Archive for April, 2008

EpiDoc Summer School, July 14th-18th, 2008

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
The Centre for Computing in the Humanties, Kings College London, is again offering an EpiDoc Summer School, on July 14th-18th, 2008. The training is designed for epigraphers or papyrologists (or related text editors such as numismatists, sigillographers, etc.) who would like to learn the skills and tools required to mark up ancient documents for publication (online or on paper), and interchange with international academic standards.You can learn more about EpiDoc from the EpiDoc home page and the Introduction for Epigraphers; you wil find a recent and user-friendly article on the subject in the Digital Medievalist. (If you want to go further, you can learn about XML and about the principles of the TEI: Text Encoding Initiative.) The Summer School will not expect any technical expertise, and training in basic XML will be provided.

Attendees (who should be familiar with Greek/Latin and the Leiden Conventions) will need to bring a laptop on which has been installed the Oxygen XML editor (available at a reduced academic price, or for a free 30-day demo).

The EpiDoc Summer School is free to participants; we can try to help you find cheap (student) accommodation in London. If any students participating would like to stay on afterwards and acquire some hands-on experience marking up some texts for the Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica project, they would be most welcome!

All interested please contact both and as soon as possible. Please pass on this message to anyone who you think might benefit.

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:

Digitization and the Humanities: an RLG Programs Symposium

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Is anyone here attending this?

As primary source materials move online, in both licensed and freely available form, what will be the impact on scholarship? On teaching and learning practice? On the collecting practices of research libraries? These are questions we are hoping to explore in the third day of our annual meeting (June 4th). This symposium, which we’re calling “Digitization and the Humanities: Impact on Libraries and Special Collections,” will feature perspectives from scholars on how digital collections are impacting both their research and teaching practice. We’ll also have perspectives from university librarians (Paul Courant, University of Michigan and Robin Adams, Trinity College Dublin) on the potential impact on library collecting practices.

The symposium will be held at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and on Tuesday evening (June 3rd), the Philadelphia Museum of Art will host a reception for attendees. It should be a great event and a thought provoking conversation, and we hope you will join us. RLG Partners may register online.

Grading Journals

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Charles Watkinson has just posted a long, interesting and important consideration of the emerging European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH). He reflects upon, in particular, the stated aims and methods of this effort and its potential adoption as a bibliometric mechanism informing hiring, tenure, promotion and library subscription decisions, as well as the emerging opposition.

Report on NEH Workshop “Supporting Digital Scholarly Editions”

Friday, April 4th, 2008

The official report on the NEH Workshop “Supporting Digital Scholarly Editions”, held on January 14, has been released and is available in PDF form:

Attendees included representatives from funding agencies and university presses, historians, just one or two literary scholars, one medievalist, and no classicists. It appears that much of the discussion focused on creating a service provider for scholarly editions, something to work between scholars and university presses to turn scholarship into digital publications.

I’m of two minds about this. On one hand, I know a lot of “traditional scholars” who find the idea of digital publication a little scary, just the idea of having to learn the technology. So it could be a good way to bring digital publication into the mainstream. But on the other hand, this kind of model could be stifling for creativity. One of the exciting things about digital projects is that, at this time, although there are standards there is no single model to follow for publication. There’s a lot of room for experimentation. It’s certainly not either/or – those of us doing more cutting-edge work will continue to do it whether there are mainstream service providers at university presses or not. But it’s interesting that this is being discussed.

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.

Informatique et Egyptologie, I&E 2008

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

A date has been set for the next meeting of the International Association of Egyptologists Computer Group (Informatique et Egyptologie, I&E), which last met in Oxford in 2006.

Thanks to the kindness of Dr Wilfried Seipel, the meeting will take place in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria, on 8-11 July 2008, with the sessions on 9-10 July.

Further information can be found here