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Sharing Ancient WisdomS
Learning from Experience:
The case of SAWS
Exploring the Tradition of Greek and Arabic Wisdom
Lite...
SAWS project:
Sharing Ancient Wisdoms
Alexander, asked
whom he loved
more, Philip or
Aristotle, said:
”Both equally, for
o...
An ambitious aim: to bring different specialists
together within a single output:
the SAWS Dynamic Library
We may have bee...
Frontiers to cross:
•National
•Administrative
•Language
•Discipline
•External
•Age
Working across national borders
This was the simplest of our challenges. All of us work in
small specialist subject areas,...
Jordanous, Stanley, Tupman -
Contemporary Solutions to publish ancient
documents (SAWS/Islandora) DH2013
Administrative
In...
Language
All the project leaders were entirely comfortable working and
writing in English. This presented slightly more pr...
Interdisciplinarity
This always tends to be difficult. Perceptions are very
important and Respect Matters.
The textual sch...
External relationships
A core element of our project was to link and connect with
other online scholarly resources, and to...
SAWS manuscripts contain references to geographical
places that are listed in the Pleiades ancient gazetteer
SAWS texts an...
Age
This was a frontier which I had not foreseen.
My age means that I can take risks - such as publishing in a
new and unc...
Benefits
All these matters had to be negotiated.
In the process we all learned new things, and had to think
about our own ...
Jordanous, Stanley, Tupman -
Contemporary Solutions to publish ancient
documents (SAWS/Islandora) DH2013
Knowledge Exchang...
Jordanous, Stanley, Tupman -
Contemporary Solutions to publish ancient
documents (SAWS/Islandora) DH2013
For an excellent ...
Aristotle
tutoring
Alexander
(13th
century
manuscript)
Sharing Ancient WisdomS
http://www.ancientwisdoms.ac.uk
The exchang...
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SAWS Rouche Presentation HERA Event Feb 2015

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A presentation from the HERA information day event in February 2015.

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SAWS Rouche Presentation HERA Event Feb 2015

