Head of Digital Research at the National Archives

June 21st, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

Posted for Olivia Pinto (National Archives, Kew, UK):

Job Opportunity at The National Archives

Head of Digital Research

About the role

The National Archives has set itself the ambition of becoming a digital archive by instinct and design. The digital strategy takes this forward through the notion of a disruptive archive which positively reimagines established archival practice, and develops new ways of solving core digital challenges. You will develop a research programme to progress this vision, to answer key questions for TNA and the Archives Sector around digital archival practice and delivery. You will understand and navigate through the funding landscape, identifying key funders (RCUK and others) to build relations at a senior level to articulate priorities around digital archiving, whilst taking a key role in coordinating digitally focused research bids. You will also build key collaborative relationships with academic partners and undertake horizon scanning of the research landscape, tracking and engaging with relevant research projects nationally and internationally. You will also recognise the importance of developing an evidence base for our research into digital archiving and will lead on the development of methods for measuring impact.

About you

As someone who will be mentoring and managing a team of researchers, as well as leading on digital programing across the organisation, you’ll need to be a natural at inspiring and engaging the people you work with. You will also have the confidence to engage broadly with external stakeholders and partners. Your background and knowledge of digital research, relevant in the context of a memory institution such as The National Archives, will gain you the respect you need to deliver an inspiring digital research programme. You combine strategic leadership with a solid understanding of the digital research landscape as well as the tools and technologies that will underpin the development of a digital research programme. You will come with a strong track record in digital research, a doctorate in a discipline relevant to our digital research agenda, and demonstrable experience of relationship development at a senior level with the academic and research sectors.

Join us here in beautiful Kew, just 10 minutes walk from the Overground and Underground stations, and you can expect an excellent range of benefits. They include a pension, flexible working and childcare vouchers, as well as discounts with local businesses. We also offer well-being resources (e.g. onsite therapists) and have an on-site gym, restaurant, shop and staff bar.

To apply please follow the link: https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi?jcode=1543657

Salary: £41,970

Closing date: Wednesday 28th June 2017

Pleiades sprint on Pompeian buildings

June 20th, 2017 by Valeria Vitale

Casa della Statuetta Indiana, Pompei.

Monday the 26th of June, from 15 to 17 BST, Pleiades organises an editing sprint to create additional URIs for Pompeian buildings, preferably looking at those located in Regio I, Insula 8.

Participants will meet remotely on the Pleiades IRC chat. Providing monument-specific IDs will enable a more efficient and granular use and organisation of Linked Open Data related to Pompeii, and will support the work of digital projects such as the Ancient Graffiti.

Everyone is welcome to join, but a Pleiades account is required to edit the online gazetteer.

OEDUc: EDH and Pelagios NER working group

June 19th, 2017 by Sarah Middle

Participants:  Orla Murphy, Sarah Middle, Simona Stoyanova, Núria Garcia Casacuberta

Report: https://github.com/EpiDoc/OEDUc/wiki/EDH-and-Pelagios-NER

The EDH and Pelagios NER working group was part of the Open Epigraphic Data Unconference held on 15 May 2017. Our aim was to use Named Entity Recognition (NER) on the text of inscriptions from the Epigraphic Database Heidelberg (EDH) to identify placenames, which could then be linked to their equivalent terms in the Pleiades gazetteer and thereby integrated with Pelagios Commons.

Data about each inscription, along with the inscription text itself, is stored in one XML file per inscription. In order to perform NER, we therefore first had to extract the inscription text from each XML file (contained within <ab></ab> tags), then strip out any markup from the inscription to leave plain text. There are various Python libraries for processing XML, but most of these turned out to be a bit too complex for what we were trying to do, or simply returned the identifier of the <ab> element rather than the text it contained.

Eventually, we found the Python library Beautiful Soup, which converts an XML document to structured text, from which you can identify your desired element, then strip out the markup to convert the contents of this element to plain text. It is a very simple and elegant solution with only eight lines of code to extract and convert the inscription text from one specific file. The next step is to create a script that will automatically iterate through all files in a particular folder, producing a directory of new files that contain only the plain text of the inscriptions.

Once we have a plain text file for each inscription, we can begin the process of named entity extraction. We decided to follow the methods and instructions shown in the two Sunoikisis DC classes on Named Entity Extraction:

https://github.com/SunoikisisDC/SunoikisisDC-2016-2017/wiki/Named-Entity-Extraction-I

https://github.com/SunoikisisDC/SunoikisisDC-2016-2017/wiki/Named-Entity-Extraction-II

Here is a short outline of the steps might involve when this is done in the future.

  1. Extraction
    1. Split text into tokens, make a python list
    2. Create a baseline
      1. cycle through each token of the text
      2. if the token starts with a capital letter it’s a named entity (only one type, i.e. Entity)
    3. Classical Language Toolkit (CLTK)
      1. for each token in a text, the tagger checks whether that token is contained within a predefined list of possible named entities
      2. Compare to baseline
    4. Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK)
      1. Stanford NER Tagger for Italian works well with Latin
      2. Differentiates between different kinds of entities: place, person, organization or none of the above, more granular than CLTK
      3. Compare to both baseline and CLTK lists
  2. Classification
    1. Part-Of-Speech (POS) tagging – precondition before you can perform any other advanced operation on a text, information on the word class (noun, verb etc.); TreeTagger
    2. Chunking – sub-dividing a section of text into phrases and/or meaningful constituents (which may include 1 or more text tokens); export to IOB notation
    3. Computing entity frequency
  3. Disambiguation

Although we didn’t make as much progress as we would have liked, we have achieved our aim of creating a script to prepare individual files for NER processing, and have therefore laid the groundwork for future developments in this area. We hope to build on this work to successfully apply NER to the inscription texts in the EDH in order to make them more widely accessible to researchers and to facilitate their connection to other, similar resources, like Pelagios.

