Thursday, January 31, 2019

New grid display implemented in Numishare

I have made an update to the Numishare browse page (which affects Mantis, OCRE, and various other projects) to enable changing the layout from the default list view (a row for each coin or type with thumbnails on the right side of the row) to a grid layout that makes it easier to browse visually by making the images more prominent. This layout is similar to the "Examples of This Type" section on coin type pages or the Identify a Coin interface in OCRE.

The list view is still the default view for the browse page, but the layout can be toggled by clicking the relevant icons on the row that contains sorting functions (just below pagination).

Archaic electrum coinage from Sardis

Thursday, January 24, 2019

University of Kiel joins Nomisma

Through the NUMiD consortium of German university numismatic databases (built on the Berlin Münzkabinett technical framework), the University of Kiel is the newest member of Nomisma.or, contributing over 200 Roman Republican and Imperial coins to OCRE and CRRO.

Example of RIC Otho 8.

There are now 34 contributors to OCRE providing data for more than 122,000 coins.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Formalizing editors and a step toward minting DOIs for Nomisma

As I reported in early October 2018, we made a huge improvement in data provenance, connecting concepts to individuals who contributed to those concepts by means of manual editing or curation of spreadsheets uploaded into the system.

All of the editors within Nomisma have their own URIs, often connected to ORCID. We implemented two concept schemes to separate the id/ and the editor/ namespace. I have finally made some updates to the HTML serializations of the editor/ namespace page and each editor URI in order to provide greater context about a person's contributions to Nomisma.

Editor Concept Scheme page

The editor concept scheme page now contains a list of editors in These are the people who have contributed one way or another toward the creation of IDs, even if they are not among the few who have been granted authenticated access to the Nomisma back-end, for example, in the creation of IDs to support publication of type corpora (Gunnar Dumke, Oliver Hoover, Vladimir Stolba, and others). This table is generated by a simple SPARQL query that includes an optional skos:exactMatch that contains an ORCID. I hope to be able to extend the RDF for each editor to include their organization affiliation (seen in Kerameikos at, which I copied and pasted over from one framework to another yesterday).

Editor pages

The editor pages are constructed by first submitting a SPARQL query to get a total count of IDs directly edited or contributed through spreadsheets. If the number is greater than 0, then two SPARQL queries are subsequently submitted to the Nomisma endpoint. One is to get a list of spreadsheets the editor has contributed to and the second is an abbreviated list of IDs associated with the editor. For example, I have contributed to about 2,500 Nomisma IDs, many of which have been through spreadsheet uploads ( Lists in each category are downloadable, and you can even download the entire subset of Nomisma concepts associated with me in RDF/XML, Turtle, or JSON-LD (not that these subsets are particularly important or useful by themselves--you might as well download the entire Nomisma dataset from the links on the home page). However:

DataCite XML Metadata for DOIs

The chief aim here, which is why we have sought to connect these Nomisma editor URIs with ORCIDs, is to be able to mint DOIs for each person that redirect back to the editor URIs. data constitute an enormous body of collective intellectual effort, and it's increasingly important that scholarly digital works receive equal weight as traditional publications. Therefore, the creation of DOIs for Nomisma contributions would appear in the scholarly profile in ORCID. Just recently, the AIA issued updated guidelines for the considerations of tenure and promotion, with specific guidelines for the recognition of digital projects, and so our goal of formalizing this recognition within Nomisma keeps us on the cutting edge with respect modern modes of scholarly communication.

At present, we are serializing RDF + SPARQL results into DataCite-compliant XML metadata, with the hope that we will be able to piggyback onto a partner institution's DataCite membership (at $2000/year, it is not justifiable for the American Numismatic Society to bear this cost). If this fails, I will rewrite my XSLT for Crossref (which now supports datasets), as the ANS is already a Crossref member, and has minted DOIs for electronic theses and dissertations and some other recent ebooks.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Ptolemaic Coins Online is officially released

After a lot of hard work by numerous people, Ptolemaic Coins Online is formally launched. This phase covers the gold and silver coinage from Ptolemy I - IV (volume I, part I) of Catharine Lorber's Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire. There are 990 total types (with some subtypes), with more than 1,700 specimens from 10 museums linked in.

CPE 158

PCO browse page

The press release is here:

Enhanced exploitation of concordances in type corpora

Today, I extended some Nomisma APIs (for weights and the widget that populates images in Numishare-based type corpora browse pages) as well as SPARQL queries in Numishare itself to make better use of concordances between corpora that we are encoding in our data and exposing as skos:exactMatch URIs in our RDF outputs.

I had recently extended these queries to support the display of subtypes in browse pages and under the main "Type Examples" heading on coin type record pages (e.g., on The logic behind this was to provide a better UI for researchers to view example images without having to drill down one or more levels to see individual specimens, particularly within Seleucid Coins Online, which routinely goes two levels down from the parent type.

With the launch of Ptolemaic Coins Online, which contains a fairly comprehensive concordance with Price URIs defined in PELLA for the earlier Alexander types, I felt we were leaving a lot of functionality on the table by not exploiting these links. They are exposed as skos:exactMatch properties in the RDF that is published to the SPARQL endpoint. The queries were extended in several areas of the codebase into the following:

{ ?object a nmo:NumismaticObject ;
 nmo:hasTypeSeriesItem <typeURI>}
UNION { <typeURI> skos:exactMatch ?match .
?object nmo:hasTypeSeriesItem ?match ;
  a nmo:NumismaticObject }
UNION { ?broader skos:broader+ <typeURI> .
?object nmo:hasTypeSeriesItem ?broader ;
  a nmo:NumismaticObject }

Since many of our partners have already cataloged and contributed coins with Price numbers, but have either not cataloged with the Svoronos 1904 or Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire numbers or have simply not provided data dumps for PCO, this has substantially extended the coverage of PCO. There are several hundred coins in the ANS collection with Price numbers, but no Svoronos. Instead of launching PCO with around 1,200 specimens from 4 or 5 museums, we are instead launching with 1,700 from 10.

The impact is especially noticeable among the earliest Ptolemaic coinage, where there is significant overlap with PELLA (the first several pages of the PCO browse page).

PCO browse page 1

Furthermore, we are able to exploit links to IGCH hoards that have been cataloged in the ANS collection for coins only linked to Price numbers. CPE 19 and 20 are both linked to more than 100 specimens (primarily in the ANS collection), and are each linked linked to several coin hoards.

CPE 19

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

University of Frankfurt joins Nomisma

The Coin Collections of the Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main is the newest contributor of the consortium, providing access to about 120 Roman Republican and Imperial coins. The Frankfurt collection is made available through the NUMiD project of German university museums, spearheaded by the Berlin Muenzkabinett database system. Including the Berlin collection itself, Frankfurt is the 17th NUMiD partner to be made available in this fashion.

Example of Augustus 15A.

Monday, November 26, 2018

University of Tübingen joins Nomisma

The University of Tübingen is the latest partner of the NUMID-driven consortium of German university museums to join and make their coins available in Online Coins of the Roman Empire and Coinage of the Roman Republic Online. There aren't many coins online so far (only 5 in Nomisma projects), but there are about 20,000 coins in the collection, most of which are ancient.

RRC 334/1