes sense if you want to find a murder, for example).  Keith suggested exercise medicine articles, and the most often-quoted article, Hatano, Y. "Use of the pedometer for promoting daily walking exercise." International Council for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation 29.4 (1993): 4-8., suggests two factors for calculating average step length: .415 for males and .413 for females (times height in centimeters).  Note that this is step length not stride; in exercise research, step length is the distance from, say, the left heel to the right heel (or left toe to right toe), whereas stride is the distance between the heel of the left foot to the heel of the left foot (two steps).

So using stature data from my dissertation, I calculated that the average Imperial Roman male (from Casal Bertone, 2km east of the walls of Rome) who stood 166.6cm would have a step length of 69.1cm, which means a stride length of roughly 140cm. Females in the population stood on average 156.7cm, so that's 64.7cm step length and 130cm stride length. There is plenty more stature data in my diss if y'all want to do more calculations, of course!

If I were to go full-on XKCD What If?, I'd look not only into the differences in stature among the Roman population (again, see my dissertation), but also into foot size from both foot bones and from the ginormous shoe cache at Vindolanda to refine the estimate. But I didn't measure any Roman foot bones at any of the sites I've worked at, and most of this research and writing was done on my phone during the 20 minutes my 9-month-old napped on me this morning.  Checking the Vindolanda research and looking into Troy Case's work with the bones of the feet are good avenues to go in.

And, of course, as the Rogue Classicist (@RogueClassicist) points out, all of this is largely theoretical anyway because people would have been wearing different things.  That is, the stride factors above are probably for modern Americans in comfy workout clothes, not for Imperial Romans wearing stiff togas or heavy armor.

But this is just another example of the fun of Twitter.  Just like with my "Where did Roman babies poop?" question a few weeks ago, we collectively had a random research question asked and partly answered, with lots of follow-up and collaborative potential!

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Newly Open Access Journal: Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Revue de théologie et de philosophie
ISSN: 0035-1784
La Revue de théologie et de philosophie (RThPh) a été fondée en 1868 par des philosophes et des théologiens protestants de Suisse romande. Elle parut à l’origine sous le titre «Théologie et philosophie: Compte rendu des principales publications scientifiques à l’étranger ». Elle fut donc au départ un simple bulletin de recensions. Le but des premiers rédacteurs était d’informer le public philosophique et théologique romand des nouveaux travaux allemands, anglais et italiens, sans parti pris, selon le principe « La vérité sans la recherche de la vérité n’est pas la vérité ».
Au fil des ans, la RThPh est devenue une revue, assurant, à côté des comptes rendus, la publication d’articles, de chroniques et d’études critiques, participant ainsi elle-même plus activement aux travaux et débats en cours.

Pour plus de détails sur l’histoire de la Revue:
Henri Meylan, «La Revue de théologie et de philosophie 1868 1968», RThPh, 1968, pp. 273 292.
Pour trouver un article ou une recension dans la Revue, on peut consulter les quatre volumes de «Tables» élaborés au fil des décennies: 1868-1911, 1913-1937, 1938-1967 et 1968-1995. Les deux derniers volumes sont en vente auprès du Secrétariat de la Revue

