Public Release: 

OU receives $1M grant from the Mellon Foundation for development of digital Latin library

University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma is the recipient of a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the continued development of the Digital Latin Library project, which--when complete--will create resources that people of varying levels of interest and expertise in Latin can use to find, read, discuss, study, teach, edit and annotate Latin texts of all types and eras. This grant will allow OU and its collaborators to move forward on the implementation and launch of this Linked Open Data resource for providing resources and support of new scholarly educational materials related to Latin texts.

"This grant is a great tribute to the leadership of our University and its faculty and staff in the fields of classics and letters," said OU President David L. Boren.

"Until I began working on the DLL project a couple of years ago, I had never thought that I would collaborate with computer and library scientists on a million-dollar project," said Principal Investigator Samuel J. Huskey of the OU Department of Classics and Letters. "Thanks to the generous support of the Mellon Foundation and the University of Oklahoma, my colleagues and I have this wonderful opportunity," he said.

In addition to Huskey, the Digital Latin Library team consists of Huskey, June Abbas, OU School of Library and Information Studies; Chris Weaver, OU School of Computer Science; Hugh Cayless, Duke Collaboratory for Classical Computing; and Tom Elliott, New York University Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.

The project team will create resources that people of varying levels of interest and expertise in Latin can use to find, read, discuss, study teach, edit and annotate Latin texts of all types and eras, whether for personal use or for open-access, peer-reviewed publication by one of the three societies affiliated with the project: the Society for Classical Studies, the Medieval Academy of America and the Renaissance Society of America.

When complete in 2017, the Digital Latin Library will have a catalog, a collection of texts and reference materials, collections of archival materials, and working space for both individuals and groups. Unlike a research library, it will also provide tools (some made by and for the Digital Latin Library, some created elsewhere--many with funding from the Mellon Foundation) to facilitate the creation and publication of open, born-digital critical editions and other scholarly and pedagogical resources that take full advantage of powerful technologies and techniques such as Linked Open Data, information visualization, and visual data analysis.

In the first year, the team assembled the content management system for the library component of the Digital Latin Library, completed a user behavior study to optimize resources for different classes of user, developed and tested a version of the visualization environment for texts in the Library of Digital Latin Texts, and produced a number of scholarly and educational materials on the development and use of born-digital critical edition.

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