Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Assisted Transcription Software

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Posted on behalf of Ben Gracy at the University of Denver: an article on an assisted transcription system that uses OCR. It sounds fascinating.

*edit: elsewhere in the article reference is made to “ancient documents and manuscripts”, which indicates that this system has been developed for handwritten materials in addition to printed… although the word “handwritten” itself doesn’t appear in the article.*

Traditional Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems give rise to transcription problems and provide results with many errors that need to be edited afterwards. State, however, is a transcription system that integrates a series of tools with which images can be processed in order to remove noise and clean up the original image, the page structure can be detected, the text can be recognised and mistakes can be quickly and easily edited with interactive tools such as an electronic pen applied directly on the text. Andrés Marzal, one of the researchers in the project, explains: “It is a practical solution to the problem of a supervised transcription, since it shortens the most time-consuming phase, that is, editing the automatic transcription so that it is true to the original”.

Call for Book Proposals in Digital Classics

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Gorgias Press is expanding its interest in technology and classics and welcomes book proposals regarding digital classics research, for both monographs (including revised dissertations) and edited collections (based on conference sessions or otherwise). Proposals should be no more than 4 pages pdf and include contact details and a biography of the author(s), an overview of the topic and its importance, a brief description of all chapters, and a summation of how this text will relate to other texts in the field. This is an open call. Please send proposals to

Digital Classicist seminars update

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Note that we have had to make a change to the programme for the Digital Classicist ICS seminar series.

The correct details are on the Digital Classicist website.

July 24 Leif Isaksen (Southampton)
‘Linking Archaeological Data ‘

July 31 Elton Barker (Oxford) & Leif Isaksen (Southampton)
‘Herodotos Encoded Space-Text-Imaging Archive’

(ie these two papers have been swapped around)

Remenber also that all presentations are podcast along with slides via an RSS feed.

Digital Classicist seminars update

Friday, June 26th, 2009

We are now about to hear from the speakers in the fourth in this excellent series. For those of you that are unable to make the seminar itself, we are again recording each event and podcasting it along with slides on the DC website seminar page.

In addition to this we are also featured along with some discussion (and pix where possible) on the community blog.

We now have a Twitter hash tag (#digiclass) which means you can follow what’s new there as well. Just put #digiclass in your Twitter search box.

Digital Humanities Conference Schedule

Friday, June 19th, 2009

There are a number of sessions and individual papers that will be of interest to Digital Classicists scheduled for the Digital Humanities 2009 conference, next Tuesday-Thursday, June 23-25 at the University of Maryland. There are many, many more than I’m listing here, the complete schedule is online:

Tuesday, June 23

Benjamin Banneker Room
Chair: Dot Porter

Towards an Interpretation Support System for Reading Ancient Documents
Henriette Roued Olsen, Segolene Tarte, Melissa Terras, Michael Brady, Alan Bowman

Image as Markup: Adding Semantics to Manuscript Images
Hugh Cayless

Computer-Aided Palaeography, Present and Future
Peter A. Stokes


Margaret Brent Room
Chair: Patrick Juola

Medieval scribes in parts of speech (paper #3)
Karina van Dalen-Oskam

Benjamin Banneker Room
Chair: Paul Caton

Creating a Composite Cultural Heritage Artifact – the Digital Object
Fenella G. France, Eric F. Hansen, Michael B. Toth

On-site Scanning of 3D Manuscripts
Timothy H. Brom, James Griffioen, W. Brent Seales

The Ghost in the Manuscript: Hyperspectral Text Recovery and Segmentation
Patrick Shiel, John G. Keating, Malte Rehbein,

Juan Ramon Jimenez Room
Chair: Elisabeth Burr

Integrating Images and Text with Common Data and Metadata Standards in the Archimedes Palimpsest (paper #1)
Doug Emery, Michael B. Toth

Wednesday, June 24

Juan Ramon Jimenez Room
Chair: Dino Buzzetti

MAPS: Manuscript map Annotation and Presentation System
Charles van den Heuvel

Manuscript Annotation in Space and Time
Erica Fretwell

The Atlas of Early Printing: Digital History and Book History
Gregory J. Prickman

