Project Vivarium

July 20th, 2005 by Gabriel Bodard

GU Receives Grant for Resources in the Classics

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a $260,000 grant to Project Vivarium, a collaborative effort of researchers at Georgetown, Harvard, University of Virginia (UVA) and City University of New York (CUNY) aimed at improving resources available in the field of classical studies. The research will focus on developing electronic resources to support scholarship and teaching in the classics.

“The information age offers us the opportunity to build libraries of traditional and digital materials far richer than anything we have known in the past and to make those materials work well with each other,â€? said Georgetown Provost James J. O’Donnell, the principal investigator and coordinator of the grant. “Classicists have been in the forefront of digital scholarship for forty years and more: this project builds on that heritage and will create tools that the next generation of scholars and teachers and students will benefit from immensely.”

The primary goal of Project Vivarium is to create a more unified field of study, providing a clearer view of the evolutionary nature of these classic texts through a more centralized resource for all scholars of the classics. O’Donnell argues that the classics, as a discipline, is most adaptable to these advancements because of the wealth of digital resources currently available in the field, the wide acceptance of digital tools within the community of classicists and the challenge to keep up with technological advancements improving study in other fields.

The grant will help integrate existing print and electronic resources to better serve scholars and students and will support the development of specific resources, including an electronic corpus of Latin texts, an online bibliographical resource, a robust set of protocols for the creation of scholarly text resources and editions and improved access to electronic versions of scholarly journals.

Investigators at all four participating institutions will run this interconnected series of projects. O’Donnell (Georgetown) is joined by Professors Gregory Nagy (Harvard), Bernard Frischer (UVA) and Dee Clayman (CUNY).

The name Project Vivarium comes from a monastery in the early medieval Italy where the collection and indexing of manuscript books represented the most advanced work of its time.

Source: Office of Communications (July 12, 2005)

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