Thursday, September 1, 2016

Remainder of RIC 5 Published to OCRE

Nearly 4,000 more types from the latter portion of RIC 5 have been published to Online Coins of the Roman Empire, predominately from the Gallic Empire and usurper sections. With RIC 5 completed, this brings to total number of Roman Imperial coin types to nearly 42,000. David Wigg-Wolf will finish checking the RIC 9 spreadsheet very soon. We expect to complete the project by the end of September (months ahead of schedule).

In many ways we have already exceeded the specifications of the NEH grant-funded project. The coins from the University of Virginia and Berlin have recently or are currently being processed to link to these new types. The ANS coins will become available in OCRE in the near future (as early as tomorrow). By the time RIC 9 is published and our partner collections have been reprocessed to add in physical representations of these coin types, OCRE will be very close to exceeding 100,000 coins from museum and archaeological databases. The number of partners and coins has increased in the last year, and we expect this level of growth to continue for the foreseeable future, especially with some of the major numismatic collections coming online (e.g., Vienna and the Bibliotheque nationale de France).

Since we are poised to finish the original parameters of the project three months early, we are going to work on adding value to our data by linking architecture displayed on coins to either broad architectural typologies (e.g., temple, fountain) or specific, known monuments (Temple of Mars Ultor). I think that this will open the door to more sophisticated query and analysis of Roman architecture and its relation with official imperial political messages to society (both in Rome and the provinces).

We are also going to work on putting together a user interface that will make it easier to identify coins, a feature that will be useful to casual collectors, museum curators, and archaeologists working in the field.