Volumes
Period of publication
Title
Volume 1
1913
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 2
1914
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 3
1915
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 4
1916
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 5
1917
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 6
1918
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 7
1919
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 8
1920
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 9
1921
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 10
1922
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 11
1923
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 12
1924
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 13
1925
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 14
1926
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 15
1927
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 16
1928
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 17
1929
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 18
1930
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 19
1931
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 20
1932
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 21
1933
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 22
1934
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 23
1935
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Volume 24
1936
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 25
1937
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 26
1938
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 27
1939
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 28
1940
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 29
1941
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 30
1942
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 31
1943
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 32
1944
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Volume 33
1945
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 34
1946
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 35
1947
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Volume 36
1948
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Volume 37
1949
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 38
1950
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 1
1951
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 2
1952
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Volume 3
1953
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Volume 4
1954
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Volume 5
1955
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Volume 6
1956
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Volume 7
1957
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Volume 8
1958
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Volume 9
1959
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Volume 10
1960
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Volume 11
1961
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Volume 12
1962
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Volume 13
1963
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 14
1964
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 15
1965
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 16
1966
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 17
1967
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 18
1968
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 19
1969
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 20
1970
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 21
1971
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 22
1972
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 23
1973
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 24
1974
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 25
1975
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 26
1976
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 27
1977
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 28
1978
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 29
1979
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 30
1980
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 31
1981
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 32
1982
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 33
1983
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 34
1984
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 35
1985
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 36
1986
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 37
1987
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 38
1988
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 39
1989
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 40
1990
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 41
1991
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 42
1992
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 43
1993
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 44
1994
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 45
1995
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 46
1996
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 47
1997
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 48
1998
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 49
1999
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 50
2000
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 51
2001
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 52
2002
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 53
2003
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 54
2004
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 55
2005
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 56
2006
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 57
2007
Revue de théologie et de philosophie

Volume 58
2008
Revue de théologie et de philosophie






















Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Western Argolid Regional Project T-Shirts

Every real archaeology project needs a t-shirt for every field season. Experienced archaeologists collect these shirts as a living symbols of their archaeological prowess. (And I mean living literally. After a few days or weeks in the field archaeology t-shirts come to support a thriving ecosystem of bacteria, funguses, and tiny insects).

On WARP we invited our students to contribute suggestion for the shirts. All of the contributions were good, but two were the best. 

The front of the shirt shows a field walker in profile holding a compass in his or her left hand. The rakish hat and backpack add a bit of style to the figure. The text says Western Argolid Regional Project 2014.

IMG 1785

The back of the shirt, designed by a different student, shows the great Larissa fortress that overlooks the Argive plain. Beneath it roll the six cars transporting the eager field teams through the dawn light to their assigned tasks. 

IMG 1784

We think they’re pretty nice!


Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Alla scoperta di Firenze attraverso le pietre dell'architettura

arte-pietre-firenzeUn viaggio nell’architettura fiorentina e non solo nel centro storico della città di Dante è quello che accadrà durante la Settimana del Pianeta Terra dal 12 al 19 ottobre 2014, promossa su tutto il territorio nazionale dalla Federazione Italiana Scienze della Terra con più di 150 eventi che si svolgeranno tutti insieme, nelle stesse ore, in tutta Italia.

Juan Garcés (Digitised Manuscripts Blog)

Enter the Dragon: Happy St Margaret's Day!

Today is the feast day of St Margaret of Antioch (not to be confused with St Margaret of Scotland or Hungary). Although St Margaret was declared to be apocryphal in the year 494 by no less an authority than Pope Gelasius, and many people over many years have entertained doubts...

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Corso sul GIS per il progetto di Diagnostica, Restauro e Conservazione

corso-gis-restauro-2014Il Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani (DAStU) del Politecnico di Milano organizza il prossimo autunno un corso sull'Impiego di software di base per l'utilizzo dei GIS per il progetto di Diagnostica, Restauro, Conservazione, Riuso, Gestione e Manutenzione dei Beni Architettonici e Culturali.

NEH Office of Digital Humanities Update

Announcing Five Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities (July 2014)

By NEH Staff

The Office of Digital Humanities is happy to announce five awards from our Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities program from our March 2014 deadline.

Announcing Seven Digital Humanities Implementation Grants (July 2014)

By NEH Staff

The Office of Digital Humanities is happy to announce seven awards from our Digital Humanities Implementation Grants program from our February 2014 deadline.