OEDUc: Images and Image metadata working group

June 13th, 2017 by simonastoyanova

Participants: Sarah Middle, Angie Lumezeanu, Simona Stoyanova
Report: https://github.com/EpiDoc/OEDUc/wiki/Images-and-image-metadata

 

The Images and Image Metadata working group met at the London meeting of the Open Epigraphic Data Unconference on Friday, May 15, 2017, and discussed the issues of copyright, metadata formats, image extraction and licence transparency in the Epigraphik Fotothek Heidelberg, the database which contains images and metadata relating to nearly forty thousand Roman inscriptions from collections around the world. Were the EDH to lose its funding and the website its support, one of the biggest and most useful digital epigraphy projects will start disintegrating. While its data is available for download, its usability will be greatly compromised. Thus, this working group focused on issues pertaining to the EDH image collection. The materials we worked with are the JPG images as seen on the website, and the images metadata files which are available as XML and JSON data dumps on the EDH data download page.

The EDH Photographic Database index page states: “The digital image material of the Photographic Database is with a few exceptions directly accessible. Hitherto it had been the policy that pictures with unclear utilization rights were presented only as thumbnail images. In 2012 as a result of ever increasing requests from the scientific community and with the support of the Heidelberg Academy of the Sciences this policy has been changed. The approval of the institutions which house the monuments and their inscriptions is assumed for the non commercial use for research purposes (otherwise permission should be sought). Rights beyond those just mentioned may not be assumed and require special permission of the photographer and the museum.”

During a discussion with Frank Grieshaber we found out that the information in this paragraph is only available on this webpage, with no individual licence details in the metadata records of the images, either in the XML or the JSON data dumps. It would be useful to be included in the records, though it is not clear how to accomplish this efficiently for each photograph, since all photographers need to be contacted first. Currently, the rights information in the XML records says “Rights Reserved – Free Access on Epigraphischen Fotothek Heidelberg”, which presumably points to the “research purposes” part of the statement on the EDH website.

All other components of EDH – inscriptions, bibliography, geography and people RDF – have been released under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, which allows for their reuse and repurposing, thus ensuring their sustainability. The images, however, will be the first thing to disappear once the project ends. With unclear licensing and the impossibility of contacting every single photographer, some of whom are not alive anymore and others who might not wish to waive their rights, data reuse becomes particularly problematic.

One possible way of figuring out the copyright of individual images is to check the reciprocal links to the photographic archive of the partner institutions who provided the images, and then read through their own licence information. However, these links are only visible from the HTML and not present in the XML records.

Given that the image metadata in the XML files is relatively detailed and already in place, we decided to focus on the task of image extraction for research purposes, which is covered by the general licensing of the EDH image databank. We prepared a Python script for batch download of the entire image databank, available on the OEDUc GitHub repo. Each image has a unique identifier which is the same as its filename and the final string of its URL. This means that when an inscription has more than one photograph, each one has its individual record and URI, which allows for complete coverage and efficient harvesting. The images are numbered sequentially, and in the case of a missing image, the process skips that entry and continues on to the next one. Since the databank includes some 37,530 plus images, the script pauses for 30 seconds after every 200 files to avoid a timeout. We don’t have access to the high resolution TIFF images, so this script downloads the JPGs from the HTML records.

The EDH images included in the EAGLE MediaWiki are all under an open licence and link back to the EDH databank. A task for the future will be to compare the two lists to get a sense of the EAGLE coverage of EDH images and feed back their licensing information to the EDH image records. One issue is the lack of file-naming conventions in EAGLE, where some photographs carry a publication citation (CIL_III_14216,_8.JPG, AE_1957,_266_1.JPG), a random name (DR_11.jpg) and even a descriptive filename which may contain an EDH reference (Roman_Inscription_in_Aleppo,_Museum,_Syria_(EDH_-_F009848).jpeg). Matching these to the EDH databank will have to be done by cross-referencing the publication citations either in the filename or in the image record.

A further future task could be to embed the image metadata into the image itself. The EAGLE MediaWiki images already have the Exif data (added automatically by the camera) but it might be useful to add descriptive and copyright information internally following the IPTC data set standard (e.g. title, subject, photographer, rights etc). This will help bring the inscription file, image record and image itself back together, in the event of data scattering after the end of the project. Currently linkage exist between the inscription files and image records. Embedding at least the HD number of the inscription directly into the image metadata will allow us to gradually bring the resources back together, following changes in copyright and licensing.

Out of the three tasks we set out to discuss, one turned out to be impractical and unfeasible, one we accomplished and published the code, one remains to be worked on in the future. Ascertaining the copyright status of all images is physically impossible, so all future experiments will be done on the EDH images in EAGLE MediaWiki. The script for extracting JPGs from the HTML is available on the OEDUc GitHub repo. We have drafted a plan for embedding metadata into the images, following the IPTC standard.

Open Epigraphic Data Unconference report

June 7th, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

Last month, a dozen or so scholars met in London (and were joined by a similar number via remote video-conference) to discuss and work on the open data produced by the Epigraphic Database Heidelberg. (See call and description.)

Over the course of the day seven working groups were formed, two of which completed their briefs within the day, but the other five will lead to ongoing work and discussion. Fuller reports from the individual groups will follow here shortly, but here is a short summary of the activities, along with links to the pages in the Wiki of the OEDUc Github repository.

Useful links:

  1. All interested colleagues are welcome to join the discussion group: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/oeduc
  2. Code, documentation, and other notes are collected in the Github repository: https://github.com/EpiDoc/OEDUc

1. Disambiguating EDH person RDF
(Gabriel Bodard, Núria García Casacuberta, Tom Gheldof, Rada Varga)
We discussed and broadly specced out a couple of steps in the process for disambiguating PIR references for inscriptions in EDH that contain multiple personal names, for linking together person references that cite the same PIR entry, and for using Trismegistos data to further disambiguate EDH persons. We haven’t written any actual code to implement this yet, but we expect a few Python scripts would do the trick.