Thursday, June 25

Charles Carroll Room

Digital Classicist: Re-use of Open Source and Open Access Publications in Ancient Studies
Gabriel Bodard, C. W. Blackwell, Tobias Blanke, Tom Elliott, Sean Gillies, Mark Hedges, D. N. Smith

Charles Carroll Room

Funding the Digital Humanities
Moderator: Neil Fraistat, Director, MITH, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities

Discussion with officers from the NEH, Mellon, IMLS, SSHRCC (Canada), NSF, DFG (Germany), AHRC (UK)

Session #2, 3:30-4:00pm, Tuesday June 23rd

Implementing Greek Morphology
Helma Dik, Richard Whaling

Digital Editions for Corpus Linguistics: Encoding Abbreviations in TEI XML Mark-up
Alpo Honkapohja

Digital Classicist seminar update

Friday, May 29th, 2009

There has been a small change to the programme for the Digital Classicist/ICS Work-in-Progress seminar series.

The earlier post has been updated with the full details.


IEEE Conference Seeks Humanities Proposals

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

The 8th IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR 2009) will focus particularly on the Arts, Media, and Humanities. According to the conference website (

ISMAR and its forerunners IWAR, ISMR and ISAR, have been the premier forums in this vital field since 1998 ( This year, we place particular emphasis on widening the scope of MR/AR toward the areas of arts, entertainment and the humanities. To this end, the “traditional” Science & Technology track will be complemented by an Arts, Media and Humanities track with its unique and separate publication. Both programs will follow ISMAR’s stringent publication requirements with reviews being provided by qualified peers from these respective disciplines.

The focus and scope of this call for participation in the Arts, Media and Humanities track are new and have different topics, reviewers and selection criteria. These will be complemented with Tutorials, Workshops, Demonstrations and Competitions will provide more opportunities for contributions and submissions.

Contact for further inquiry.

InterFace 2009: Second Call for Papers

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

The InterFace 2009 2nd Call for Papers is now out. Please note that the deadline for submission (and thus attendance) is now looming!


InterFace 2009: Second Call for Papers


InterFace 2009:
1st National Symposium for Humanities and Technology
9-10 July, University of Southampton, UK.

InterFace is a new type of annual event. Part conference, part workshop, part networking opportunity, it will bring together postdocs, early career academics and postgraduate researchers from the fields of Information Technology and the Humanities in order to foster cutting-edge collaboration. As well as having a focus on Digital Humanities, it will also be an important forum for Humanities contributions to Computer Science. The event will furthermore provide a permanent web presence for communication between delegates both during, and following, the conference.

Delegate numbers are limited to 80 (half representing each sector) and all participants will be expected to present a poster or a ‘lightning talk’ (a two minute presentation) as a stimulus for discussion and networking sessions.  Delegates can also expect to receive illuminating keynote talks from world-leading experts, presentations on successful interdisciplinary projects, ‘Insider’s Guides’ and workshops. The registration fee for the two-day event is £30. For a full overview of the event, please visit the website.

Confirmed Speakers


* Willard McCarty
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, KCL

* Dame Wendy Hall, President of the Association of Computing Machinery
University of Southampton

Insider’s Guides:

* Stephen Brown, De Montfort University
Knowledge Media Design, De Montfort University

* Ed Parsons
Geospatial Technologist, Google

* Sarah Porter
Head of Innovation, JISC

Project Showcase:

* Mary Orr & Mark Weal, University of Southampton
Digital Flaubert

* Adrian Bell, University of Reading
The Soldier in Later Medieval England

* Kathy Buckner, Centre for Social Informatics, Edinburgh Napier University
e-Participation Projects in Action: a socio-technical perspective


1) Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)
Arianna Ciula, European Science Foundation & Sebastian Rahtz, Oxford University

2) Visualisation
Manuel Lima,

3) EPrints Respositories: Managing Data for Mash-ups
Leslie Carr & Adam Field

4) Interdisciplinarity & the Media
Jon Copley & Claire Ainsworth

Paper Submissions:

If you are interested in attending, please submit an original paper, of 1500 words or less, describing an idea or concept you wish to present. Please indicate whether you would prefer to produce a poster or perform a 2-minute lightning talk. Papers must be produced as a PDF or in Microsoft Word (.doc) format and submitted through our EasyChair page:

– Register for an easy chair account:
– Log in:
– Click New Submission at the top of the page and fill in the form.