July 20, 2014

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: Birmingham Egyptology Journal

Birmingham Egyptology Journal
ISSN: 2053-3586
http://birminghamegyptology.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BELogo2-150x150.png
Birmingham Egyptology Journal is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal available only online and free of charge.
The journal offers a platform for the presentation of research relating to ancient Egyptian culture, history, and archaeology from the Pre-dynastic to Graeco-Roman Periods.
The Journal officially launched on March 14, 2013 with the first articles being published online shortly thereafter. It is intended that articles will be presented as the review and publication processes are completed with the total submissions for each calendar year comprising one volume. Further information for prospective contributors to the Journal is available from the drop-down menu of the ‘Journal’ head on this page.
Birmingham Egyptology Journal, Department of Classics and Ancient History, Room 304, Arts Building, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT. 
 Submissions and enquiries should be forwarded to: editor@birminghamegyptology.co.uk
Volume 2: 2014
1. Article
 The High Priests of Amun at the End of the Twentieth Dynasty
Jennifer Palmer
To reference this article we suggest:
Palmer, J. 2014. ‘The High Priests of Amun at the End of the Twentieth Dynasty’. Birmingham Egyptology Journal 2: 1-22.

2. Article
A map of Egypt reconstructed from the description of the country at Edfu
Gyula Priskin
To reference this article we suggest:
Priskin, G. 2014. ‘A map of Egypt reconstructed from the description of the country at Edfu’. Birmingham Egyptology Journal 2: 23-41.

Volume 1: 2013
1. Object Highlight
Eton College Myers Collection of Egyptian Antiquities Object Highlight – ECM822, A Faience Nubian Head
Carl Graves
To reference this article we suggest:
Graves, C. 2013. ‘Eton College Myers Collection Object Highlight: A Faience Nubian Head’. Birmingham Egyptology Journal 1: 1-4.
 2. Article
Piankh and Herihor: Art, Ostraca, and Accession in Perspective
Steven R. W. Gregory
To reference this article we suggest:
Gregory, S. R. W. 2013. ‘Piankh and Herihor: Art, Ostraca, and Accession in Perspective’. Birmingham Egyptology Journal 1: 5-18.
3. Review
Review of J.  Padgham 2012 A New Interpretation of the Cone on the Head in New Kingdom Tomb Scenes.
Eleanor B. Simmance
To reference this article we suggest:
Simmance, E. B. 2013. ‘Review of J. Padgham. A New Interpretation of the Cone on the Head in New Kingdom Tomb Scenes. BAR International Series. Archaeopress: Oxford. 2012. Birmingham Egyptology Journal 1: 19-21.
4. Review
Review of Raven, Verschoor, Vugts and Walsem 2011. The Memphite Tomb of Horemheb. Commander in Chief of Tutankhamun. V. The forecourt and the area south of the tomb with some notes on the tomb of Tia
Gabrielle Heffernan
To reference this article we suggest:
Heffernan, G. 2013. ‘Review of M. Raven, V. Verschoor, M. Vugts and R. Walsem. The Memphite Tomb of Horemheb. Commander in Chief of Tutankhamun. V. The forecourt and the area south of the tomb with some notes on the tomb of Tia. Brepols 2011. Birmingham Egyptology Journal 1: 22-24.
 5. Article
Coffin Texts Spell 155 on the Moon
Gyula Priskin
To reference this article we suggest:
Priskin, G. 2013. ‘Coffin Texts Spell 155 on the Moon’. Birmingham Egyptology Journal 1: 25-63.

DigPal Blog

ERC Workshop on Research Data Management and Sharing

I am very happy to say that the European Research Council has invited the DigiPal project to be presented at a two-day workshop on Research Data Management and Sharing to be held in Brussels this September (2014). We have been selected as one of nine projects from across the whole ERC, just three from the Social Sciences and Humanities, because we can provide 'many interesting data-related aspects for discussion with other grantees, with members of the ERC Scientific Council and colleagues from the ERCEA, with data experts and policy makers'; these aspects include, among other things, our 'solutions and good practice examples'. The workshop is by invitation only but it is possible to request an invitation: details are in the ERC circular which is pasted in below. I personally think this is a real honour and is testimony to the outstanding work done by the whole DigiPal team, so many congratulations and thanks to them all. I hope also to see some strong representation from the Humanities at this workshop, so do request an invitation if you are interested at all.

