Getting to open data for Classical Greek and Latin: breaking old habits and undoing the damage — a call for comment!

Gregory Crane Professor of Classics and Winnick Family Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship Tufts University Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Digital Humanities Open Access Officer University of Leipzig March 4, 2015 Philologists must for at least two reasons open up the textual data upon which they base their work. First, researchers need to be able to download, modify and redistribute their textual data if they are to fully exploit both new methods that center around algorithmic analysis (e.g., corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, text mining, and various applications of machine learning) and new scholarly products and practices that computational methods enable (e.g., on-going and decentralized production of micro-publications by scholars from around the world, as well as scalable evaluation systems to facilitate contributions from, and learning by, citizen scientists). In some cases, issues of privacy may come into play (e.g., where we study Greek and Latin data produced by our students) but our textual editions of, and associated annotations on, long-dead authors do not fall into this category. Second, open data is essential if researchers working with historical languages such as Classical Greek and Latin are to realize either their obligation to conduct the most effective (as well as transparent) research and or their obligation to advance the role that those languages can play in the intellectual life of society as a whole. It is not enough to make our 100 EUR monographs available under an Open Access license. We must also make as accessible as possible the primary sources upon which those monographs depend. This blog post addresses two barriers that prevent students of historical languages such as Classical...

Join us for Sunoikisis DC 2015

Sunoikisis is a successful national consortium of Classics programs developed by the Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies. The goal is to extend Sunoikisis to a global audience and contribute to it with an international consortium of Digital Classics programs (Sunoikisis DC). Sunoikisis DC is based at the Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig. The aim is to offer collaborative courses that foster interdisciplinary paradigms of learning. Master students of both the humanities and computer science are welcome to join the courses and work together by contributing to digital classics projects in a collaborative environment. Sunoikisis DC will start in the SS 2015 with a Digital Classics course at the University of Leipzig. Faculty members of participating institutions will gather at the University of Leipzig on February 16-18 for a planning seminar in order to discuss course topics, schedule the academic calendar, and construct the course syllabus. The seminar is organized by the Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig in collaboration with the Center for Hellenic Studies and Perseids. Sunoikisis DC Planning Seminar 2015 February 16-18, 2015 (full program) Felix-Klein-Hörsaal (5. Etage) Paulinum, Hauptgebäude Universität Leipzig Augustusplatz 10-11 – 04109...

A Tenure Track Job in the US, Anti-Islamification Demonstrations in Germany, and the Redefinition of Classics

Gregory Crane Perseus Project and the Open Philology Project The University of Leipzig and Tufts University The Department of Classics at Tufts University is looking at candidates for a tenure track assistant professor who works on Greco-Roman and Islamic Cultures. Since the demonstrations against Islamification in Germany became prominent in Dresden and now have cropped up at Leipzig, my German home, I thought about the connection between the two. This position can do a lot more now if it properly exploits digital media and helps to change the public understanding of what we in Europe and North America already owe to the achievements of Islamic culture. A draft of a blog on this topic is available at...

Help sought with Metadata for the Open Patrologia Graeca Online

Gregory Crane Perseus Project and the Open Philology Project The University of Leipzig and Tufts University We are looking for help in preparing metadata for the Patrologia Graeca (PG) component of what we are calling the Open Migne Project, an attempt to make the most useful possible transcripts of the full Patrologia Graeca and Patrologia Latina freely available. Help can consist of proofreading, additional tagging, and checking the volume/column references to the actual PG. In particular, we would welcome seeing this data converted into a dynamic index into online copies of the PG in Archive.org, the HathiTrust, Google Books, or Europeana. For now, we make the working XML metadata document available on an as-is basis. More...

