The University of Oklahoma has received a $572,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the development of a digital library of Latin texts of all eras.
The Digital Latin Library—a Linked Open Data resource—has its origins in discussions between the Foundation and the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) in 2011. In 2012 SCS, in collaboration with the Medieval Academy of America and the Renaissance Society of America, requested and received funding from the Foundation for a feasibility study to determine the appropriate scope of the project and to identify institutions where it could be carried out. SCS Information Architect Samuel Huskey directed the feasibility study, and with the endorsement of all three learned societies submitted an initial implementation grant to the Foundation on behalf of his home institution, the University of Oklahoma, with the help of his collaborators, June Abbas and Chris Weaver. The new grant funds the first year of a three year project, which has two components: The Digital Latin Library and the Library of Digital Latin Texts.
The Digital Latin Library will provide a single point of access to texts and resources for reading and working with them, e.g., images of inscriptions and manuscripts, reference works, tools for analysis, etc. The Library of Digital Latin Texts will provide resources and support for the production of new scholarship and educational materials. A number of interfaces will facilitate activities such as reading and annotating texts, textual or visual analysis and collaborative learning and scholarship.
Some will use the Digital Latin Library’s space for private study or teaching, others will use it to produce new critical editions and commentaries. Users will have the option of submitting new critical editions and commentaries for publication in the Library of Digital Latin Texts, which will have three series: classical, medieval and neo-Latin texts. All publications will be peer-reviewed and endorsed by one or more of the three learned societies affiliated with the Library. The Library of Digital Latin Texts may be the boldest part of this entire project, since it will be a major step forward for textual criticism and critical editions.
The goal for the first year of this project is to assemble the content management system for the library component of the Digital Latin Library, complete a user behavior study to optimize resources for different classes of user, develop and test a version of the visualization environment for texts in the Library of Digital Latin Texts, and produce a number of scholarly and educational materials on the development and use of born-digital critical edition. The University’s announcement of this grant appears here. For more information about the project, please contact Prof. Huskey at firstname.lastname@example.org.