ERC Workshop on Research Data Management and Sharing

18 – 19 September 2014, Covent Garden, Brussels

On 18–19 September 2014, the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA) in collaboration with the ERC Scientific Council's Working Group on Open Access is organising a workshop on Research Data Management and Sharing.

During this 2-day event different aspects of this important topic will be explored together with ERC grantees and other researchers, with representatives from funding bodies, universities and other research performers, with publishers, scientific societies, policy makers and other interested parties.

The workshop is organised around a number of interactive sessions with lots of room for discussion. The ultimate aim is to generate a number of concrete recommendations to relevant stakeholders on how to encourage and support good data management practices and facilitate the sharing of research data.

The workshop is by invitation only. A draft programme and information on how to request an invitation are available on the ERC website, where more details about the programme will be made available soon.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Poorly Attested Words in Ancient Greek Online

Poorly Attested Words in Ancient Greek 
http://www.aristarchus.unige.it/pawag/images/banner.gif
The project Poorly Attested Words in Ancient Greek (PAWAG) has the aim of setting up a database in the form of an electronic dictionary that gathers together words of Ancient Greek that are either only scantily attested (i.e. with one or few occurrences), inadequately (i.e.characterized by some sort of uncertainty) or in any case problematically, both from a formal and semantic point of view.

The project is open to international collaboration and the archive will be drawn up through progressive expansion both in the number of entries and their contents, with gradual correction and updating and elimination of any ghost-word.

The database is available free and offers a scientific tool for scholars in the research on classical world as well as a supplement to the existing dictionaries of ancient Greek (in which satisfactory attention can hardly be paid to the complex field of Poorly Attested Words), in order to make a contribution to future improvement of Greek lexicography.

Click here to display an entry example. In order to visualize correctly the Greek parts install the SPIonic font

DatabaseHeadwords in archive: 1613
Last update: 20-04-2014

July 19, 2014

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: ARCHAI: Revista de Estudos sobre as Origens do Pensamento Ocidental

[First posted in AWOL 19 March 2012, updated 19 July 2014]

ARCHAI: Revista de Estudos sobre as Origens do Pensamento Ocidental
ISSN: 1984-249X versão eletrônica
http://seer.bce.unb.br/public/journals/6/homeHeaderLogoImage_pt_BR.jpg
ARCHAI: Revista de Estudos sobre as Origens do Pensamento Ocidental é uma publicação semestral do Grupo Archai: As Origens do Pensamento Ocidental, grupo interdisciplinar e interinstitucional que congrega pesquisadores das áreas de filosofia, história, letras, direito e arqueologia de diversas instituições universitárias brasileiras.
Current




2008


ARIT Newsletter On-Line

 [First posted in AWOL 4 December 2009. Updated 19 July 2014]

ARIT Newsletter On-Line
Twice a year the Institute publishes the ARIT Newsletter, distributed widely in the academic community and among the Friends of ARIT. It provides information about the ARIT's recent activities and programs, including the news from each center, research reports from recent fellows in Turkey, lists of current fellows and donors.
Recent issues: 
Volume 56, Spring 2014

Twice a year the Institute publishes the ARIT Newsletter, distributed widely in the academic community and among the Friends of ARIT. It provides information about the ARIT's recent activities and programs, including the news from each center, research reports from recent fellows in Turkey, lists of current fellows and donors.
Volume 56, Spring 2014
      - Reflections on ARIT's 50th.

      - ARIT welcomes additional new institutional members.
      - Research reports: Statistics and reform in contemporary Turkey; the musical life of two Bektashi communities; Ottoman physical culture.
Volume 55, Spring 2013
      - 2014 is ARIT's 50th year - reflecting on past accomplishments and future plans.
     
