Thursday, March 5, 2020

ANS News: 270 hoard documents and 60 authorites added to the ANS Archives

270 hoard documents and 60 authorites added to the ANS Archives
In a major digital archival publication today, 270 documents pertaining to Greek coin hoards have been added into the ANS Digital Archives, Archer, and 60 new archival authorities have been added into the ANS Biographies (EAC-CPF records published in xEAC). These authorities include numerous prominent numismatists, archaeologists, dealers, and collectors, as well as some individuals who are not prominent--people only attested through our archives and a scant provenance records from other museums. Each of these authorities will be created or updated in the Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) project, along with links back to our archival records.

A nice example is Sir Arthur Evans, the famous archaeologist of Knossos. He is mentioned in several letters between Sidney Noe and other scholars. Although Evans is not a prominent scholar in our own archives, his papers are held in other institutions. We are able to make our few letters more broadly available to researchers interested in Arthur Evans through SNAC.

The record for Arthur Evans, with links to hoard documents.

The archival documents themselves represent the first portion of a larger collection of scanned letters, invoices, inventories, notes, hoard photographs, and other research materials related to The Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards and subsequent Coin Hoards volumes. Coin Hoards will be published online in the near future, after we migrate the old IGCH platform into a completely new database system that operated more like Coin Hoards of the Roman Republic.

The display of IGCH 140, with new archival documents

Under the hood, these archival records are TEI documents generated from spreadsheet metadata entered by Peter van Alfen. The images are IIIF-compliant and follow the procedures we have already established with Edward T. Newell's research notebooks. The Archer framework, EADitor, was updated to accommodate other types of archival materials represented as TEI (manuscripts, etc.), and EADitor is capable of serializing these files directly into RDF for Archer's SPARQL endpoint (that drives the interconnectivity between the authority records and archival items, as well as the display of archival items in MANTIS and IGCH). Additionally, the TEI files, and TEI-encoded annotations, are serialized dynamically into IIIF manifests.

Because all TEI files use the same annotation system in the back-end of EADitor (Masahide Kanzaki's Image Annotator:, these new archival documents can be annotated with URIs from, coins in our collection, coin types or monograms in PELLA or other corpora. As a proof of concept, I annotated the names of Mithradates VI and Lysimachus with their respective Nomisma URIs on the notes of Wayte Raymond about IGCH 973: These annotations, stored natively in TEI surface elements within a facsimile, are serialized into JSON-LD according to the IIIF spec in real time, and displayed at the link above in Mirador. The names are also listed in the index below the Mirador viewer.

While we still have more metadata to enter for more archival documents, the data-entry workflow and processing scripts are fully established at this stage. This is the next step in transforming the IGCH database into a more comprehensive research platform for Greek coin hoards.

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