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Digital libraries, multimedia and special collections

This section is intended to demonstrate how some of the areas highlighted in other sections have been applied to the teaching and research of a small selection of subject areas in higher education, namely classics, literature, and philosophy.

Resources for Classics

The Perseus Project

The Perseus Project at Tufts University is the most extensive online and CD-ROM resource currently available for the study of classical Greece. The Project first received funding in 1985, the first release in 1992 Perseus 1.0 being released on a combination of CD-ROM and laserdisc. This was (and the CD-ROM edition still is) an Apple Mac specific product written using Hypercard. Between then and the release of Perseus 2.0 in 1996 an online version of the Project was developed which made available all (and more) of the primary texts and translations available on the CD-ROM, together with the complex search tools and a large selection of the images.

There are several interlinked sections to Perseus - Ancient sources (a large collection of Greek and growing number of Latin authors); text analysis tools (primarily for working with the Greek texts); art and artefacts (a catalogue of 25,000 images of architecture, sculpture, coins, vases and sites); reference material (a collection of atlases, maps and plans).

Perseus will become the Digital Library for the Humanities, funded under phase 2 of the Digital Libraries Initiative. Its collections will expand to cover a wider range of subject areas (its collection already contains a selection of Renaissance sources).

Epigraphische Datenbank Heidelberg

This is an excellent and growing online collection of Latin inscriptions which aims to integrate Latin epigraphy from all parts of the Roman Empire in a single database. The EDH is, in the first instance, based on inscriptions both published and submitted (but unpublished) to l'Année Epigraphique between 1894 and 1990. It holds 30,000 inscriptions to date. All inscriptions have been edited, and indications are given where transcripts in the EDH differ to those published elsewhere. Photographs of inscriptions will be included, but are not currently available. The EDH is maintained by the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Germany.

Tables of Contents of Journals of Interest to Classicists (TOCSIN)

This project makes available online the contents of over 170 journals covering the Greek and Roman worlds, for volumes published after 1991. Volunteers from around the world have helped to build up this bibliography by submitting the tables of contents of various journals in electronic form. The whole collection can be searched online. It is managed by PMW Matheson, University of Toronto.


Stoa.org serves as an archive for scholarly electronic resources for the humanities, and a refereed publication. It supports the use of encoding standards in humanities research, including XML. The site is particularly rich in ancient world resources.

Research Reports from the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities

IATH (based in the University of Virginia) supports and publishes multimedia reports on a range of humanities subjects. Several of these cover the classics:

IATH also develops software tools for authoring, viewing and manipulating multimedia resources.

VRoma: A Virtual Community for Teaching and Learning Classics

VRoma is a collection of resources for teaching and learning Latin and ancient Roman culture. It acts as a repository for online teaching material. Its central feature is a virtual classroom based on the city of Rome of 150 CE, where students and staff can log on and travel around the city, holding discussions with others visiting VRoma. Discussions and instructions can be in Latin or English.

Argos: Limited Area Search of the Ancient and Medieval Internet

Argos is a Limited Area Search Engine, or LASE, for the ancient and medieval worlds, created at the University of Evansville, and now maintained by Noetic Laboratories. General Internet search tools may have indexed many millions of resources, which will ensure that all but the most obscure search term will return at least a few hits, but there is then the problem of relevance. After the search has been carried out there is then the time consuming and often fruitless matter of narrowing the list down to relevant and more importantly good quality sites. The idea behind having a search engine that covers only a limited subject area is that all resources can be hand picked by subject experts for relevance and quality. This results in higher quality selection with less unwanted references, but for a limited audience only. The software behind Argos was sold to Noetic Labs in November 2000, though the Argos site is still available.

Diotima: Materials for the Study of Women and Gender in the Ancient World

This provides a focal point for all material concerning this area, including primary texts, images, essays, conference announcements. Diotima is a very good resource for teachers and includes a long list of online courses and teaching materials and a comprehensive bibliography.

Resources for Literature in English and Other Languages

Humanities Text Initiative

The HTI, based at the University of Michigan, digitizes and publishes online important collections of literature and religious works. These texts are freely available, and encoded to support complex searches online. The HTI's holdings include the American Verse Project (a collection of hundreds of 19th century works); the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English (transcripts of formal speeches made at the University of Michigan).