 - ARIT welcomes additional new institutional member

      - New publication - writings of Dr. Toni M. Cross
      - Research reports: library collections of Ottoman Sufi scholars; Armenian churches in Istanbul.
Volume 54, Fall 2012
      - ARIT plans adaptations to reduced funding
     
 - ARIT welcomes five new institutional members

      - Research report: Classical architects of Asia Minor; Authenticating Eyüp in Istanbul.
Volume 53, Spring 2012
      
- ARIT's funding worries continue
     
 - ARIT Istanbul Library acquires the massive archive of the American Board of Missions
      - ARIT Ankara director reports on Turkish fellows traveling to Greece
      - Research report: Early Republican political cartoons

July 18, 2014

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Newly Open Access Journal: Proceedings of the Danish Institute at Athens

Proceedings of the Danish Institute at Athens
ISSN: 1108-149X
http://ojs.statsbiblioteket.dk/public/journals/144/pageHeaderTitleImage_en_US.gif
Proceedings of the Danish Institute at Athens publishes academic articles on topics related to Greek and Mediterranean archaeology, history, language, literature, visual arts, architecture, art history and cultural traditions.

An essential part of the journal is furthermore the publication of preliminary reports of Danish archaeological fieldwork carried out in Greece.  

The Danish Institute at Athens is pleased to announce that Open Access to the first three volumes of the Proceedings of the Danish Institute at Athens is now available through the Open Journal System. Open Access to volumes IV-VI will be provided during the autumn of 2014.

The service has been realized through a close cooperation between the Danish Institute at Athens, The Nordic Library at Athens and Statsbiblioteket in Aarhus, Denmark

PoDIA Issue 1

PoDIA Issue 2

PoDIA Issue 3

See the full List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies


Digital Humanities Questions & Answers » Recent Topics

John Handel on "Overalying Gephi Network onto Google Earth"

I posted this over on the Gephi forums as well, but I know many of you have experience with this as well so I thought I'd give it a shot here.

Currently I have my csv file set up as such: ID column=complete list of all nodes, X column=latitude in degrees, Y column=longitude in degrees, Source=source nodes, target=target nodes. But when I import this into Gephi I get a giant amorphous blob of all of my nodes with no connections between them and no ability to geooverlay it or export it to google earth.I can't seem to import my data in the correct format that will allow me to do the geo stuff. How can I fix this?

Thanks

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Cuneiform Digital Library Notes (CDLN) News

Cuneiform Digital Library Notes (CDLN) News
We are pleased to announce with a slight delay due to server maintenance work the publication of several new contributions to the Cuneiform Digital Library Notes (CDLN):

CDLN 2014:012
Lance Allred, Girsu Labor Assignments Revisited

CDLN 2014:013
Klaus Wagensonner, Some notes on a Middle Assyrian letter

CDLN 2014:014
Ingo Schrakamp, On the reading of a-dam-DUN{ki}

CDLN 2014:015
Klaus Wagensonner, Lu2 A Again!

CDLN 2014:016
Jacob L. Dahl, Correction to J. L. Dahl, “A Babylonian Gang of Potters”

CDLN 2014:017
Liu Changyu, Notes on Elamites and the date of three Drehem texts

CDLN 2014:018
Klaus Wagensonner, Elamites in Edinburgh

CDLN 2014:019
Klaus Wagensonner, A note on the colophon of VAT 9487

CDLN 2014:020

Camille Lecompte, Suggestions and corrections to Archaic Texts and Fragments from Ur (ATFU) - 1. On goats and sheep during the ED I-II period

CDLN 2014:021
Camille Lecompte, Suggestions and corrections to Archaic Texts and Fragments from Ur (ATFU) - 2. Addenda and errata

CDLN 2014:022
Camille Lecompte, Suggestions and corrections to Archaic Texts and Fragments from Ur (ATFU) - 3. Again on EREN2+S. 161b{ki}

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all contributors to CDLN for their support and would like to encourage scholars to contribute to the Notes in future.

As mentioned in the previous announcement, all old links for contributions before 2014 are automatically redirected to the new address. Some new features are now implemented, whose aim is to increase user-friendliness. Among these features is a navigation bar at the top making the navigation throughout the Notes easier (<< and >> for jumping to the previous/next year and </> to switch between previous/next Note). The rhombic symbol leads to the display of all contributions in the respective year (e.g., http://cdli.ucla.edu/pubs/cdln/php/indexyear.php?year=2014).