Make sure you:
– Select your preference of lightning talk or poster.
– Select whether you are representing humanities or technology.
– Attach and upload your paper.
If you encounter any problems, please e-mail

Papers should focus on potential (and realistic) areas for collaboration between the Technology and Humanities Sectors, either by addressing particular problems, new developments, or both. Prior work may be presented where relevant but the nature of the paper must be forward-looking. As such, the scope is extremely broad but topics might include:


* 3D immersive environments
* Pervasive technologies
* Online collaboration
* Natural language processing
* Sensor networks
* The Semantic Web
* Agent based modelling
* Web Science


* Spatial cognition
* Text editing and analysis
* New Media
* Linguistics
* Applied sociodynamics & social network analysis
* Archaeological reconstruction
* Information Ethics
* Dynamic logics
* Electronic corpora

Due to the limited number of places, papers will be subject to review by committee and applicants notified by email as to their acceptance. All accepted papers will be published online one week in advance of the conference.

Important Dates:

* Paper Submission Deadline: 1 May 2009
* Acceptances Announced: 18 May 2009
* Conference: 9th-10th July 2009

For further information, please visit the conference website ( or e-mail

Digital Imaging and Human Rights Justice

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

A very exciting story reported by Xeni Jardin on the Boingboing blog a couple weeks ago (Tech Forensics in Guatemala–first prefigured in a piece two years earlier), that links some of the imaging techniques beloved of we digital philology types with new evidence for human rights abuses in Central America in the 1980s. (I think this is of Digital Classicist significance because there are several cool projects working on sophisticated means to image and decypher damaged, degraded, and fragile documents–not least among which is the EDUCE project in Kentucky, where this blog is hosted.)

This story, which is best read in full at the Boingboing link above, involves an archive of police records including evidence of the abuse and murder of “subversives”–teachers, students, journalists, campaigners, and the like–which was dumped in the basement of an old detention centre and has mouldered and rotted for 25 years. The digitization and decypherment of these records has led to the arrest and prosecution of at least one police office for the murder of a civilian in 1984. Although this is a grim story, it is heartening to hear that the work we do so painstakingly to reconstruct ancient texts has applications with current social value as well. (I’ll keep working on those curse tablets, then!) I don’t know if any digital humanities scholars were involved in this work, but would be interested to hear if anyone has any insight into that.

Special issue of the DHQ in honour of Ross Scaife

Friday, February 27th, 2009

copied from Humanist:

From: Julia Flanders
Subject: DHQ issue 3.1 now available
We’re very happy to announce the publication of the new issue of DHQ:

DHQ 3.1 (Winter 2009)
A special issue in honor of Ross Scaife: “Changing the Center of
Gravity: Transforming Classical Studies Through Cyberinfrastructure”
Guest editors: Melissa Terras and Gregory Crane

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements and Dedications
Gregory Crane, Tufts University; Brent Seales, University of
Kentucky; Melissa Terras, University College London

Ross Scaife (1960-2008)
Dot Porter, Digital Humanities Observatory

Cyberinfrastructure for Classical Philology
Gregory Crane, Tufts University; Brent Seales, University of
Kentucky; Melissa Terras, University College London

Technology, Collaboration, and Undergraduate Research
Christopher Blackwell, Furman University; Thomas R. Martin, College
of the Holy Cross

Tachypaedia Byzantina: The Suda On Line as Collaborative Encyclopedia
Anne Mahoney, Tufts University

Exploring Historical RDF with Heml
Bruce Robertson, Mount Allison University

Digitizing Latin Incunabula: Challenges, Methods, and Possibilities
Jeffrey A. Rydberg-Cox, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Citation in Classical Studies
Neel Smith, College of the Holy Cross

Digital Criticism: Editorial Standards for the Homer Multitext
Casey Dué, University of Houston, Texas; Mary Ebbott, College of the
Holy Cross