Near Eastern Studies and Historical Philologies in a Digital Age

Near Eastern Studies and Historical Philologies in a Digital Age December 8-9, 2014 University of Leipzig Paulinum, Augustusplatz [Preliminary Schedule for Public Presentations] http://tinyurl.com/qcdmh57 This workshop will follow-on a more extended four day conference on “Greek and Latin in an Age of Open Data,” (Dec. 1-4, 2014). This conference has been held in a hybrid format  that includes video-conferencing as well as face-to-face discussion. The discussions on Near Eastern Studies will build upon on-going conversations about not only a shift to a digital environment, but an accompanying shift to the exchange of open data, that is becoming prominent in Greco-Roman studies. Presentations will take place on the 5th floor of the Paulinum, Augustusplatz. Monday, December 8 (Felix Klein Hörsaal, Paulinum 501) 15:00-15:15: Welcome and Introduction 15.15-16.15 Gregory Crane: Introduction — What are the challenges and opportunities for historical philologies when scholarly information is produced and consumed in increasingly intelligent systems linked by increasingly powerful global networks? 16.15-17.15: Gernot Wilhelm: Hethitologie Portal Mainz 17.30-18.30: Steve Tinney: Digital Methods for the study of Cuneiform Languages Tuesday, December 9 (Paulinum 502) 9.00-10.00: Nathan Wasserman: The Sources of Early Akkadian Literature Project 10.15-11.15: Manfred Krebernik and Heiko Werwick: The Etymological Dictionary of Akkadian Project 11.30-12.30: Reinhard Foertsch: The IT Strategy of the DAI and the challenge of putting textual data in its archaeological...

Research Data, the Humanities, and the First Four Centuries of Print

Research Data, the Humanities, and the First Four Centuries of Print Gregory Crane (gcrane2008@gmail.com) (Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Digital Humanities at Universität Leipzig & Professor of Classics and Winnick Family Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship at Tufts University) November 2014 I am writing about the critical importance of research data as a topic for humanists — we cannot flourish in a digital age unless we are able to understand and to manage the data that we need for our research, our teaching and our overall contributions to intellectual life of society as a whole. My ultimate goal is to analyze, as precisely as I can, what infrastructure has been developed in Europe and North America, especially from the large European projects Clarin.eu and Dariah.eu upon which humanists can actually build — when projects set out to produce infrastructure, it can be difficult to distinguish the language of the proposed infrastructure from the infrastructure that has actually been produced. The use case for this exploration will be the challenge of moving not only the Perseus Digital Library but also more than a dozen other established projects on Greco-Roman culture, from both Europe and North America, into a shared, computational space that can support hundreds of thousands of users and analysis of Greco-Roman cultural influence in millions of digitized sources. I have chosen, however, to publish this essay first, because I think that, before getting into the details of particular infrastructure projects in both sides of the Atlantic, I would like to consider the potential benefits that the transnational Research Data Alliance (RDA) offers humanists and to suggest  a concrete,...

So you want to become a professor of Greek and/or Latin? Think hard about a PhD in Digital Humanities

So you want to become a professor of Greek and/or Latin? Think hard about a PhD in Digital Humanities Gregory Crane (Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Digital Humanities at Universität Leipzig & Professor of Classics and Winnick Family Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship at Tufts University) Leipzig November 2o, 2014 I decided to write this piece because this is the time of year when those who wish to become professional students of Greek and Latin are deciding where they should apply for graduate schools. I am now starting to see that the most interesting Phd projects on Greek and Latin are taking place in PhD programs for the Digital Humanities and I think that anyone who wishes to develop a career of sustained satisfaction needs to think carefully about how they move forward. At the present time, I am not aware of any traditional program in Greek and Latin that prepares students for satisfying and sustainable careers. This essay falls into three parts. First I suggest some words of caution, including the well-known challenges about actually landing a permanent faculty position, the amount of work that you will need to commit if you want to maximize your chances for success and then, more substantively, something about the actual work that supports faculty Greek and Latin faculty positions in the United States and (much of) Europe. The second section briefly touches upon some fundamental topics that we must resolve if we are to rethink the study of Greek and Latin (as I think we must if we are to survive, or perhaps even flourish): the information that we produce, the...