ORACC News

ORACC News
On behalf of the Oracc Steering Committee--myself, Eleanor Robson, and Niek Veldhuis--I am pleased to announce the appearance of Oracc 3, the most important visible feature of which is a reimplementation of the main browsing interface (the "pager"). The pager has been streamlined and rewritten for improved stability and many more changes have been made under the surface to support Oracc's next moves, including the creation of new dedicated servers, one at the University of Pennsylvania and the other at University College, London.

For help on the new user interface, click on the query icon, or see http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/doc2/help/visitingoracc/index.html .

To access additional resources from the pager, click on the plus icon.

The documentation has been extensively revised by Eleanor Robson, and the portal implementation has been reworked by Ruth Horry to be responsive to different sized media such as mobile devices. Niek Veldhuis has provided extensive feedback and testing over the last year which has yielded many improvements.

In addition we encourage you to follow Oracc on various social media platforms--just click on the FaceBook, Blogspot and Twitter icons at the foot of the home page, http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/ / http://oracc.org/ .

As usual, please report any bugs to me, stinney@upenn.edu.

Source: Journalism Code, Context & Community

How We Made "Spot the Ball"

By Alastair Coote, Erin Kissane, Sam Manchester, Rumsey Taylor

How We Made

(original photo Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Even among the many wonderful World Cup interactives and news apps we saw this year, the NYT's Spot the Ball was a standout, both in conception and execution. We spoke with the team behind it about the project's design, world-class Photoshopping, and surprising inspiration.

Q. How did you decide to do this project?

Alastair Coote: First off—the important confession is that I didn't come up with the idea of Spot the Ball! The idea actually goes all the way back to the 70s, in the UK at least, where newspapers ran it as a cash prize competition that looked something like this:

The original Spot the Ball (source)

We had an open call for World Cup ideas, and I kept thinking back to that old idea and how a modern variant might look. We obviously weren’t going to replicate the cash prize element, but wanted to keep some spirit of competition in there. I spent a few hours playing around with different ideas and ended up with a prototype that looked like this:

Our original prototype idea

That prototype was also useful in pitching the concept—rather than forwarding around a dry text description of the concept, we could have people play a mini-round for themselves. Once it was approved we started talking to the News Design team about how we could improve the look and feel beyond the bare frame of the prototype. Editorial Designer Rumsey Taylor took it on.

Rumsey Taylor: The design stemmed from a working prototype, and in response to that, two improvements were made: one, to make the photos larger, and two, to “gamify" the interactions, that is to make the interface playful in addition to informational.

Accordingly, we introduced the idea of rewarding the user, which is to say her guesses could be good, bad, or perfect. So we came up with a color system and language to articulate the idea of success or accuracy. From there it was a matter of fine-tuning the interactions to ensure that the whole package was intuitive and, most importantly, fun.

Spot the Ball step-by-step

Step 1: Default call to action

Spot the Ball step-by-step

Step 2: Call to action morphs into cursor; background overlay fades to 0% opacity

Spot the Ball step-by-step

Step 3: On click, the cursor locks into place; confirmation appears nearby

Spot the Ball step-by-step

Step 4: The circle fades into full opacity; the soccer ball fades in

Spot the Ball step-by-step

Step 5: The circle changes color according to the accuracy of the guess; confirmation fades in beneath the image (not shown)

Spot the Ball step-by-step

Step 6: The range of guesses fade in; the overlay fades in beneath the guesses and above the image (not pictured)

Coote: Rumsey, Interactive News intern Colleen McEnaney, and I set about merging the design into the prototype, and making it mobile-ready.

Q. What is up with that Photoshopping? It is crazy good. (I assume it took forever.)

Sam Manchester: Thanks. I want to make sure people have no idea where the ball is. It could be anywhere. If we do five photos where the ball is on a field of green (easy Photoshop), people will pick up on that and the game will be easier and boring. My feeling is that if the game is just hard enough people won't get bored, they'll be challenged, and they'll want to come back and try again in the next round. So I choose photos with complex backgrounds, and sometimes they take forever. But it's fun, and I love it when people come up and tell me they tried to find the Photoshop errors as a way to cheat the game. Good luck with that.