Epigraphy in 2017
Hugh Cayless, University of North Carolina; Charlotte Roueché, King’s
College London; Tom Elliott, New York University; Gabriel Bodard,
King’s College London

Digital Geography and Classics
Tom Elliott, New York University; Sean Gillies, New York University

What Your Teacher Told You is True: Latin Verbs Have Four Principal
Raphael Finkel, University of Kentucky; Gregory Stump, University of

Computational Linguistics and Classical Lexicography
Gregory Crane, Tufts University; David Bamman, Tufts University

Classics in the Million Book Library
Gregory Crane, Tufts University; Alison Babeu, Tufts University;
David Bamman, Tufts University; Thomas Breuel, Technical University of
Kaiserslautern; Lisa Cerrato, Tufts University; Daniel Deckers,
Hamburg University; Anke Lüdeling, Humboldt-University, Berlin; David
Mimno, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Rashmi Singhal, Tufts
University; David A. Smith, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Amir
Zeldes, Humboldt-University, Berlin

Conclusion: Cyberinfrastructure, the Scaife Digital Library and
Classics in a Digital age
Christopher Blackwell, Furman University; Gregory Crane, Tufts

Best wishes from the DHQ editorial team

Ph.D. fellowships in digital curation

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

The School of Information and Library Science ( at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill encourages applications for Ph.D. fellowships in digital curation supported by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-funded  DigCCurrII project (

DigCCurr II seeks to develop an international, doctoral-level curriculum and educational network in the management and preservation of digital materials across their life cycle. This project will prepare future faculty to perform research and teach in this area, as well as provide summer institutes for cultural heritage information professionals already working in this arena.

What the Fellowship Offers

  • A 20 hr/wk position as a Research Fellow for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-funded project, “DigCCurr II: Extending an International Digital Curation Curriculum to Doctoral Students and Practitioners.”
  • A stipend of $19,000 for three years
  • In-state tuition and health coverage
  • Annual enrichment funds of $800
  • Extensive opportunities to meet key leaders in the Digital Curation research and practice arenas through workshops and symposia to be held at UNC

Applying for the Fellowship

To apply for the fellowship, please follow the regular application procedures found on the SILS Ph.D. Admissions page. The deadline to apply for the Carolina Digital Curation Doctoral Fellowships (CDCDF) program is February 15, 2009; however, earlier applications are encouraged. In addition to the required written statement of your intended research focus, we ask that you write a separate essay elaborating on these goals and how they are related to the goals of DigCCurr II. Please send this essay in an email to Dr. Helen Tibbo at tibbo (at), Dr. Cal Lee at callee (at), or Heather Bowden at hbowden (at), no later than February 15, 2009. Earlier applications are encouraged. Please note that we are only able to accept applications from United States Citizens at this time.

For more information on Carolina Digital Curation Doctoral Fellowship opportunities, send e-mail to Dr. Helen Tibbo at tibbo (at), Dr. Cal Lee at callee (at), or Heather Bowden at hbowden (at)

Interested applicants may also direct correspondence to:

DigCCurr II Fellowships
School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Campus Box 3360 Manning Hall
Chapel Hill NC 27566-3360

NEH High Performance Computing Awards

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Winners of the National Endowment for the Humanities/Department of Energy Humanities High Performance Computing program were reported on Arts-Humanities.Net by Brett Bobbley (originally at the ODH site). I note that two of the three awards have a strong classical connection:

** The Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University for its project Large-Scale Learning and the Automatic Analysis of Historical Texts. The Perseus project will be using advanced computational linguistic technologies to experiment with the analysis of ancient texts for the study of classics and other fields.

The Perseus Project has been a stellar classical resource for many years now, and has been at the forefront of applying cyberinfrastructure and large-scale computing resources to Greek and Latin.

** The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia for its project High Performance Computing for Processing and Analysis of Digitized 3-D Models of Cultural Heritage. IATH will process previously-acquired raw datasets of culturally valuable objects such as artistic statuary, archaeological artifacts, and historical architecture in order to create highly accurate 3-D models for the study of art and architecture.

IATH have also been doing exciting work in Digital Classics, in particular the Rome Reborn project that is now integrated into Google Earth.