Electronic Text Center

Through the Electronic Text Center, the University of Virginia provides free access to thousands of electronic texts in many languages, and images. It is particularly strong on English-language resources, and its holdings contain full texts from the 14th century to modern times. One of the largest collections is Modern English Collection, which includes fiction and non-fiction, drama, newspapers, and unpublished works and correspondence from 1500 and later. The Electronic Text Centre's texts are available as HTML, and a smaller collection of 1,600 eBooks for Microsoft Reader and AportisDoc readers.

Oxford Text Archive

The OTA is one of the oldest digital archives for the humanities in the world. It has been built up since 1976, and consists of literary and linguistic resources in a range of languages, and covering many humanities disciplines. The collection holds more than 2,500 resources, from the Dictionary of Old English Corpus (itself containing 3,000 texts), to individual novels, manuscript transcriptions, and reference works. The OTA's archive largely consists of text-based resources, and the majority can be obtained directly from the Web site. Because of deposit agreements, the user must sign and agreement that sets out conditions of use prior to accessing digital resources. These resources are available in a variety of formats: SGML encoded following the TEI Guidelines; HTML files; plain text; RTF; other formats.

Research Reports from the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities

IATH (based in the University of Virginia) supports and publishes multimedia reports on a range of humanities subjects, including a collection on literature, including:

Cervantes Project 2001

Cervantes Project 2001 is a collection of digital texts, bibliographies, images and support material by and about Miguel de Cervantes. The project is based at Texas A&M University, with support from the Centro del Estudios Cervantinos and the Center for the Study of Digital Libraries (at TAMU). Collections include the Cervantes Digital Library, the Cervantes Digital Library of Images, the Cervantes International Bibliography online, and the Anuario Bibliográfico Cervantino. All parts of the site are freely accessible.

Duecento: La Poesia Italiana Dalle Origini a Dante

The Duecento project brings together the full texts of 2,400 poems by 200 authors written in and around the 13th century. These have been selected to reflect the diversity of Italian poetry up to and around the time of Dante. Thee of Dante's major works are included: La Commedia, Il Fiore and Il Detto d'Amore. Original spelling is mostly retained, though missing or illegible characters have been replaced and additions made to particularly obscure sections (these emendations are clearly shown).

Resources for Philosophy

Principia Cybernetica Project

The PCP is a growing framework for understanding the world and peoples' places within it, through an extensive set of philosophical questions and answers. This web of information combines articles and essays composed for the PCP with links to relevant material elsewhere. The project is edited by Francis Heylighen, Free University of Brussels, Cliff Joslyn, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Valentin Turchin, City College of New York, and has been running since 1993.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia is a peer-reviewed collection of essays, commissioned and reviewed by academics from around the world. Although the encyclopedia does not yet have broad coverage of the discipline, its contents are growing, and entries will be updated as the discipline moves forward.

Archelogos Project

The Archelogos Project explores new ways of providing commentary for philosophical texts, using hypertext. It consists of databases containing all arguments that can be extracted from ancient Greek philosophers, based on the works of contemporaries and later scholars. The database at present covers Aristotle's On Generation and Corruption, Project Elenchos (arguments justifying democracy), and Gnosiogenesis (a knowledge base of philosophical arguments and their underlying logic, which can be applied to new material). Work is ongoing to add new material to Project Archelogos.

Philosophy and Computing - A Webliography

Luciano Floridi, of Wolfson College, Oxford, has built an impressive catalogue of resources on computing in philosophy. This project is associated with his recent book Philosophy and Computing - An Introduction (Floridi 1999). Many of the links are annotated, and evaluated for quality.

Bertrand Russell Archive

McMaster University Library holds the main archive on Bertrand Russell, and its Web site makes available information and digital editions of the library's holdings. The There are also links to other Bertrand Russell resources on the Web.

Please note that this page was authored during April 2001, and apart from a few minor amendments since that date has remained as it was. Therefore some of the links may have changed or no longer link to the resources indicated. Please contact the webmasters@elpub.org concerning broken links and he will attempt to direct you to a suitable alternative link. (January 2003)

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