Q. The social/score comparison trick is really nice. How did you implement it, and have you seen it used as you expected it would be?

Coote: One of the goals when creating Spot the Ball was that it should be very resilient—you’re never sure exactly how much traffic you’re going to get, so it’s always sensible to plan for the worst. So, rather than depend on an a forever-growing database in our data center, we encoded the challenge data in the URL. That URL data was decoded in the browser, too—so we could scale without worrying about server capacity at all.

Baiting the social media hook

That was, until we looked at social media integration. Both Facebook and Twitter depend on server-generated meta tags for summary information, so if we wanted to display custom text, we had to use server-side page generation. Not ideal, but there was still no database involved, so our servers managed to cope with the user load quite easily.

Not that it was all a wasted effort—it means that once traffic has died down on Spot the Ball we can decommission our backend servers entirely. It’ll result in the loss of that custom metadata, but Spot the Ball will be able to continue living on and only cost us pennies in S3 storage.

We were very happy with the way people responded to the functionality—our social team did a great job promoting it and came up with the idea of people being able to challenge our Sports Editor, Jason Stallman, to a game. That was a hit.

One particularly interesting use we’ve heard of is people forming ad-hoc group competitions by posting their scores and links in Facebook comments to each other. Next time we do something like this the first improvement we’ll make is better facilitating group play.

Q. Have you consciously changed the way the game works as you iterate through the rounds? (It seems like the cues that were obvious in Round One are much less available in later rounds, and I'm wondering how much of that is intentional.)

Coote: Users picked up the game a lot quicker than I thought they might—we ran some A/B tests with layout tweaks that held the user’s hand more, but it turned out they weren’t necessary. This in turn had an effect on the copy—there was less of a requirement to explain every step of the game, instead we kept it short and let users play.

Q. How has reader performance gone through the rounds? Is the game getting harder, or have some rounds been easier?

There hasn’t been any significant change in reader accuracy through the tournament—many readers joined halfway through the tournament so perhaps it would be unfair to expect it of them.

As for whether it’s gotten easier, we’ll leave that for readers to judge. You would think that the last round—which was five photos of the same goal—would be easier, but I don’t think it was. Of course, I can’t say for sure—one of the downsides of working on a project like this is that I always know where the ball is and can’t play myself!

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Digitale Nah- und Mittelost-Studien

Digitale Nah- und Mittelost-Studien 
http://www.dnms.org/assets/img/dnms.gif
Diese Webseite begleitet Projekte des Centrums für Nah- und Mittelost-Studien der Philipps-Universität Marburg. Hier werden in den nächsten Wochen und Monaten sukzessive grundlegende Informationen zum Themenfeld eHumanities und Nah- und Mittelost-Studien, fachbezogene Webanwendungen sowie digitale Hilfsmittel eingestellt. 
An English version of this website is in preparation.

Akkadische Glossare und Indizes (AGI)

Diese digitale Sammlung akkadischer lexikographischer Belege integriert verschiedene Datenbanken und gedruckte Quellen.
Die Belegsammlung enthält die Zusammenstellung der akkadischen Einträge aus Archiv für Orientforschung Band 25 (1974/1977) – Band 52 (2011) sowie Beiheft 21 (1986).
 
Die Sammlung akkadischer Einträge kann hier im PDF-Format heruntergeladen werden:

Sumerische Glossare und Indizes (SGI)

Diese digitale Sammlung sumerischer lexikographischer Belege integriert verschiedene Datenbanken und gedruckte Quellen und erschließt diese über einen Index. 
Die Belegsammlung integriert folgende Datenbanken und Sammlungen:

Akkadische und sumerische Texte (AST)

Dies ist eine Sammlung digitaler Editionen, die zusätzlich durch Glossare und Zeichenkonkordanzen erschlossen werden.