2. Epigraphic ontology
(Hugh Cayless, Paula Granados, Tim Hill, Thomas Kollatz, Franco Luciani, Emilia Mataix, Orla Murphy, Charlotte Tupman, Valeria Vitale, Franziska Weise)
This group discussed the various ontologies available for encoding epigraphic information (LAWDI, Nomisma, EAGLE Vocabularies) and ideas for filling the gaps between this. This is a long-standing desideratum of the EpiDoc community, and will be an ongoing discussion (perhaps the most important of the workshop).

3. Images and image metadata
(Angie Lumezeanu, Sarah Middle, Simona Stoyanova)
This group attempted to write scripts to track down copyright information on images in EDH (too complicated, but EAGLE may have more of this), download images and metadata (scripts in Github), and explored the possibility of embedding metadata in the images in IPTC format (in progress).

4. EDH and SNAP:DRGN mapping
(Rada Varga, Scott Vanderbilt, Gabriel Bodard, Tim Hill, Hugh Cayless, Elli Mylonas, Franziska Weise, Frank Grieshaber)
In this group we revised the status of SNAP:DRGN recommendations for person-data in RDF, and then looked in detail about the person list exported from the EDH data. A list of suggestions for improving this data was produced for EDH to consider. This task was considered to be complete. (Although Frank may have feedback or questions for us later.)

5. EDH and Pelagios NER
(Orla Murphy, Sarah Middle, Simona Stoyanova, Núria Garcia Casacuberta, Thomas Kollatz)
This group explored the possibility of running machine named entity extraction on the Latin texts of the EDH inscriptions, in two stages: extracting plain text from the XML (code in Github); applying CLTK/NLTK scripts to identify entities (in progress).

6. EDH and Pelagios location disambiguation
(Paula Granados, Valeria Vitale, Franco Luciani, Angie Lumezeanu, Thomas Kollatz, Hugh Cayless, Tim Hill)
This group aimed to work on disambiguating location information in the EDH data export, for example making links between Geonames place identifiers, TMGeo places, Wikidata and Pleiades identifiers, via the Pelagios gazetteer or other linking mechanisms. A pathway for resolving was identified, but work is still ongoing.

7. Exist-db mashup application
(Pietro Liuzzo)
This task, which Dr Liuzzo carried out alone, since his network connection didn’t allow him to join any of the discussion groups on the day, was to create an implementation of existing code for displaying and editing epigraphic editions (using Exist-db, Leiden+, etc.) and offer a demonstration interface by which the EDH data could be served up to the public and contributions and improvements invited. (A preview “epigraphy.info” perhaps?)

Digital Classicist London seminar 2017 programme

May 23rd, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

Institute of Classical Studies

Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Fridays at 16:30 in room 234*

Jun 2 Sarah Middle (Open University) Linked Data and Ancient World Research: studying past projects from a user perspective
Jun 9 Donald Sturgeon (Harvard University) Crowdsourcing a digital library of pre-modern Chinese
Jun 16* Valeria Vitale et al. (Institute of Classical Studies) Recogito 2: linked data without the pointy brackets
Jun 23* Dimitar Iliev et al. (University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”) Historical GIS of South-Eastern Europe
Jun 30

&

Lucia Vannini (Institute of Classical Studies) The role of Digital Humanities in Papyrology: Practices and user needs in papyrological research

Paula Granados García (Open University) Cultural Contact in Early Roman Spain through Linked Open Data resources

Jul 7 Elisa Nury (King’s College London) Collation Visualization: Helping Users to Explore Collated Manuscripts
Jul 14 Sarah Ketchley (University of Washington) Re-Imagining Nineteenth Century Nile Travel & Excavation for a Digital Age: The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project
Jul 21 Dorothea Reule & Pietro Liuzzo (Hamburg University) Issues in the development of digital projects based on user requirements. The case of Beta maāḥǝft
Jul 28 Rada Varga (Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca) Romans 1by1: Transferring information from ancient people to modern users

*Except Jun 16 & 23, room G34

digitalclassicist.org/wip/wip2017.html

This series is focussed on user and reader needs of digital projects or resources, and assumed a wide definition of classics including the whole ancient world more broadly than only the Greco-Roman Mediterranean. The seminars will be pitched at a level suitable for postgraduate students or interested colleagues in Archaeology, Classics, Digital Humanities and related fields.

Digital Classicist London seminar is organized by Gabriel Bodard, Simona Stoyanova and Valeria Vitale (ICS) and Simon Mahony and Eleanor Robson (UCL).

ALL WELCOME

Unlocking Sacred Landscapes, by Giorgos Papantoniou

May 5th, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

Project report by Dr Giorgos Papantoniou, papantog@uni-bonn.de

Previous multi-dimensional approaches to the study of ancient Mediterranean societies have shown that social, economic and religious lives were closely entwined. In attempting to engage with Cyprus’s multiple identities – and the ways in which islanders may have negotiated, performed or represented their identities – several material vectors related to ritual and sacred space must be taken into consideration. The sharp modern distinction between sacred and profane is not applicable to antiquity, and the terms ritual, cult and sacred space in Unlocking Sacred Landscapes: Cypriot Sanctuaries as Economic Units are used broadly to include the domestic and funerary spheres of life as well as formally constituted sanctuaries. Perceiving ritual space as instrumental in forming both power relations and the worldview of ancient people, and taking ancient Cyprus as a case study, the Project aims at elucidating how meanings and identities were diachronically expressed in, or created by, the topographical and economic setting of ritual and its material depositions and dedications.

The evidence of cult or sacred space is very limited and ambiguous before the Late Bronze Age. During the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1700-1125/1100 BC), however ritual spaces were closely linked to industrial activities; the appropriation, distribution, and consumption of various resources (especially copper), labour and land was achieved by the elite through exploitation of supernatural knowledge. The Early Iron Age (ca. 1125/1100-750 BC) landscapes are very difficult to approach. We can, however, identify sanctuary sites in the countryside towards the end of this period. This phenomenon might well relate to the consolidation of the Iron Age Cypriot polities (known in the archaeological literature as Cypriot city-kingdoms) and their territories. While urban sanctuaries become religious communal centres, where social, cultural and political identities are affirmed, an indication of the probable use of extra-urban sanctuaries in the political establishment of the various polities of the Cypro-Archaic (ca. 750-480 BC) and Cypro-Classical (ca. 480-310 BC) periods has recently been put forward.

