Thursday 14 November 2013

The EAGLE flies with Pelagios

EAGLE—the Europeananetwork of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy—is joining Pelagios. EAGLE is itself a Best-Practice Network (BPN), co-funded through the ICT-Policy Support Programme of the European Commission, and aims to create a new online archive for epigraphy in Europe. As part of Europeana’s multi-lingual online collection of millions of digitised items from European museums, libraries, archives and multi-media collections, EAGLE will link and connect, using Linked Open Data (LOD) best practice, thousands of inscriptions, photos of inscriptions and related contextual items in a single readily-searchable platform.

The project will make available the vast majority of surviving inscriptions from the Greco-Roman world, complete with the essential information about them and, for all the most important, one or more translations. By joining Pelagios, EAGLE will be able to connect with other major online projects about the Ancient World and make its data accessible to other aggregator and LOD projects to increase the quality, usability and accessibility of data provided by the BPN. For example, our partner Trismegistos (KULeuven) has gathered geographical information concerning the provenance of the inscriptions listed by the major content providers—a total of some 35,235 place records and 124,569 place attestation records.

The EAGLE BPN looks forward to the possibilities of connecting materials that have for a long time been viewed only in isolation as a result of separation and localism. There are four tasks towards achieving this vision data wise:
  • To make all content available in Europeana, the largest culture and heritage aggregator in Europe (#AllezCulture)
  • To use Wikidata for our translations of inscriptions. By gathering all existing translations of inscriptions and providing an easy-to-edit online database of translations, EAGLE aims to enrich both those data that are present in Wikimedia Commons with curated content from the databases, and the database contents themselves with contributions from the wider public
  • To produce an open, interoperable format. In the Eagle portal, data will be available in XML files compliant with EPIDOC/TEI guidelines.
  • To produce open vocabularies that align existing models used by single content providers. These will provide many other URIs which, we hope, will become a way to further connect other data on the basis of Object TypeMaterialType of inscription, to mention just some.

We at EAGLE are excited about joining Pelagios and look forward to enabling online research about the ancient world take off.

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