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Research -- Fall 2012

The Digital Latin Library project planning phase is underway under the leadership of Samuel Huskey (University of Oklahoma). The first general meeting took place in Philadelphia July 26-27, to be followed by a second one in Norman on December 7-8. The technical working group is running in parallel. It is too early to offer any substantive report on the committee’s work, but the discussion was in my view excellent, and the contributions of our Medieval and Renaissance colleagues were substantial.

The first meeting of the advisory committee for the archive of classical performances took place in New York on October 1, after the Directors’ meeting. Mary-Kay Gamel, Vice President for Outreach, will be reporting on this project as it develops.

The Subcommittee on Classical Biography has submitted a detailed report which is appended. Ward Briggs has made tremendous progress and is asking for the APA’s endorsement of the project as he prepares to submit a proposal to NEH in 2013. I recommend that we offer our endorsement. [The Directors unanimously approved this recommendation.]

Roger S. Bagnall

Report of Subcommittee on Online Classical Database

The Database of Classical Scholarship expects to go fully online no sooner than November 2012. The data from The Biographical Dictionary of North American Classicists has been scanned by OCR and set into a digital format that can be translated into XML (Extensible Markup Language), using XML tags on elements of each entry, using guidelines provided by the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative). We display the output in XTF (Extensible Text Framework), a Google-like digital search engine that indexes, queries, and formats the entries. The XTF entries are edited with Oxygen, which can readily be used by anyone familiar with word-processing.

We have so far fully marked up and tested the letter “N” from our data. The entries are fully searchable in context, by keyword, and even by wild card. One can search within with which our entries are tagged, such as birth, Universities attended, employment, death, etc. along with each item in the individual’s bibliography. One can perform an advanced search within tags. For example, one can search the entries under “Birth” and within that tag, all those born in Chicago. The remaining data should run smoothly once it is incorporated into the database.

The database is being set up on a server owned and managed by the Center for Digital Humanities at the University of South Carolina, which has offered to maintain the database when it is fully mounted. If the APA endorses the project (no money required), the CDH will assist in working up a grant proposal for an NEH digital database startup grant, whose deadline will be September 2013.

The remainder of the data from the Biographical Dictionary along with entries drawn from the APA Newsletter of those deceased since the publication of the Biographical Dictionary should run smoothly when added to the database.

I attach the URL for a short film made about the database as it currently exists, but will have a fuller demonstration by the time of the meetings in January.    

Respectfully submitted,

Ward Briggs
15 September 2012

Demonstration: www.cse.sc.edu/~buell/BDNAC20120913.mov

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