The German Science Foundation leads the way in the transition to Open Access

Post posted by Greta Franzini (not authored). The German Science Foundation leads the way in the transition to Open Access Gregory Crane Leipzig October 28, 2014 At Leipzig we are participating in a couple of proposals for the German Science Foundation Open Access program. Anyone interested in the future of academic publication might read through the request for proposals to see where Germany is going. This sort of activity makes it a real pleasure to be a professor here in Germany. The RFP as a whole can be accessed here. The opening paragraph reads: By providing this funding, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Re-search Foundation) aims to establish workable business models for the publication of academic and scientific Open Access monographs and series of monographs (individual works, collections and dissertations). Funding these formats in particular will help to ensure the more effective introduction of Open Access publication in those subject areas that tend to publish important research results in book form. The conditions for project implementation and the requirements for project results are well worth reading — they really point the way forward for those who wish to create a sustainable infrastructure for open publication. a) Conditions for project implementation The funding is intended for projects designed to develop, pilot and document in detail reusable and workable business models for the publication of Open Access monographs by individual researchers or groups of researchers.  Proposals must include an outline of the concrete collaboration between information institutions (libraries, data centres, media centres, etc.), authors and possibly also pub-lishers or similar organisations. This should involve the development of workable and efficient concepts for...

CSEL XML 2.0

Authored and posted by Greta Franzini. The Open Greek and Latin project has released a new version of the TEI XML versions of public domain volumes from the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL). The new versions include the following: The reconstructed texts are now within div tags that contain the subtype “work”. The goal is that the reconstructed texts can thus be automatically separated from the introductions, textual notes, indices etc. The div tags containing individual works are marked and contain the subtype “work”. Where we have canonical identifiers, we also include those identifiers in the n attribute: e.g., The citations have been extracted and tagged in a step towards making these texts more deeply compatible with the Canonical Text Services Protocol Architecture. This involves choosing one citation scheme to provide the dominant hierarchy as div tags, with others schemes as milestone markers. The current texts have been compared against new OCR runs conducted with ABBYY Finereader. The results were compared with what we received from the Data Entry Contractor. The Data Entry Contractor was required to provide texts where at least 99% of characters in the OCR output for the reconstructed texts were correct. (The introductions, notes, indices etc. received TEI XML but the OCR-generated text was not corrected). Many of the remaining errors are now marked with sic tags and possible corrections from the alternate OCR marked with corr tags. Some errors remain (particularly on small words) but this is a first step. Before deciding on whether to solicit corrections from the community or to pay for a Data Entry firm to correct the identified errors, we...

Latin and Greek Texts: What Are We Reading in Schools and Universities?

Research post authored and posted by Emily Franzini. School and university curricula love Homer. This is a fact. You don’t need to be a student of Classics to know who Homer was and what he wrote. Even Hollywood is familiar with his Iliad and Odyssey. What we’re interested in finding out, however, is who else and what else we are reading during our Latin and Ancient Greek lessons, and furthermore, if every country studies the same texts. To this end, we picked a sample of six countries, each boasting a relatively high number of students taking these subjects at various levels of proficiency. These are the USA, the UK, Germany, Croatia, Italy and Austria. For each we visited their Ministry of Education websites, secondary school examination board websites and many university Classics departmental pages. We emailed and waited. At last, we were able to compile a list of the top most read authors for each of these countries. Though fully aware that the information we gathered is only part of the puzzle, we also chose to make one list of the top three authors of Latin, and top three of Greek across all countries considered. Here is what we found: in first and second place for Greek, was, of course, the beloved Homer – his epic poems narrating the events of the Trojan War and the return of Odysseus to Ithaca being favourites among readers; in third place we have the Histories by Herodotus – considered by many the founding work of history. For Latin the first place is awarded to Vergil’s Aeneid recounting the adventures of Aeneas following the war of Troy; second place goes to Catullus’ Poems about his...