Wednesday, June 17, 2015

All RIC types through Quintillus published in OCRE

Last week, we published all of the types from Valerian and Gallienus in OCRE. A few days ago, we added Claudius Gothicus and Quintillus. There is a subtle difference between the types from the reigns of Valerian and Gallienus and the emperors after 268 in our RIC V workflow. Due to the tremendous number of subtypes from Valerian and Gallienus (and subtypes of these subtypes, when considering every permutation of obverse portrait and mint mark), we decided we needed to speed up the publication process. Beginning with Claudius Gothicus, only the parent type numbers will be published to OCRE so that we will complete RIC Volume X by the close of the NEH grant two years from now. If/when we have the time, we will return to RIC V to fill in the missing subtypes.

Capturing the parent types is of the utmost importance, since most museum and archaeological databases will likely have designated their coins as a parent type, e.g. Gallienus 210, and not Gallienus 210k or Gallienus 210k Subtype 1. The ANS has gone into this level of granularity with respect to linking coins to OCRE subtypes (as have I with linking the University of Virginia collection), but it is doubtful anyone else has. Indeed, at first glance, neither Berlin nor the British Museum link to the subtypes, many of which were not distinctly numbered within RIC. [As an aside, Mantis and UVa have been updated to link to OCRE, but BM and Berlin coins are not yet available.]

However, in order to support the traversal from parent types to subtypes, I have made some enhancements to the OCRE UI (which are not inherent to Numishare). It is possible to link directly to Gallienus 210 and have those coins show up under "Examples of this Type" in the parent record page, but coins linked more granularly to subtypes will also show up under the "Subtypes" section underneath. Click on the Gallienus 210, 210k, and 210k.1 above for an example. What this means is that an archaeological database can link to the parent type when the legend or mint marks are not legible enough for precise identification, but the numismatic data and images can still be made available through OCRE.

In semantic web terms, subtypes are linked to parent types via the skos:broader property. SPARQL queries have been updated throughout Numishare to infinitely gather subtypes with the skos:broader+ modifier, which is enabled by default in the current version of Fuseki we employ as the SPARQL endpoint (

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