During the Hellenistic period (ca. 310-30 BC), a process of official neglect of the extra-urban sanctuaries signals a fundamental transformation in the social perception of the land. After the end of the city-kingdoms, and the movement from many political identities to a single identity, extra-urban sanctuaries were important mainly to the local extra-urban population. By the Roman period (ca. 30 BC-330 AD), the great majority of Hellenistic extra-urban sanctuaries are ‘dead’. When the social memory, elite or non-elite, that kept them alive ‘dies’, they ‘die’ with it; what usually distinguishes the surviving sites is what the defunct sites lacked: political scale and significance. As the topography of Roman sanctuary sites reveals, this is not to say that extra-urban sanctuaries did not exist anymore. Over time, however, they started to become primarily the concern of local audiences. The annexation and ‘provincialisation’ of Cyprus, with all the consequent developments, were accompanied by changes in memorial patterns, with less focus on regional or local structures, and more intense emphasis on stressing an ideology which created a more widely recognisable ‘pan-Cypriot’ myth-history, which was eventually related to Ptolemaic, and later to Roman imperial power and ideology.

This Project puts together a holistic, inter-disciplinary approach to the diachronic study of the ancient Cypriot ritual and cult. While it aims at bringing together textual, archaeological, epigraphic, art-historical, and sociological/anthropological evidence, for the first time it incorporates ‘scientific’ spatial analysis and more agent-centred computational models to the study of ancient Cypriot sanctuaries and religion. By inserting in a GIS environment the Cypriot sanctuary sites the relation of sacred landscapes with politico-economic geography put forward above is tested both at regional and at island-wide level.

The Project falls under the umbrella of a larger Research Network entitled Unlocking Sacred Landscapes.

For further information: http://www.ucy.ac.cy/unsala/

Dr Giorgos Papantoniou
Research Training Group 1878: Archaeology of Pre-Modern Economies
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Institut für Archäologie und Kulturanthropologie
Abteilung für Klassische Archäologie
Lennéstr. 1
D-53113, Bonn
Germany

Job advertisement: Postdoctoral Research Associate (KCL)

May 3rd, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

Posted on behalf of Will Wootton (to whom enquiries should be addressed):

Training in Action: From Documentation to Protection of Cultural Heritage in Libya and Tunisia

As part of this new project funded by the British Council’s Cultural Heritage Protection Fund, a Post-Doctoral position will be employed at King’s College London. The Research Associate will work on the project initially for 10 months, with the contract likely to be renewed for a further 12 months.

The deadline for applications is 10th May. For further information, see here:
https://www.hirewire.co.uk/HE/1061247/MS_JobDetails.aspx?JobID=76726
And here:
http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BAY043/post-doctoral-research-associate-on-training-in-action-from-documentation-to-protection-of-cultural-heritage-in-libya-and-tunisia/

We would be most grateful if you could circulate this email to interested parties as the deadline is imminent.

Dr Will Wootton
King’s College London,London WC2R 2LS.
Tel. +44 (0)207 848 1015
Fax +44 (2)07 848 2545

Open Epigraphic Data Unconference, London, May 15, 2017

May 2nd, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

Open Epigraphic Data Unconference
10:00–17:00, May 15, 2017, Institute of Classical Studies

This one-day workshop, or “unconference,” brings together scholars, historians and data scientists with a shared interest in classical epigraphic data. The event involves no speakers or set programme of presentations, but rather a loose agenda, to be further refined in advance or on the day, which is to use, exploit, transform and “mash-up” with other sources the Open Data recently made available by the Epigraphic Database Heidelberg under a Creative Commons license. Both present and remote participants with programming and data-processing experience, and those with an interest in discussing and planning data manipulation and aggregation at a higher level, are welcomed.

Places at the event in London are limited; please contact <gabriel.bodard@sas.ac.uk> if you would like to register to attend.

There will also be a Google Hangout opened on the day, for participants who are not able to attend in person. We hope this event will only be the beginning of a longer conversation and project to exploit and disseminate this invaluable epigraphic dataset.

Historia Ludens: Conference on History and Gaming, 19 May 2017

April 28th, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

Posted on behalf of Alexander von Lünen (to whom queries should be addressed):

University of Huddersfield
19 May 2017

This conference follows up on the workshop “Playing with History” that has been held in November 2015 in Huddersfield. Gaming and History is gaining more and more traction, either as means to “gamify” history education or museum experiences, or as computer games as prism into history like the popular History Respawned podcast series (http://www.historyrespawned.com/).

Besides discussing gamification or using (computer) games, we also want to explore gaming and playing in a broader historical-cultural sense. Can “playing” be used as category for historical scholarship, maybe alongside other categories such as gender, space or class? Historian Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens from 1938 looked at play and its importance for human culture. Can historians make similar cases for more specific histories? In recent publications historians have pointed to the connection between cities and play. Simon Sleight, for example, has worked on the history of childhood and urban history, i.e. young people appropriating public urban spaces for their ludic activities and their struggle with authorities over this. Archaeologists, as another example, have shown that much of the urban infrastructure of Ancient Rome was dedicated to games, playing and gambling, as it had such a big role in Roman life.

The conference will thus discuss terms like “gaming”, “playing” and “history” in broad terms. There are academic papers in the morning and round-table sessions in the afternoon for networking and demos.

Tickets (£10) are available via the University of Huddersfield web shop. Please note: there are travel/conference bursaries for postgraduate students available on request; please contact Dr Alexander von Lünen (a.f.vonlunen@hud.ac.uk) for details.

