Project Overview

The Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King's College, London joins the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University in establishing the Concordia initiative. Concordia is a creative and time-critical transatlantic collaboration that advances digitization priorities along two complementary axes: dissemination of key epigraphical, papyrological and geographic resources for Greek and Roman culture in North Africa, and piloting of reusable, standard techniques for web-based cyberinfrastructure.

Under the joint direction of Prof. Roger Bagnall (ISAW) and Prof. Charlotte Roueché (CCH/Classics, King's), Concordia spans institutional and national boundaries to demonstrate lightweight mechanisms for data interchange and citation that, despite emerging availability to well-funded projects and isolated practitioners alike, have not yet been applied to humanities digitization projects. The project produces standards-compliant recommendations and freely available software directly addressing all five "necessary characteristics" of humanities cyberinfrastructure identified by the ACLS Commission: accessibility, sustainability, interoperability, collaboration and experimentation. These results constitute a readily implemented blueprint for an affordable, public and extensible web of humanities content.

This demonstration project unites an array of separately produced and hosted primary source collections with a unique geographic dataset to provide search and analysis presently available only in a few special-purpose, closed systems. Concordia uses basic web architecture and standard formats (XHTML, EpiDoc/TEI XML, and Atom+GeoRSS) to provide users with: seamless textual search, dynamic mapping and geographical correlation for arbitrary collections of humanities content, hosted anywhere on the web. The content of three existing, respected collections (including 50,000 papyrological and 3,000 epigraphic texts) are brought together with open-source software and newly digitized content (an additional 950 epigraphic texts plus complete topographic and toponymic records for over 3,000 historical geographic features) to create an unparalleled research resource for Greek and Roman Libya and Egypt, and beyond.

Additional Information