Is it just me, or are Digital Classicists getting a good slice of the DH pie these days? (Two out of three joint JISC/NEH awards last year were Classical too.)

Digital Classicist Occasional Seminars: Lamé on digital epigraphy

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

For those who are not subscribed to the Digital Classicist podcast RSS, I’d like to call attention to the latest “occasional seminar” audio and slides online: Marion Lamé spoke about “Epigraphical encoding: from the Stone to Digital Edition” in the internation video-conference series European Culture and Technology. Marion talked about her PhD project which is to use an XML-encoded edition of the Res Gestae Diui Augusti as an exercise in digital recording and presentation of an extremely important and rich historical text and encoding historical features in the markup.

We shall occasionally record and upload (with permission) presentations of interest to digital classicists that are presented in other venues and series. If you would be interested in contributing a presentation to this series, please contact me or someone else at the Digital Classicist.

Workshop in Computational Linguistics and Latin Philology

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Posted on behalf of David Bamman:

Place: University of Innsbruck, 15. International Colloquium on Latin Linguistics
Date: April 6, 2009

Workshop organizers: David Bamman (Perseus Project, Tufts University), Dag Haug (University of Oslo), Marco Passarotti (Catholic University of Milan)
Invited speaker: Roberto Busa, S.J.

Classical Studies has long had a history of driving pioneering research in linguistics and literary studies. The great Classical philologists and lexicographers of the 19th century are arguably some of the world’s earliest and finest corpus linguists – but we find ourselves now lagging behind the achievements of other languages due in large part to the absence of structured digital resources on which to base our research. While the TLG and the Packard Humanities Institute each released their respective Greek and Latin corpus in the 1970s (only shortly after the release of the Brown Corpus of English in 1967), they remain today – almost 40 years later – two of our most widely used electronic resources. Those ensuing 40 years have seen the rise and widespread development of structured knowledge bases, such as huge treebanks to encode syntactic information in English, Czech, Arabic and over twenty other languages, lexical ontologies such as WordNet, and new corpora being annotated not just with their semantics and syntax disambiguated, but their named entities and propositional data made explicit as well.

We are, however, now beginning to see these same resources being developed for Latin, along with the automatic tools that can exploit them (such as automatic syntactic parsers and morphological taggers) and a new interest in quantitative research that can only exist as a result. As we enter this new era, we must take care to work together as a community going forward – the three organizers, for instance, are each leading the development of independent treebank projects for different eras of Latin (Classical, Biblical and Thomistic) and we recognize that the value of each project is exponentially greater when compatible with the others. This workshop aims to bring together scholars working in the field – both those developing such resources and those conducting linguistic research using them – to share such work and experience.

We invite presentations including the following:
* Electronic resources for Latin in development
* Corpus linguistic research
* Application and evaluation of NLP tools on Latin texts
* Development of corpus driven lexica
* Standards and standardization of annotation styles on different linguistic layers (e.g.,
morphological, syntactic, semantic, propositional)

Please submit abstracts of up to two a4 pages to Dag Haug at before December 1, 2008. Notifications will be sent before January 1, 2009.

Digital Humanities from the horse’s mouth…

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

L’Observatoire Critique have posted a series of interviews recorded at the recent Digital Humanities conference in Oulu, Finland. Two questions were posed of each respondent:

First Question. What are your colleagues (in your department, in your university, or in your disciplinary specialty) thinking of your involvement in Digital Humanities and of your interest for technology and the new digital tools?
Second Question. Do you think that the Digital Humanities represent a new and distinct disciplinary area?

Several of the respondents are classicists or archaeologists with some connection to the Digital Classicist. All of the answers contribute to the ongoing discussion on the topic of our (inter-)disciplinarity and role within the academy.

9th International Art Conference on Non-destructive Investigation and Analysis, Jerusalem, May 25-30

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

From the Chairman’s Letter:

The main objective of Art2008 is to bring together experts in non-destructive evaluation and material analysis with professionals from the fields of preservation of cultural heritage, archeology, art history and architectural researchers of ancient structures.