Full details and programme at https://hudddighum.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/historia-ludens-conference-on-history-and-gaming-19-may-2017/

CFP: Cyborg Classics: An Interdisciplinary Symposium

April 25th, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

Forwarded on behalf of Silvie Kilgallon (to whom enqueries should be addressed):

We are pleased to announce a one-day symposium, sponsored by BIRTHA (The Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts) to be held at the University of Bristol, on Friday July 7th 2017.

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr Kate Devlin (Goldsmiths)
  • Dr Genevieve Liveley (Bristol)
  • Dr Rae Muhlstock (NYU)

The aim of the day is to bring together researchers from different disciplines – scholars in Archaeology & Anthropology, Classics, English, History, and Theology as well as in AI, Robotics, Ethics, and Medicine – to share their work on automata, robots, and cyborgs. Ultimately, the aim is an edited volume and the development of further collaborative research projects.

Indicative key provocations include:

  • To what extent do myths and narratives about automata, robots, and cyborgs raise questions that are relevant to contemporary debates concerning robot, cyborg, and AI product innovation?
  • To what extent, and how, can contemporary debate concerning robot, cyborg, and AI product innovation rescript ancient myths and narratives about automata, robots, and cyborgs.
  • Can interdisciplinary dialogues between the ‘soft’ humanities and the ‘hard’ sciences of robotics and AI be developed? And to what benefit?
  • How might figures such as Pandora, Pygmalion’s statue, and Talos help inform current polarized debates concerning robot, cyborg, and AI ethics?
  • What are the predominant narrative scripts and frames that shape the public understanding of robotics and AI? How could these be re-coded?

We invite scholars working across the range of Classics and Ancient History (including Classical Reception) and across the Humanities more widely to submit expressions of interest and/or a title and abstract (of no more than 250 words) to the symposium coordinator, Silvie Kilgallon (silvie.kilgallon@bristol.ac.uk). PhD students are warmly encouraged to contribute. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is May 31st, 2017.

Research Fellows: Latinization of the north-western provinces

March 22nd, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

Posted on behalf on Alex Mullen (to whom enquiries should be addressed):

I should like to draw your attention to the advertisement for 2 Research Fellows for the 5-year ERC project: the Latinization of the North-Western Provinces: Sociolinguistics, Epigraphy and Archaeology (LatinNow).

The RFs will be based at the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, University of Oxford, and will start, at the earliest, in September 2017. The positions will be for 3 years, with the possibility of extension.

Although the RFs will be located in Oxford, their contracts will be with the project host, the University of Nottingham, so applications must be made via the Nottingham online system:

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/jobs/currentvacancies/ref/ART002017

Please note that the panel requires basic details to be filled in online and a CV and covering letter to be uploaded (apologies, the generic application system is not clear on what needs to be uploaded). The deadline for applications is the 14th April.

If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Principal Investigator, Dr Alex Mullen.

Roman Society Summer Placements

March 22nd, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

The Roman Society is pleased to invite applications for its 2017 bursary scheme.  The placements may be held at the following museums / organisations:

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford: http://www.ashmolean.org/

Roman Baths, Bath: http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/

British Museum, Department of Greece and Rome: http://www.britishmuseum.org/

British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals: http://www.britishmuseum.org/

Corbridge Roman Site: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/corbridge-roman-town-hadrians-wall/

The placement will involve supporting the curatorial team in their collections research for the upcoming re-interpretation project at Corbridge museum. The exact nature of the work will depend on the applicant’s interests and experience, and the stage of current work at the time of the placement.

Great North Museum, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: https://greatnorthmuseum.org.uk/

English Heritage, Properties Historians Team, London: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to complete three different tasks: 1) historical research on an aspect of Roman history, including life in a Roman town, the history of Roman military installations and early-modern / modern literary responses to Roman sites; 2) the interpretation of historical material to the public, including the preparation of display panels, trails and reconstruction drawings; 3) shadowing a historian at project meetings and helping to prepare project documents. These examples are indicative and the exact of the nature of the placement programme will be determined by its timing, project requirements, and a discussion with the candidate.

Institute of Classical Studies: http://ics.sas.ac.uk/

This placement offers the opportunity to gain experience in digital classics research. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to design and implement a small, independent piece of work related to one of the Institute’s projects, for example: a database of persons or names related to a historical source or area; annotating geographical information in visual or textual resources; or library catalogue data related to digital publication. Advanced digital skills are not a requirement, but familiarity with basic tools such as spreadsheets and database tables would be an advantage.

  •  The dates of the placement may be determined by consultation between the successful candidates and institutions but are usually for 2-3 weeks during the summer vacation.
  • All Undergraduate and MA students are eligible to apply.
  • Up to eight bursaries of £250 will be offered as a contribution towards travel or living expenses.
  • Candidates should apply by letter setting out their reasons for wishing to undertake an internship and outlining any previous experience.  You should also provide the name and email address of a referee.
  • You may specify the Museum / organisation you would prefer to be based at, or submit an open application.
  • Queries and letters of application should be addressed to the Secretary, Dr Fiona Haarer, and sent by email by 30 April, 2017 to: office@romansociety.org

Cataloguing Open Access Classics Serials

March 17th, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

The Institute for Classical Studies is pleased to announce the appointment of Simona Stoyanova for one year as a new Research Fellow in Library and Information Science on the Cataloguing Open Access Classics Serials (COACS) project, funded by a development grant from the School of Advanced Study.

COACS will leverage various sites that list or index open access (OA) publications, especially journals and serials, in classics and ancient history, so as to produce a resource that subject libraries may use to automatically catalogue the publications and articles therein. The project is based in the ICS, supervised by the Reader in Digital Classics, Gabriel Bodard, and the Combined Library, with the support of Paul Jackson and Sue Willetts. Other digital librarians and scholars including Richard Gartner and Raphaële Mouren in the Warburg Institute; Patrick Burns and Tom Elliott from the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (NYU); Charles Jones from Penn State; and Matteo Romanello from the German Archaeological Institute are providing further advice.

