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2005-2006 Annual Report

January 26, 2018 in Report


This has been a year of successful transition for the Center, set in motion above all by the award of full funding ($389,883) by the National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation and Access Division (Research and Development) for a two-year project to create Pleiades: an Online Workspace for Ancient Geography. Built atop the open-source Plone Content Management System, and web-hosted by the Stoa Consortium at the University of Kentucky, Pleiades is designed to provide eventual on-line access to all information about Greek and Roman geography assembled by the Classical Atlas Project for the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. At the same time Pleiades enables large-scale collaboration in order to maintain and diversify this dataset. Through an innovative combination of internet technology, open-content approaches (resembling those used by Wikipedia) and rigorous academic editorial review, Pleiades empowers anyone – from established experts to informed students of antiquity – to contribute new knowledge and insights, descriptive essays, bibliographic updates, geographic coordinates, and more. After approval by an international Steering Committee of established experts, these contributions become a permanent, author-attributed part of future publications and data services at the Center. More broadly, Pleiades is intended to serve as a model for the many other fields in the humanities and social sciences that face the problem of keeping immense bodies of fundamental reference materials current. For further information, visit http://www.unc.edu/awmc/

Richard Talbert serves as Principal Investigator for the Pleiades Project as well as Acting Director of the Center. Tom Elliott has relinquished this directorship in order to take a full-time leading role in the development of Pleiades. A highly qualified Software Applications Analyst, Sean Gillies, has been hired to work alongside him. The Center Director’s position is to be filled as soon as practicable, subject as always to funding.

The work of the Center in general, and of Pleiades in particular, formed the subject of a special feature by Barrymore Scherer in The Wall Street Journal on March 1, timed to coincide with National Humanities Day 2006. Graham Shepherd and David O’Brien have continued to contribute to preparation of Richard Talbert’s Peutinger Map database, which is now nearing completion after overcoming multiple complexities and obstacles. Last but not least, the Center’s website and the maps available there receive as heavy worldwide use as ever, resulting in warm expressions of appreciation from all sides.

Richard Talbert, Director


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