Linking Islands of Data
“Linking Islands of Data” will create a research network based around centres of excellence that study the Classical World. This network will focus on classics, archaeology, epigraphy and museology and create a variety of digital and analogue outputs - including an application programming interface (API), documentation and guidance for best practice in the use of Linked Open Data and high resolution document handling - using established and emergent technological methods and communities of practice based around 3 workshops held at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Brown University and Open Context.
The outputs of this networked activity will build upon the extremely strong collective outputs that were generated at the National Endowment for the Humanities funded Linked Ancient World Data Institute held at New York and Drew Universities in 2012 and 2013. The PI and Co-I were both members of faculty for the Institute and this project will draw on the experience of our American partners (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, Brown, Iowa, Open Context, New York University, American Numismatic Society, the Getty) to inform and develop this network to be inclusive, open and ultimately of academic and public value. This network will address the paucity of exemplars, guidance and documentation that exists within the museum and digital humanities sector about integrating multiple digital approaches into a coherent and sustainable exhibition framework. Worldwide, there are beacons of brilliance in individual areas but lack of face to face time and funding makes it hard to coalesce this knowledge into something tangible. This project provides this opportunity and will build on the USA institutional partners’ track records of building digital tools that become infrastructure or software as a service platforms (SaaS).
Our proposed network draws on a wide array of partners and collaborators with specialist experience in all of the key museological areas, including Epigraphy (Brown), Linked Open Data (the Getty, American Numismatics Society, Pelagios, Portable Antiquities Scheme, British Museum, Open Context, Kerameikos), the use and implementation of IIIF (American Numismatics Society, Cambridge University, J. Paul Getty Trust), 3D technologies which include replication, printing, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality (Fitzwilliam Museum and University of London) and Crowdsourcing (Fitzwilliam Museum and British Museum). Our network is also based around long term and proven excellence and uses the expertise of its team. For example, PI Pett on the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme and MicroPasts and 3D technologies, Vitale on Classical Archaeology and the Pelagios project, Co-I Barker on the Pelagios project, University of Virginia and the American Numismatic Society on Keramikos and numismatics projects respectively, Open Context’s extensive specialist knowledge of publishing digital data from archaeology and related fields, ISAW’s Pleiades network which is now seen as digital infrastructure for a wide variety of projects, Kings College London’s Historic Gazetteer of Cyprus, Brown University’s work on epigraphy, the Getty’s work on conceptual modelling, IIIF and metadata as a service, the scholarly network of Cambridge University’s museums and Classical Archaeology department.
This project which is generously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and can be found under grant number AH/S012478/1.