Major stages of work will include:

  1. Survey of AWOL: We shall assess the regularity of metadata in the open access journals listed at AWOL (which currently lists 1521 OA periodicals, containing a little over 50,000 articles), and estimate what proportion of these titles expose metadata in standard formats that would enable harvesting in a form amenable to import into library catalogues. A certain amount of iteration and even manual curation of data is likely to be necessary. The intermediate dataset will need to be updated and incremented over time, rather than overwritten entirely on each import.
  2. Intermediate data format: We will also decide on the intermediate format (containing MARC data), which in addition to being ingested by the Combined Library will be made available for use by other libraries (e.g. NYU Library and the German Archaeological Institute’s Zenon catalogue). The addition of catalogued OA serials and articles to the library catalogue will significantly contribute to the research practice of scholars and other library users, enabling new research outputs from the Institute and enhancing the open access policy of the School.
  3. Further OA indexes: Once the proof-of-concept is in place, and data is being harvested from AWOL (and tested that they update rather than overwriting or duplicating pre-existing titles), we shall experiment with harvesting similar data from other indexes of OA content, such as DOAJ, OLH, Persée, DialNet, TOCS-IN, and perhaps even institutional repositories.
  4. Publish open access software: All code for harvesting OA serials and articles, and for ingest by library catalogues will be made available through Github. This code will then be available for updating the intermediate data to take advantage of new titles that are added to AWOL and other resources, and new issues of serials that are already listed. This will enable reuse of our scripts and data by other libraries and similar institutions.

By the end of the pilot project, we will have: made available and documented the intermediate dataset and harvesting and ingest code; performed a test ingest of the data into the ICS library catalogue; engaged known (NYU, Zenon, BL) and newly discovered colleagues in potentially adding to and using this data; explored the possibility of seeking external funding to take this project further.

We consider this project to be a pilot for further work, for which we intend to seek external funding once a proof of concept is in place. We hope to be able to build on this first phase of work by: extending the methods to other disciplines, especially those covered by the other institute libraries in SAS; enabling the harvest of full-text from serials whose license permit it, for search and other textual research such as text-mining and natural language processing; disambiguating enhancing the internal and external bibliographical references to enable hyperlinks to primary and secondary sources where available.

Yale University Library seeks Digital Scholarship Project Manager

March 2nd, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

Yale University offers exciting opportunities for achievement and growth in New Haven, Connecticut. Conveniently located between Boston and New York, New Haven is the creative capital of Connecticut with cultural resources that include two major art museums, a critically-acclaimed repertory theater, state-of-the-art concert hall, and world-renowned schools of Architecture, Art, Drama, and Music.

Position Focus: Yale University seeks a Project Manager (PM) who will be responsible for coordination and completion of projects for Digital Scholarship Services (DSS) in the Yale University Library. This position will oversee all aspects of digital scholarship project management by setting deadlines, assigning responsibilities, and monitoring and summarizing progress of projects. The PM will prepare reports for upper management regarding status of projects and be familiar with a variety of digital scholarship concepts, practices, and procedures. Relying on experience and judgment, the PM will plan and accomplish goals by performing a variety of tasks across a spectrum of technologies and digital services. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Reports to the Director of Digital Scholarship Services.
Read the rest of this entry »

CFP: Digital Textual Editions and Corpora

February 8th, 2017 by Tom Elliott

Digital Classics Association
Call for papers for the January 4-7, 2018 meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in Boston

“Digital Textual Editions and Corpora”

Organizer: Neil Coffee, University at Buffalo, SUNY ncoffee@buffalo.edu

The discovery, editing, and publication of classical texts has been a foundational activity in the study of antiquity. The creation of born-digital editions of classical texts and of digital textual corpora has led to a resurgence of interest in the curation and editing of texts, so that they can be made more broadly accessible online and enhanced with features only possible through digital representation. The aim of this panel is to inform the SCS membership and engage them in a discussion regarding the current state of the art in the curation and publication of digital editions and corpora, as well as likely future directions. Abstracts are invited in two complementary areas. Scholars with experience working with contemporary digital editions and corpora are invited to discuss their experience. This might involve creating a digital edition or corpus, or it might involve a research project that intensively engaged with one. Scholars who have set up digital corpora and/or editing environments, or who work on conventions or other software that underlie such corpora are invited to relate their experience as well. Papers can address completed work, but can also be devoted partly or entirely to ongoing work, problems, or challenges.

Anonymous abstracts of no more than 400 words should be sent to digitalclassicsassociation@gmail.com, with identifying information in the email. Abstracts will be refereed anonymously in accordance with SCS regulations. Submitters should confirm in their emails that they are SCS members in good standing. Abstracts should follow the formatting guidelines of the instructions for individual abstracts on the SCS website. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is March 1, 2017.

SCS website version: https://goo.gl/m21JQG

Digital Classicist London 2017 CFP

January 30th, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

The Digital Classicist London seminar invites proposals with a focus on the needs of users/readers, for the summer 2017 season, which will run on Friday afternoons in June and July in the Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, London.

We welcome proposals in any area of classics, including ancient history, archaeology and reception, that employ digital or other innovative and collaborative approaches to the study of the ancient world (including cultures beyond the Mediterranean). Researchers of all levels, including students and professional practitioners, are welcome, and we expect a diverse audience of philologists and historians, information scientists and digital humanists, graduate students and interested members of the public.

There is a budget to assist with travel to London (usually from within the UK, but we have occasionally been able to assist international presenters to attend).

To submit a paper, please email an abstract of up to 500 words as an attachment to gabriel.bodard@sas.ac.uk by March 19th, 2017.

