[Session Proposal] Online Databases in the Humanities: Organizational Obstacles and Collaborative Solutions

We, Clare Barker, Mitchell King and Ian Longo, propose a talk session to discuss the issues of multiple online databases of texts in Digital Humanities.  The field of Classics was an early adopter (in the ’70s and ’80s) of textual databases as a tool for research, and the problem of text being stored in unlinked databases was encountered early on.  Collaboration in several cases (e.g. papyri.info) has significantly improved the utility of the databases and increased the efficiency of textual research.  The collaboration of the Duke Data Bank, Heidelberger Gesamtverzeichnis Der Griechischen Papyrusurkunden Ägyptens (HGV), the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS), Bibliographie Papyrologique (BP), and Trismegistos in papyri.info is a very useful and successful model for a database that accrues the majority of the published texts in a specific discipline.  In contrast, the databases for epigraphy are less united and have been more problematic for users, such as The Packard Humanities Institutes Epigraphic databases (still a work in progress).  We hope that this talk session can look at a variety of databases in different disciplines, identify the sorts of projects that have been successful, and propose future directions.

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About Clare Barker

I am a graduate student at Queen's University in Classics. My research is in papyrology and involves using infra-red photography to read damaged, stained and/or faded ink on papyrus.