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The Digital Latin Library

Samuel J Huskey

University of Oklahoma

This paper will provide background on the Digital Latin Library and an overview of its major components, with particular emphasis on its role as a publisher of born-digital critical editions of Latin texts.

First I will describe the DLL's catalog of Latin texts. The primary aim of the catalog is to be a one-stop resource for finding editions of Latin texts online, and we have been leveraging the availability of linked data in sites such as the Internet Archive, HathiTrust, the Library of Congress, and other major libraries to build the catalog's records for that purpose. But because we have also taken care to use the best practices of Linked Open Data and to listen to what our community of users might want to do with the information in the catalog, our dataset may itself be of use to other digital humanities projects. For example, our author authority records range from the beginnings of Latin literature all the way to the 18th and 19th centuries so far. One outcome of this data collection is that we will be working with other projects to expand the use of Canonical Text Services for medieval and neo-Latin authors. Since this data will be available in a variety of serialized formats (e.g., JSON, XML, RDF), other projects can download and reuse the information for other purposes.

Next I will discuss the multimedia resources that we have produced on different aspects of Latin texts, beginning with a series of videos on textual criticism and editing. These videos feature a range of scholars discussing various subjects such as the history of philology, the methods of textual criticism, and new directions in editing via the digital humanities. The hope is that these videos and the items in the catalog will be useful to scholars for both research and teaching.

Finally, I will turn to the new model for publication that the DLL has developed. In partnership with the Society for Classical Studies, the Medieval Academy of America, and the Renaissance Society of America, the DLL will publish born-digital critical editions of Latin texts. To that end, Hugh Cayless and I, with the help of many collaborators, developed a set of encoding guidelines for representing the information in critical editions as machine-readable data. The rest of the panelists will talk about their experiences working with these guidelines, so I will finish my paper by discussing how the publishing model works.

The point has been to change the dynamic in the world of academic publishing, at least in the small corner concerned with critical editions of Latin texts. On this model, the open availability of information is paramount, since we wish to encourage innovative ways of using the data, but we also value peer review and professional standards. Since professional organizations are the standard bearers, their publications and research committees will review proposals for potential editions. Proposals that pass that stage will be developed in consultation with the scholars and researchers at the DLL. The final product of these efforts will be published as a volume in the LDLT under an open license with the imprimatur of a learned society. The DLL will provide an official digital version in its reading room application, but the data will also be available for use with the DLL's text visualization tools and for private use.

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The Digital Latin Library

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