Wednesday, November 2, 2011

News from the CDLI: Williams College Museum of Art cuneiform collection

Williams College Museum of Art cuneiform collection in CDLI 
The Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI), in partnership with the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts (WCMA), is pleased to announce the addition of new digital content to its web offerings. 

Early in October of this year, Sally Freedman (nee Moren), managing editor of the Jewish Studies Quarterly at Princeton, alerted CDLI to a set of cuneiform texts at Williams College and made available some images and transliterations/translations of the collection's Ur III texts that were based on catalogues and correspondence in the archives of the college's Museum of Art. This set in motion communications among Freedman, Bob Englund, and Rachel Tassone, Associate Registrar at WCMA, who in turn forwarded to CDLI copies of the Museum's high-resolution images of the full collection. The results of the WCMA collaboration have now been added to CDLI pages, viewable at <>. The 45 cuneiform artifacts in the WCMA include two Assurnasirpal reliefs, five Gudea cones, one Sin-kashid royal inscription, 23 Ur III accounts (two published by David I. Owen in MVN 15, nos. 376-377), and lesser numbers of 2nd and 1st millennium tablets (three published in the recent YOS 15, nos. 15-16 and 77) as well as several neo-Assyrian bricks, most of which appear to be unedited. Of the WCMA texts, 38 entered the collection as gifts of Edgar Banks and the noted Nippur archaeologist John Henry Haynes (Class of 1876). The Museum welcomes queries from specialists who might be interested in preparing annotated editions of the unedited pieces. 

The WCMA is happy to contribute in this way to the on-going mission of CDLI to ensure the long-term digital preservation of ancient inscriptions on cuneiform artifacts, and, in furtherance of research, to provide persistent, free global access to all available cuneiform textual data.

For the CDLI and the WCMA: 
Rachel Tassone, Associate Registrar, Williams College Museum of Art
Robert K. Englund, Director, CDLI

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