The seminar is organized by Gabriel Bodard, Simon Mahony, Eleanor Robson, Simona Stoyanova and Valeria Vitale. For full details, and previous years’ programmes, see http://www.digitalclassicist.org/wip/wip2017.html

Classical Philology Goes Digital, University of Potsdam, February 16-17, 2017

January 23rd, 2017 by Monica Berti

Classical Philology Goes Digital. Working on Textual Phenomena of Ancient Texts
University of Potsdam, February 16-17, 2017

Organization: Karen Blaschka (Universität Potsdam) and Monica Berti (Universität Leipzig)
Funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung

Thursday, February 16, 2017
9.00
Welcome Address by the Vice Dean Prof. Dr. Johannes Haag
Opening (Monica Berti / Karen Blaschka)

I. DH-keynote-speakers (part I)
Chair: Neil Coffee (University at Buffalo)
9.30
Gregory R. Crane (Universität Leipzig/Tufts University), Greek, Latin and Digital Philology in a Global Age
10:10
Franz Fischer (CCeH / IDE Köln), Digital Philology and the (cr)apparatus

10.50
Coffee Break

Chair: Gregory R. Crane (Universität Leipzig/Tufts University)
11:10
Francesco Mambrini (DAI, Berlin), The Syntax of Similes. A Treebank-based Exploration of Simile in Greek Poetry
11:50
Monica Berti (Universität Leipzig), Documenting Text Reuse of Greek Fragmentary Authors
12.30
Break for lunch

II. Project presentations (part I)
Chair: Karen Blaschka (Universität Potsdam)
13.30
Maria Vasiloudi, Carl W. Brunschön (Universität des Saarlandes/BBAW Berlin), Iatrosophia-digital: Die Rezeption antiker medizinischer Texte in griechischen Iatrosophia-Handschriften vom 13. bis 19. Jh.
Marie Revellio (Zukunftskolleg Universität Konstanz), Citation Practices in Jerome’s Letters as Vestigia of Late Antique Identit Construction
14.50
Coffee Break Read the rest of this entry »

Digital Approaches and the Ancient World, BICS 59-2 (2016)

January 20th, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

BICS 59-2 coverThe Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies is very happy to announce the publication of issue 59-2, the last issue of 2016, edited by Gabriel Bodard, Yanne Broux and Ségolène Tarte, on the theme of Digital Approaches and the Ancient World.

BICS is a print journal, published by Wiley-Blackwell, also available in electronic form to subscribers through their online library.

Section I, Near East, with articles by: J. Troy Samuels; Stéphane Polis & Vincent Razanajao.

Section II, History and Landscape, with articles by: Adam Rabinowitz et al.; Chiara Palladino; Elaine Sullivan.

Section III, Greek and Latin, with articles by: Neel Smith; Gloria Mugelli et al.; Monica Berti et al.; Justin A. Stover & Mike Kestermont.

Contents at Wiley Online Library: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bics.2016.59.issue-2/issuetoc

Table of contents at ICS Publications: http://ics.sas.ac.uk/node/1009

EpiDoc training workshop, London, April 2017

January 17th, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

We invite applications to participate in a training workshop on digital editing of papyrological and epigraphic texts, at the Institute of Classical Studies, London, April 3–7, 2017. The workshop will be taught by Gabriel Bodard and Lucia Vannini (ICS) and Simona Stoyanova (KCL). There will be no charge for the workshop, but participants should arrange their own travel and accommodation.

EpiDoc: Ancient Documents in XML

EpiDoc (epidoc.sf.net) is a community of practice and guidance for using TEI XML for the encoding of inscriptions, papyri and other ancient texts. It has been used to publish digital projects including Inscriptions of Aphrodisias and Tripolitania, Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri, Digital Corpus of Literary Papyri, and EAGLE Europeana Project. The workshop will introduce participants to the basics of XML markup and give hands-on experience of tagging textual features and object descriptions, identifying and linking to external person and place authorities, and use of the online Papyrological Editor tool.

The workshop will assume knowledge of papyrology or epigraphy; Greek, Latin or another ancient language; and the Leiden Conventions. No technical skills are required, and scholars of all levels, from students to professors, are welcome. To apply, please email gabriel.bodard@sas.ac.uk with a brief description of your background and reason for application, by February 14, 2017.

(Revised to bring back deadline for applications to Feb 14th.)

Sunoikisis Digital History and Archaeology, Fall 2016

October 5th, 2016 by Gabriel Bodard

The fall programme of the Sunoikisis Digital Classics course has just started, with online sessions via YouTube on Thursdays at 16h00 UK/11h00 New York. This semester, focussed on objects, space and heritage data, rus in parallel with courses taught at the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London (ICS03), and Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University (ISAW-GA-3024), and includes contributions from colleagues and students worldwide.

The full programme can be found on Github at SunoikisisDC, and the sessions will be streamed on our YouTube channel.

  1. Sep 29. Introduction: Object artefact script (Gabriel Bodard)
  2. Oct 6. 3D Imaging, Photogrammetry (Sebastian Heath)
  3. Oct 13. Geography 1: Gazetteers (Valeria Vitale, Usama Gad and Gabriel Bodard)
  4. Oct 20. 3D Modelling, Computer Aided Design (Valeria Vitale)
  5. Oct 27. Geography 2: Carto (Tom Elliott)
  6. Nov 3. Geography 3: GIS (Leif Isaksen)
  7. Nov 10. Ontologies and Data Modelling (Arianna Ciula and Charlotte Tupman)
  8. Nov 17. Data Structuring and Querying (Tom Elliott and Sebastian Heath)
  9. Nov 24. Data Visualization (Jonathan Blaney, Sarah Milligan, Jane Winters)
  10. Dec 1. Network Analysis (Silke Vanbeselaere and Greg Woolf)
  11. Dec 8. Crowdsourcing Heritage and Conservation (John Pearce)
  12. Dec 15. Historical sources (Monica Berti)

All are welcome to follow these sessions remotely (live or after the event). Please get in touch if you would like to get involved more directly with these or future Sunoikisis DC programmes.

Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin 2016/17

October 4th, 2016 by Gabriel Bodard

We are delighted to announce that the final programme for this year’s Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin is now online. You can find it at <http://de.digitalclassicist.org/berlin/seminar2016> and below.

