Archive for July, 2005


Saturday, July 30th, 2005

WordPress updated following richly deserved hack of older software. New themes and posts and posters coming soon…

Wiki Classical Dictionary

Monday, July 25th, 2005

Seen in Humbul (Classics section)

Main Title : Wiki classical dictionary (WCD)
Web Address (URL):
Description : The Wiki Classical Dictionary (WCD), a project of the website, is an online resource devoted to the history, literature, mythology and archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. The site (powered by the MediaWiki software) was launched in April 2005, and works like an encyclopaedia to which anyone may contribute, which means that it is constantly evolving. Although the depth of the material currently available varies, the site does maintain scholarly standards and consistency of presentation (editors oversee policies and review articles in their subject areas), making this a useful starting point for anyone looking for information on a particular classical topic. Users may search by keyword, and featured listings are linked to other relevant entries. Many articles also contain links to further resources on the web, as well as details of both primary and secondary source material. The vast scope of the dictionary defies summary, but featured listings include information on: literary authors; historical figures; geographical locations; key events; and characters from mythology and religion. The ambition of the editors is to be for the Oxford Classical Dictionary ‘what Wikipedia is to the Encyclopedia Britannica’.

Language : English
Responsibility : Editor : Spalding, Tim (The Ancient Library)
Publisher : The Ancient Library
Copyright :
Type of Resource : Reference source
Interactive Resource
Humbul Subjects : Classics

Open Access Archivangelism: new blog

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

Steven Harnad has a new blog, Open Access Archivangelism: Maximizing Research Impact by Maximizing Research Access at

Project Vivarium

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

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)

The July/August 2005 issue of D-Lib Magazine

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

From the new issue of D-Lib magazine:

Funding for Digital Libraries Research: Past and Present
Stephen M. Griffin, National Science Foundation

Digital Libraries: Challenges and Influential Work
William H. Mischo, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Where Do We Go From Here? The Next Decade for Digital Libraries
Clifford Lynch, Coalition for Networked Information

A Viewpoint Analysis of the Digital Library
William A. Arms, Cornell University

Dewey Meets Turing: Librarians, Computer Scientists, and the Digital Libraries Initiative
Andreas Paepcke, Hector Garcia-Molina, and Rebecca Wesley, Stanford University

Border Crossings: Reflections on a Decade of Metadata Consensus Building
Stuart L. Weibel, OCLC Research


Friday, July 15th, 2005

David-Artur Daix writes to say that version 1.0.2 of the GreekTranscoder is now available from:

“The program has been much improved. The Vilnius University encoding in particular is now supported. A complete version history is available on the web site and in the distribution.”

Time for Congress to act

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

The commons-blog quotes an unsigned opinion piece in the Economist:

Copyright was originally intended to encourage publication by granting publishers a temporary monopoly on works so they could earn a return on their investment. But the internet and new digital technologies have made the publication and distribution of works much easier and cheaper. Publishers should therefore need fewer, not more, property rights to protect their investment. Technology has tipped the balance in favour of the public domain.

A first, useful step would be a drastic reduction of copyright back to its original terms—14 years, renewable once. This should provide media firms plenty of chance to earn profits, and consumers plenty of opportunity to rip, mix, burn their back catalogues without breaking the law. The Supreme Court has somewhat reluctantly clipped the wings of copyright pirates; it is time for Congress to do the same to the copyright incumbents.

Relax and enjoy it

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

Michael Jensen, Presses Have Little to Fear From Google, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2005. discussing the strategy of National Academies Press (hat tip, Open Access News):

Every new book we published was scanned and made navigable online, free, at the same time it was available for sale. To our delight, we found that page images with searchable text behind them actually seemed to increase sales, not replace them with online reading….For the last few years, I’ve heard (mostly older) scholars and librarians moan, “If they can’t Google it, it doesn’t exist for these kids.” That’s a reality publishers should be loath to deny… If the new digitally driven scholars can Google an essay or book, then they’ll use it for further research. If they can’t, they may well not….I can speak only for myself, not my press, but in general I think that it’s in the best self-interest of scholarly publishers to relax a bit about how we respond to intellectual-property issues raised by digitization plans like Google’s. We need a bit more trust, so that we can take advantage of the new capabilities of a networked society….Google is offering something marvelous, if imperfect; its model is more likely to help more people find library resources and publishers’ works than anything else on the horizon.


Monday, July 4th, 2005

Troels Myrup Kristensen, who keeps a nice collection of photographs here, has begun a new blog, “Towards an Archaeology of Iconoclasm,” to track his “thesis-in-progress on early Christian iconoclasm in the fourth century CE.”


Friday, July 1st, 2005

Lots of impressive work on display and under discussion at the recent ACH/ALLC in Victoria, as always. Three sessions that particularly caught my attention were

1) VMLA: a system created by Brian Fuchs and others on top of the Digital Lightbox developed some years back here at UK. VLMA lets you browse, compare, and export structured data from online digital archives. For more start with the conference abstract.

2) Diary of Robert Graves 1935-39 and ancillary material: implementation of eXist to publish and allow complex searches of these TEI-encoded diaries. (conference abstract)

3) TAPoR: this “extensible, network-based research environment” has all sorts of flexibility and potential. (conference abstract)

on personal digital collections

Friday, July 1st, 2005

Neil Beagrie, “Plenty of Room at the Bottom? Personal Digital Libraries and Collections” D-Lib Magazine 11.6 (June 2005)


The growing abundance of personal data and collection outlined in this article will present numerous challenges to individuals, including: how to physically secure such material sometimes over decades; how to protect privacy; how to organize and extract information and to use it effectively; and for material intended to be shared, how to effectively present and control access by different groups of users.

The shift towards personal collection, and to services aimed at supporting activity from the desktop, will also lead to new forms of shared services, publishers and information banks, and will re-inforce informal social networks and mechanisms of communication.

Informal sharing of such collections by academics has always been important for peers and contemporaries. Arguably their importance for current scholarship is growing along with the power and reach of software tools and communications available to individuals to create, manage, and disseminate them.