Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ancient World Open Bibliographies One-Year Report

[AWOB was announced here on AWOL 18 October 2010]
After I wrote my Open Access Week post at my original blog the other day, I realized I should really spend a little more time recognizing the progress of the Ancient World Open Bibliographies project over the past year.

The first post on this blog was just over a year ago, on October 1, 2010, describing the conceptualization of the project.  There was some discussion of software and scope early on, but within a few months the blog settled down to the routine collection of existing open-access bibliographic resources for the ancient world available online.  These are now collected both at a public Zotero group and a wiki.  At Zotero they can be found by subject tags; at the wiki they have a more hierarchical classification structure that is essentially sui generis.

Right now there are over 450 bibliographies included in the project.  Topic range from Celtic Europe to Tibet, but the vast majority of the bibliographies cover the area around the Mediterranean during the later Bronze and Iron Ages, with special emphasis on Greek and Roman.  Probably the most comprehensive coverage is for Greek Authors and Latin Authors, although even in these areas there are gaps – if you plan to teach a graduate seminar in Sophocles this spring, for example, please do consider asking your students to assemble an annotated scholarly bibliography as a class project!  The University of Cincinnati has some examples of how to use Zotero for this sort of thing.

My goals for the immediate future and the ongoing future are multiple, and some are small (clean up the Zotero files, which have a bunch of minor errors and infelicities) and some are big (do targeted collection of existing bibliographies, and solicitation of new bibliographies, so that more topics have full coverage and AWOB as a whole is a well-rounded resource.) Today I’m adding a page for volunteers at this blog, suggesting specific things – some quite small and manageable – that you can do if you’d like to help AWOB continue to grow.  Have a look!
I urge you to participate in this wonderful project!

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