The seminar series will start on Oct. 18 with a keynote by Silvia Polla (TOPOI) entitled “Between Demography and Consumption: Digital and Quantitative approaches in the Mediterranean Surface Survey.”

Seminars take place on Tuesdays (starting at 17:00 c.t.) on a fortnightly basis at the TOPOI building Dahlem or at the DAI.

We would also like to draw your attention to the possibility for students to attend the seminar as part of their curriculum. The seminar is now part of the academic programme of the Freie Universität under the name “Digitale Methoden in den Altertumswissenschaften” (see the FU’s course catalog <http://www.fu-berlin.de/vv/de/lv/315967>).

The seminar is recognised with 5 credit points (ECTS): this requires the attendance of the seminars and a 15 minute poster presentation on one of the topics covered by the seminar series. The poster presentations can be either in English or German and will take place after the end of the seminars on 18.4.2017 in the TOPOI building Dahlem.

Programme

18.10.2016
Silvia Polla (TOPOI)
“Between Demography and Consumption: Digital and Quantitative approaches in the Mediterranean Surface Survey”

1.11.2016
Undine Lieberwirth & Axel Gering (TOPOI)
“3D GIS in archaeology – a micro-scale analysis”

15.11.2016
Duncan Keenan-Jones (Glasgow)
“Digital Experimental Archaeology: Hero of Alexandria and his Automata in CAD”

29.11.2016
Chiara Palladino & Tariq Youssef (Leipzig)
“iAligner: a tool for syntax-based intra-language text alignment”

13.12.2016
Christian Prager (Bonn)
“Of Codes, Glyphs and Kings: Tasks, Limits and Approaches in the Encoding of Classic Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions”

10.1.2017
Wolfgang Schmidle et al. (DAI)
“chronOntology: A time gazetteer with principles”

24.1.2017
Nathan Gibson (Vanderbilt)
“Toward a Cyberinfrastructure for Syriac Literature: Mapping a Text Corpus using TEI and RDF”

7.2.2017
Katherine Crawford (Southampton)
“In the Footsteps of the Gods: network approach to modeling Roman Religious Processions”

21.2.2017
Aline Deicke (Mainz)
“From E19 to MATCH and MERGE. Mapping the CIDOC CRM to graph databases as an environment for archaeological network research”

The Digital Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (DFHG) is online

September 11th, 2016 by Monica Berti

The Digital Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (DFHG) is a project directed by Monica Berti at the Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig for producing the digital version of the five volumes of the Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (FHG) edited by Karl Müller in the 19th century.

The FHG consists of a survey of excerpts from many different sources pertaining to more than 600 Greek fragmentary authors. Excluding the first volume, authors are chronologically distributed and cover a period of time from the 6th century BC through the 7th century CE. Fragments are numbered sequentially and arranged according to works and book numbers, when these pieces of information are available in the source texts preserving the fragments. Every Greek fragment is translated or summarized into Latin.

The digital version of FHG vol. 1 is now available online with search functionalities and citation extraction (CTS and CITE URNs). It collects the fragments of 6th-4th century authors (Hecataeus of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, Xanthus of Lydia, Hellanicus of Lesbos, Pherecydes of Athens, Acusilaus of Argos, Ephorus of Cuma, Theopompus of Chius, and Phylarchus), Apollodorus of Athens (with fragments of the Bibliotheca), historians of Sicily (Antiochus of Syracuse, Philistus of Syracuse, Timaeus of Tauromenius), and the Atthidographers (Clidemus, Phanodemus, Androtio, Demo, Philochorus, and Ister).

DFHG

Book launch invitation: Teaching, Knowledge Exchange & Public Engagement

May 27th, 2016 by Gabriel Bodard

We would like to invite you to a launch event on June 10th, with the Institute of Classical Studies and Ubiquity Press, for the recently published volume:

Bodard G. & Romanello M. 2016. Digital Classics Outside the Echo-Chamber: Teaching, Knowledge Exchange & Public Engagement. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/bat

A limited number of print copies of the book will be available to view and purchase, and several authors will be present to discuss their chapters and the work as a whole. Wine and refreshments will be provided.

18:00 Friday June 10, 2016
2nd floor lobby, south block, Senate House, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU
(Note this event follows the Digital Classicist seminar, 16:30 room 234, see digitalclassicist.org/wip/wip2016.html)

Please also feel free to display or circulate the attached poster.

We hope to see many of you there!

Digital Classicist London: 2016 seminars

May 16th, 2016 by Gabriel Bodard

Digital Classicist Seminar

Institute of Classical Studies
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Fridays at 16:30 in room 234

Jun 3 Gregory Crane (Leipzig & Tufts), Philological Education and Citizenship in the 21st Century
Jun 10 Matteo Romanello (Lausanne & DAI), Of People, Places and References: Extracting information from Classics publications
Jun 17 Eleanor Robson (University College London), From the ground to the cloud: digital edition of freshly excavated cuneiform tablets on Oracc
Jun 24 Stuart Dunn (King’s College London), Reading text with GIS: Different digital lenses for Ancient World Geography
Jul 1 Valeria Vitale (King’s College London), Rethinking 3D visualisation: from illustration to research tool
Jul 8 Chiara Palladino (Leipzig & Bari), Annotating geospatial patterns in ancient texts: problems and strategies
Jul 15 Daniel Pett (British Museum) & George Oates (Museum in a Box), 3D in Museums; Museums in 3D
Jul 22 Stelios Chronopoulos (Freiburg), New Life into Old Courses? Using Digital Tools in Reading and Prose Composition Classes
Jul 29 Silke Vanbeselaere (KU Leuven), Exploring ancient sources with data visualisation

digitalclassicist.org/wip/wip2016.html

Each seminar will offer an overview of the subject suitable for postgraduate students or interested colleagues in Archaeology, Classics, Digital Humanities and related fields, along with suggested reading, practical exercise and discussion topics. No advance preparation is required, but you will get the most out of these seminars if you check out the short bibliographies suggested on the programme website.

ALL WELCOME