Friday, April 22, 2011

News from the CDLI: Saint Louis Art Museum cuneiform collection in

Saint Louis Art Museum cuneiform collection in CDLI
The Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI), in partnership with the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM), is pleased to announce the addition of new digital content to its web offerings. 
As with many modest collections compiled from a number of sources, the 42 cuneiform artifacts in the Saint Louis Art Museum consist of a larger number of Ur III accounts, and of smaller groups of Old Akkadian, Old Babylonian and neo-Babylonian/Achaemenid texts. Last month, UCLA graduate student Michael Heinle was able to scan the artifacts as part of a digitization mission through Missouri, Indiana and Michigan, and the results of the SLAM effort have now been added to CDLI pages, viewable here. 32 of the texts have been published in some form, most (nearly all of the Ur III texts) by R. David Freedman in concise catalogue entries in his 1975 Columbia University Thesis "The Cuneiform Tablets in St. Louis" (though we note that neither CDLI nor BDTNS is in possession of transliterations of the Freedman SLAM texts; Mr. Heinle is now working to remedy that gap in our coverage). Ten are not known by us to have been edited, and we welcome publication references, or notices of interest in publishing these texts by specialists.
The imaging and image processing were made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and are part of the on-going mission of CDLI to ensure the long-term digital preservation of ancient insc-riptions on cuneiform tablets, and, in furtherance of cuneiform research, to provide free global access to all available text artifact data. It will not escape the readers of this notice that Mellon also supports the SLAM staff member who organized the visit by Heinle in St. Louis.
For the CDLI and the SLAM:  
Robert K. Englund, UCLA
Lisa Cakmak, Mellon Fellow in Ancient Art, SLAM

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