Saturday, March 27, 2010

Announcement: Mellon-funded Digitisation of the Kuyunjik Collections

Mellon-funded Digitisation of the Kuyunjik Collections

We are very pleased to announce the initial results of a collaboration between the British Museum's Department of the Middle East and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-supported research project "Creating a Sustainable Digital Cuneiform Library." Under the general direction of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI - Los Angeles/Berlin), this international collaboration is dedicated to the digital capture, persistent archiving and web dissemination of major cuneiform collections in the US, Europe and the Middle East.

The British Museum’s Ashurbanipal Library Project has been running since 2002, in parallel with the University of Mosul’s new Institute of Cuneiform Studies. Now under the direction of Jon Taylor, since 2009 a new phase of research has seen team member Marieka Arksey begin to digitise the first twenty thousand tablets from Nineveh. Digital resources allow the extraordinary wealth of the Nineveh library to be investigated from a wholly different perspective for the first time. The Kuyunjik material is being made available on the British Museum website which covers all British Museum collections:

An online research catalogue covering the entire library, with abundant contextual information, is in preparation. The Kuyunjik texts are now also documented by 16,800 catalogue entries and 8,100 special fatcross images at the CDLI website for the British Museum:

We believe that access to all available texts will lay the broadest possible foundation for integrative research by the scholarly community. We therefore aim to assemble a complete dataset of images,
transliterations and translations of all texts in the Kuyunjik collections. We would like to invite colleagues to share such materials with us. All contributions will be given proper credit, as is policy of both British Museum and CDLI. We would particularly welcome contributions in the standard format described by project co-PI Steve Tinney at

John Curtis
Keeper, Department of the Middle East
The British Museum

Robert K. Englund
Director, CDLI
University of California, Los Angeles

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