Saturday, June 6, 2020

CDLI Newsletter 2020/1: June 2020

CDLI Newsletter 2020/1: June 2020


Following the death of CDLI founder and Director, Bob Englund, the directorship of the CDLI will continue with Jacob L. Dahl, Bertrand Lafont, Émilie Pagé-Perron and Jürgen Renn, jointly directing the project.


We are happy to announce that CDLB and CDLJ are accepting submissions again. We wish to thank Madeleine Fitzgerald for meticulous management of the Journal over the past almost two decades. The editorial leadership of the journal and the bulletin has passed to Jacob L Dahl as Editor in Chief and Laura F Hawkins as Managing Editor.

The composition of the new editorial board is as follows:
Émilie Pagé-Perron, Bertrand Lafont, Niek Veldhuis, Jerry Cooper, David I. Owen, Manuel Molina, Susanne Paulus, Marco Bonechi and Jan G. Dercksen.

Under the editorship of Émilie Pagé-Perron, CDLN is also accepting notes. The new website will be up and running again in the next few weeks.

Manuscripts for CDLJ, CDLB and CDLN publications can be sent to for consideration.

We wish to also draw attention to the most recent addition to the Cuneiform Digital Library Preprints (CDLP), Elamite bricks from the Museum of Hotel Sandelin (France, Saint-Omer), by Pauline Leroy (see The CDLP is under the editorial supervision of Bertrand Lafont (CNRS, Nanterre), to whom queries and submissions should be directed (

Google Summer of code

CDLI is proud to announce the completion of the Google Summer of Code program for 2019. Last summer, CDLI participated for the second time in the Google Summer of Code program where Google offers summer full-time internship positions to students (in any field) that work on the elaboration of Open Source programming projects with chosen organizations. These projects encompass themes such as web design, database design and management, data processing and visualisation, machine translation and other machine learning approaches, etc, always using CDLI data. Last summer, Assyriologists, computer scientists and computational linguists Émilie Pagé-Perron, Ilya Khait, Willis Monroe, Rune Rattenborg, Jayanth, Shraddha Manchekar, Max Ionov and Niko Shenk have united to mentor a very interesting selection of students and accompanied them during the summer. You can find a description of their projects here (scroll down), you will find a link to the code repository of each project in their description.

Most of these new developments have been or will be integrated into the new CDLI framework in the next months, though the work of computer science student volunteers.

This year, we are focusing more closely on furthering the development of the new CDLI framework extending our machine translation work, revamping the CDLI mobile app and streamlining image processing work to prepare CDLI fatcrosses and their publication on the web. For a description of the projects, see here: Our mentors this year are Émilie Pagé-Perron, Ilya Khait, Willis Monroe, Rune Rattenborg, Max Ionov, Sagar Seghal, Aman Biswas, Amaan Iqbal, Ravneet Punia, David Wong, and Jacob L. Dahl. Outside of the GSoC structure but with the same timeframe, Niko Schenk will be mentoring a student intern to complete the team.

Collaboration with University of Toronto Prof. Heather D. Baker and Compute Canada

For the second time now, Professor Heather D. Baker has been awarded resources at Compute Canada for three years under the Research Platforms and Portals scheme. These resources make it possible for CDLI to offer a testing web platform for the development of the new CDLI interface, a place to host the final version of the interface mirroring the UCLA site when ready, and redundant backups in Canada of all CDLI assets, including those developed as part of the Machine Translation and Automated Analysis of Cuneiform Languages project.

New data

Over the past few months Bob Englund worked with Jamie Novotny (LMU Munich) on the records of the Assyrian and Babylonian royal inscriptions in the CDLI, growing the corpus to 3200 entries, along with C-ATF transliterations of the composite texts and accessible witnesses published in the RINAP (1, 3/1–2, 4, and 5/1) and RINBE (2) volumes. The composite identifiers for all of the texts published in Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia (RIM) series (RIMA 1–3, RIMB 2, RIME 1–4) were reviewed and updated; as a direct result, Oracc added numerous royal seals to its ‘Q’ (composition) catalogue.

As previously planned the Rosen collection at Cornell University closed on June 30th 2019. CDLI is ingesting the collection’s website and digital assets, and will continue to safekeep the catalogue and photographic data meticulously gathered by Laura W. Johnson-Kelly, David I. Owen, their local colleagues, and visiting assyriologists over the years.

As always, we are grateful for ATF contributions from colleagues; we have received new texts and corrections from or credited to: A. Bacskay, A., Anor, N., BabMed Team, Bramanti, A., Cripps, E., Dahl, J. L., Englund, R. K., Everling, J., Firth, R., Foxvog, D., Frame, G., Földi, Z., Gehlken, Geller, M., Giles, R., Gordin, S., Grayson, K., Guidi, C., Jagersma, B., Jeffers, J., Johnson, C , Kelly, K., Khait, I., Krebernik, M., Lafont, B., Lecompte, C., Leichty, E. V., Liu, C., Meyer-Laurin, V., Moore, S., Notizia, P., Novotny, J., Owen, D. I., Ozaki, T., Pagé-Perron, É., Panayotov, Santoiemma, Schlüter, S., Sigrist, M., Simko, K., Stadhouders, H., Tinney, S., Woestenburg, and Yazdani, A.

Call for further collaboration

Photos, images, metadata, and text
CDLI is always looking for lined-based translations (preferably English but other languages welcome), ATF formated transliterations (, and curated catalogue data. Do not hesitate to inquire for instructions concerning formats and workflow.

We are also always happy to accept legacy and heterogeneous datasets for archival purposes which we process as time permits, for ingestion into the CDLI.
Finally, because we are revamping the bibliographic storage and display of CDLI, we welcome the contribution of well curated bibliographic data in the bibtex format, simply send your file to

External resources
The new cdli interface will have the ability to link artifact entries to other websites. If you would like your web resource to figure under the description of artifacts concerned, please send an inquiry to for consideration. So far, we have prepared links for BDTNS, the Cuneiform Commentaries Project, the Yale Babylonian collection, the Oriental Institute integrated database, ETCSL transliterations and translations, and ORACC (most public projects).

Students in Assyriology looking for internships should be aware that the CDLI has many opportunities for data processing work that is independent of place of work, and should contact us at Some limited remuneration may be available and all work will be fully credited.
We are also always interested in growing our ranks of volunteer programmers, please reach out to, we will connect you to our Slack instant chat instance and code repositories.

On behalf of the CDLI
Bertrand Lafont, Jacob L Dahl, Émilie Pagé-Perron

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