Non-destructive methods of analysis have become a routine in many areas of technology, engineering and medicine. With a growing number of application areas, non-destructive analysis found its way into the world of art and archeology. Its advantage over sampling is obvious in the cases of unique objects of cultural heritage. Continuous improvement of sensitivity and reliability has caused non-destructive investigations to become a preferred approach even in cases where microanalysis sampling is permitted.

Many non-destructive techniques and evaluation methods applied in the natural sciences offer advantages to cultural heritage preservation. The synergy between experts will lead to the continuous development and adjustments of new scientific methods and their application in the fields of preservation, reconstruction and diagnostics of museum and archaeological objects.

Conference website:

Whither scholarly digitization efforts?

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

One of the authors at Thoughts on Antiquity has posted a provocative reflection on a long-standing effort to digitize an out-of-copyright translation of Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Luke. In light of technological change, the big book-scanning projects and the continued operation of APh, the author expresses uncertainty about how or whether to proceed.

What is the role of the humanist scholar (and his home institution, and her professional society) in the era of big digitization? Readers of this blog know about the on-going Million Books discussions. I’ve opined elsewhere that the creation of stable, sustainable, massively interlinked scholarly reference works is a critical contribution. The issue also surfaces regularly in attempts to define “digital scholarship in the humanities” and to organize funding for it. Yet, clearly the questions are arising spontaneously in many quarters and there is not yet a field-wide dialog on the subject.

We may agree with Steven Wheatley that:

The day will come, not that far off, when modifying humanities with ‘digital’ will make no more sense than modifying humanities with ‘print.’ (in A. Guess, “Rise of the Digital NEH,” Inside Higher Ed, 3 April 2008).

Ask your colleagues: what is your role in getting there and how will you work when we’ve arrived? Comments welcome.

DHI Now Known as Office of Digital Humanities (ODH)

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Not specifically classics, but this news from the National Endowment for the Humanities should be of interest, at least to those of us in the US: The Digital Humanities Initiative (DHI) has been made permanent, and is now the Office of Digital Humanities (ODH)
From the ODH Webpage:

The Office of Digital Humanities (ODH) is an office within the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Our primary mission is to help coordinate the NEH’s efforts in the area of digital scholarship. As in the sciences, digital technology has changed the way scholars perform their work. It allows new questions to be raised and has radically changed the ways in which materials can be searched, mined, displayed, taught, and analyzed. Technology has also had an enormous impact on how scholarly materials are preserved and accessed, which brings with it many challenging issues related to sustainability, copyright, and authenticity. The ODH works not only with NEH staff and members of the scholarly community, but also facilitates conversations with other funding bodies both in the United States and abroad so that we can work towards meeting these challenges.

Digital Classicist seminars update

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

To bring you all up to date with what is going on with the Digital Classicist seminar series:

Some papers from the DC seminar series held at the Institute of Classical Studies in London in the summer of 2006 have been published as a special issue of the Digital Medievalist (4:2008).


The dedication reads: In honour of Ross Scaife (1960-2008), without whose fine example of collaborative spirit, scrupulous scholarship, and warm friendship none of the work in this volume would be what it is.

Gabriel and I are putting together a collection of papers from the DC summer series of 2007 and working on the programme for the coming summer (2008). With the continued support of the Institute of Classical Studies (London) and the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King’s College London it is anticipated that this seminar series will continue to be an annual event.  

Ross Scaife Memorial Services

Friday, March 21st, 2008

There will be two memorial services held in honor of Ross Scaife. The first will be held at Belmont (the home and studio of Fredericksburg artist Gari Melchers) in Fredericksburg, Virginia on Wednesday, April 2, at 2 pm ( The second service will be held in Memorial Hall on the University of Kentucky Campus in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, April 12, at 1pm ( Feel free to contact me if you’d like more information (Dot Porter,

Ross Scaife (1960-2008)

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Allen Ross Scaife, 47, Professor of Classics at the University of Kentucky and founding editor of the Stoa Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities, died of cancer on March 15, at his home in Lexington, Kentucky.

Photo of Ross Scaife taken in January 2007
Ross was born in Fredericksburg, VA on March 31, 1960. He graduated from the Tilton School in Tilton, New Hampshire in 1978 and from the College of William and Mary in 1982 with a major in Classics and Philosophy. He earned a PhD in 1990 in Classical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1988 he participated in the summer program at the American Academy in Rome, and in 1985 was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for a year of study at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece.