  1. 1. Sharing Ancient WisdomS Learning from Experience: The case of SAWS Exploring the Tradition of Greek and Arabic Wisdom Literatures Charlotte Roueché – Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London
  2. 2. SAWS project: Sharing Ancient Wisdoms Alexander, asked whom he loved more, Philip or Aristotle, said: ”Both equally, for one gave me the gift of life, the other taught me to live the virtuous life. Socrates said: "I have met with three evils – grammar, poverty and a damned woman. I made my escape from two of them, but I could not escape the Diogenes was asked by someone why people give to beggars but not at all to philosophers, and he said: Because, perhaps, they expect to become lame or blind but not to become philosophers. Aristotle said that educators are more to be honored than mere begetters, for the latter offer life but the former offer the good life. He [Pythagoras] said: Fathers are the cause of life, but philosophers are the cause of the good life. Alexander admired Aristotle at the start and loved him no less, as he himself said, than his own father, since he had life through his father but the virtuous life through Aristotle
  3. 3. An ambitious aim: to bring different specialists together within a single output: the SAWS Dynamic Library We may have been naïve when we set this as our target. We have indeed achieved it: but what did we learn along the way? And what would have been useful to know at the start of the project?
  4. 4. Frontiers to cross: •National •Administrative •Language •Discipline •External •Age
  5. 5. Working across national borders This was the simplest of our challenges. All of us work in small specialist subject areas, and were therefore used to working with colleagues all over the world. We met most often in London, because it tended to be the easiest place for everyone to meet. Otherwise we used Skype a lot, and DropBox for sharing our texts. You still have to make an effort to ensure that everyone is in the loop all the time . . . You speak to someone in the corridor, but forget to record it for the others . . .
  6. 6. Jordanous, Stanley, Tupman - Contemporary Solutions to publish ancient documents (SAWS/Islandora) DH2013 Administrative In your group, you need to think hard about who is to be the PL. There a lot of chores: • Some academic - writing the application through to writing the report • Many administrative and financial So the most important question is – Who has the most robust research administration backup team?
  7. 7. Language All the project leaders were entirely comfortable working and writing in English. This presented slightly more problems for some of the junior researchers. Our materials were in several languages - primarily medieval Greek and Arabic, but also Spanish and Latin: we did not all know all the languages. It would have been desirable to end up translating everything into one language, but this would have been a much heavier task for some than for others. BUT some of our language difficulties were interdisciplinary and the simplest words are the most dangerous. Do you all mean the same thing by ‘library’ or ‘edition’ or ‘concordance’? It might be useful even to build a project glossary.
  8. 8. Interdisciplinarity This always tends to be difficult. Perceptions are very important and Respect Matters. The textual scholars had great respect for one another, reflecting the traditions of their training. They had more difficulty in understanding the role of the digital humanists on the project, as not just technical supporters, but co- researchers. I feel sure that similar gaps appear in other interdisciplinary projects. I had to spend quite a lot of energy on these relationships. You can set the stage for this at the beginning: but trust and respect really develop over time, as you work together. You need to be alert for gaps opening up, and to explain, again and again, what value each member is brining to the project.
  9. 9. External relationships A core element of our project was to link and connect with other online scholarly resources, and to make ourselves available to them. These are far more abundant for classical Greek materials than for medieval Greek, or for Arabic - so there was an imbalance. But there was also, I think, an emotional barrier - the idea of linking up to other people’s publications is a little unsettling for some people. It is the PL’s job to build the confidence of other in the project. But I was too slow to realise that some of my partners were making much less use of such resources.
  10. 10. SAWS manuscripts contain references to geographical places that are listed in the Pleiades ancient gazetteer SAWS texts and their inter- relationships are modelled by an ontology that reuses the FRBRoo and CIDOC models Several datasets are linked together in Pelagios, including… Pelagios links together several datasets via shared geographical links (using Pleiades URIs, OAC annotations and VoID descriptions) Content links exist between SAWS and Perseus texts Sharing Ancient Wisdoms Exploring the tradition of Greek & Arabic wisdom literatures using Semantic Web Technologies http://www.ancientwisdoms.ac.uk/ Pleiades An online gazetteer of ancient geographical places http://pleiades.stoa.org/ Perseus A digital library of transcriptions of ancient texts http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/ Pelagios A ‘networking medium’ for ancient places, using Linked Open Data principles http://pelagios-project.blogspot.co.uk/ SPQR Semantic descriptions of data on Byzantine resources including ancient papyri and inscriptions http://spqr.cerch.kcl.ac.uk/ Nomisma Data on ancient coin hoards http://nomisma.or g/ Geographical references in SAWS texts are being linked to Pelagios Papyri.info Papyrological documents http://papyri.info/ Iaph & IRT Inscriptions from Aphrodisias and from Roman Tripolitania http://insaph.kcl.ac.uk/ http://irt.kcl.ac.uk/ SPQR semantic data describe data on inscriptions and papyri CIDOC-CRM A cultural heritage model http://www.cidoc-crm.org/ FRBR-oo A model of bibliographic records, harmonised with CIDOC http://www.cidoc- crm.org/frbr_inro.html “Linked Ancient Data” – links outside SAWS texts
  11. 11. Age This was a frontier which I had not foreseen. My age means that I can take risks - such as publishing in a new and unconventional format. The digital humanists on the team can publish online with no problems. For my textual colleagues, this is not a risk that they can afford to run. They will need to generate printed books to advance their careers in traditional departments. This may have meant a slight withholding of commitment by them. If the online edition was perfect, would a book publisher take on the production of a printed version? You need to be aware of these aspects, and where the project fits into each person’s career.
  12. 12. Benefits All these matters had to be negotiated. In the process we all learned new things, and had to think about our own approaches to our material. We were developing a form of publication, and were resolved to share it: it was therefore useful to have to think about the demands of different projects - although not easy! We developed an understanding of teamwork which is still rare in the Humanities. The PL has to set the tone.
  13. 13. Jordanous, Stanley, Tupman - Contemporary Solutions to publish ancient documents (SAWS/Islandora) DH2013 Knowledge Exchange Our project was principally useful to others through its methodology – which is now being taken up. We spent a lot of time presenting our work and inviting comments and criticisms: we reported on this activity regularly, and even provided a map.
  14. 14. Jordanous, Stanley, Tupman - Contemporary Solutions to publish ancient documents (SAWS/Islandora) DH2013 For an excellent presentation from another preoject see the AHRC website: http://www.slideshare.net/AHRC/hera- creativity-and-craft-production-in-middle- and-late-bronze-age-europe-cinba
  15. 15. Aristotle tutoring Alexander (13th century manuscript) Sharing Ancient WisdomS http://www.ancientwisdoms.ac.uk The exchange of ideas continues . . .

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