New digital publishing tool: EpiDoc Front-End Services

Friday 1 September 2017

Thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Dr Gabriel Bodard, Reader in Digital Classics at the ICS, is leading the EpiDoc Front-End Services project (https://github.com/EpiDoc/EFES). EFES will be a free, easy to use, customizable platform for the online publication of inscriptions and other ancient texts, including indexing, search interface, geographical visualisation and integration with linked open data. The project employs Jamie Norrish, in Wellington, New 
Zealand, a digital humanities researcher and author of Kiln, one of the key components behind EFES, who is responsible for developing, customizing and technical documentation; and Polina Yordanova, in Sofia, Bulgaria, a Classics graduate with experience of teaching linguistic and epigraphic technologies to classicists, who will coordinate the design, specification, and user documentation.

This platform will be based on existing software, and receive input from scholars involved in some of the leading digital epigraphy projects around the world (among which EAGLE Europeana Network, Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus, US Epigraphy, Digital Archive for the Study of pre-Islamic Arabian Inscriptions, Ancient Inscriptions of the Northern Black Sea). The unique value of this project is that non-technical users will be able to publish their digital texts with minimal training, simply by selecting from a menu of specialized features. The project team will produce documentation and provide 
training workshops for philologists and historians who already use digital encoding in their projects. The flexibility that comes with this customisation will also help reduce the artificial barriers between the study of ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and the rest of the world.