From 1991 to the time of his death, Ross was on the faculty at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literature, and Cultures where he taught courses on women in the ancient world, Greek art, Aristophanes, and the Greek historians, as well as Greek and Latin language courses.

A pioneer in using computer technology to advance scholarship in the humanities, Ross is perhaps best known as the founding editor of the Stoa Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities. The Stoa, established in 1997, set the standard for Open Access publication of digital humanities work in the classics, serving as an umbrella project for many diverse projects that provide functionality, and have requirements, not supported by traditional (print) publishers. In addition to providing Open Access publication for the work of other scholars, Ross strived to make his own work (and the raw materials behind that work) available freely to others. He was the co-creator of Diotima: Materials for the Study of Women and Gender in the Ancient World and of the Neo-Latin Colloquia collection, both of which are published on The Stoa.

According to his principled belief in Open Access, Ross was always a stern critic of models of scholarship that were needlessly exclusionary in their presentation or implementation. He firmly believed in the potential afforded by technology to bring the highest levels of scholarship to the widest possible audience, and in the obligation of learned societies to make their work freely available to all interested readers.

Ross’s influence is most noticeable in his long-standing belief in the power of collaborative work. With humor, generosity, and a keen editor’s discretion, he worked throughout his career to build working relationships among an international circle of collaborators, for his own projects, as well as for others. As a founding editor of the Suda On Line, a web accessible database for work on Byzantine Greek lexicography, Ross helped to build a framework that allowed a large number of people to work together on a single edition. SOL was founded in 1998 at a time when such large-scale collaborative editing was rare, if not unheard of. The influence of the SOL is still being felt as the next generation of collaborative editing tools are being developed. Ross had long-term associations with Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies, the Perseus Project, and more recently with the Digital Classicist. Those who knew him will remember him for his generosity and willingness to offer advice, and for his ability to see connections and build bridges between projects and people.

Most recently, Ross was instrumental in forging the collaboration that resulted in the high resolution digital imaging of the Venetus A, a 10th century manuscript of the Iliad located at the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, and was a co-Principal Investigator of project EDUCE, which aims to use non-invasive, volumetric scanning technologies for virtually “unwrapping” and visualizing ancient papyrus scrolls. Since July, 2005 Ross has been the director of the Collaboratory for Research in Computing for Humanities, a research unit at the University of Kentucky which provides technical assistance to faculty who wish to undertake humanities computing projects, and to encourage and support interdisciplinary partnerships between faculty at UKY and researchers around the world.

His many interests included sailing in the Northern Neck of Virginia, hunting, cooking, woodworking, and photography.

Ross was the proud father of three sons, Lincoln (16), Adrian (13), and Russell (9). In addition, Ross is survived by his wife, Cathy Edwards Scaife, his parents, William and Sylvia Scaife, and three siblings, Bill Scaife, Susan Duerksen, and John Scaife, as well as their spouses and children.

Two memorial services are planned. The first will be held at Belmont (home and studio of Fredericksburg artist Gari Melchers) in Fredericksburg, Virginia on Wednesday, April 2, at 2 pm. The second service will be held in Memorial Hall on the University of Kentucky Campus in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, April 12, at 1pm.

Memorial donations may be made to the Swift/Longacre Scholarship Fund which provides support for students of classical studies at the University of Kentucky. Please make checks payable to the University of Kentucky and send in care of Dr. Jane Phillips, Department of MCLLC, 1055 Patterson Office Tower, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0027.

Palaeographic Image Markup Tools

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
Does anyone know of any prior work in the area of image markup tools, to enable scholars to markup letterforms (and their constituent strokes) on images of texts?
There is the UVic Image Markup tool:
and the Edition Production and PresentantionTechnology tool:
Dot Porter did a good roundup of the various work going on in this area here:
which also points to Digital Incunabula: and juxta:
as more simple tools to link images and text.
Is there is anyone out there on Stoa using an image markup tool (other than PhotoShop) to trace letter forms over images of text? Any good tools out there that we should know about?

Post-doctoral positions and PhD fellowships

Monday, February 18th, 2008

Seen and copied from Humanist:

Post-doctoral positions and PhD fellowships in Text
Classification and Automatic Labelling

The Department of Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin is
looking for applications for ONE Postdoctoral positions and TWO PhD
positions in the areas of text classification and automatic labelling
of text streams.

The positions are part of a large research project “Next Generation
Localisation” involving a consortium of leading Irish Universities
(DCU, TCD, UCD and UL) and Industry Partners, funded by the Science
Foundation Ireland (SFI). The project focuses on Language Technology
and Digital Content Management in Localisation. Localisation is the
industrial-scale adaptation of digital content to domain, culture and
language. Successful candidates will join a team of Postdoctoral
researchers, PhD students and research advisors from academia and
industry. Details of the advertised posts are as follows:

– POSTDOCSF32: Postdoctoral Position in “Text Categorisation”

o Description: The successful candidate will research and develop
algorithms for automatic annotation of localisation metadata, and
multilingual text type and genre classification. Candidates must
have a strong background and research record in machine learning
and data-intensive natural language processing, as well as good
programming skills.

o Starting date: 3rd quarter 2008

o Salary: Approx. 38,000-44,000 Euro per annum depending on
experience and qualifications.

For further details, please contact Dr Saturnino Luz
( or Dr Carl Vogel ( To apply,
please email a CV and contact details for two references by March 1,
2008 to Please include the job reference
(“POSTDOCILT32”) in the subject line of all email correspondence.


– PHDILT33: PhD Fellowship in “Multilingual Text Type and Genre

o Description: Candidates must have a strong interest and some
experience in Computational Linguistics and Machine Learning, and
good programming skills.  Experience with syntactic, semantic
and discourse analysis is desirable.

o Starting date: September 2008

o Stipend: Approx. 16,000 Euro per annum (tax exempt) + University
fees (approx. 5,000 Euro per annum) + equipment allowance and a
generous conference travel allowance.

For further details, please contact Dr Carl Vogel
( To apply, please email a CV and contact
details for two references by March 1, 2008 to Please include the job reference
(“PHDILT33”) in the subject line of all email correspondence.


– PHDILT32: PhD Fellowship in “Automatic Annotation of

o Description: Candidates must have a strong interest and
experience in Computational Linguistics or Machine Learning,
good programming skills.

o Starting date: September

o Stipend: Approx. 16,000 Euro per annum (tax exempt) + University
fees (approx. 5,000 Euro per annum) + equipment allowance and a
generous conference travel

For further details, please contact Dr Saturnino Luz
( To apply, please email a CV and contact
details for two references by March 1, 2008 to Please include the job reference
(“PHDILT32”) in the subject line of all email correspondence.

While the deadline is March 1, 2008, applications will be
considered until the position is filled.

Archaeoinformatics Survey: Current Conditions and Needs in the Field

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Noticed by way of Antiquist:

As part of its initiative to develop a cyberinfrastructure, is interested in obtaining input on the current conditions and needs in the field. To that end the consortium, working with the SAA Digital Archaeology Interest Group and others, has developed an online survey. We invite you to participate in this important study. As a small token of our appreciation we will offer 10 individuals who complete the survey a Starbucks gift certificate.

Technology Collaboration Awards

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

An announcement from Mellow (via the CHE):

Five universities were among the 10 winners of the Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration, announced this week. They will share $650,000 in prize money for “leadership in the collaborative development of open-source software tools with application to scholarship in the arts and humanities.” The university winners were:

  • Duke University for the OpenCroquet open-source 3-D virtual worlds environment
  • Open Polytechnic of New Zealand for several projects, including the New Zealand Open Source Virtual Learning Environment
  • Middlebury College for the Segue interactive-learning management system
  • University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana for two projects: the Firefox Accessibility Extension and the OpenEAI enterprise application integration project
  • University of Toronto for the ATutor learning content-management system.

Other winners included the American Museum of the Moving Image for a collections-management system, and the Participatory Culture Foundation for the Miro media player. The winners were announced at the fall task-force meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information, and awards were presented by the World Wide Web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee. –Josh Fischman