Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Roman coins from the Metropolitan Museum of Art enter Nomisma

The Met Museum is the latest institution to be integrated into the Linked Ancient World Data Initiative, following their major announcement last week concerning the release of more than 375,000 images into the public domain and the publication of a dump of their data into a massive CSV file.

Aureus of Julius Caesar in CRRO

I almost immediately got to work on parsing this CSV in order to link their coins to Online Coins of the Roman Empire and Coinage of the Roman Republic Online, but found that the dumps did not include full type references to RIC or RRC, nor did I find a clear way of extracting images from the database for re-use. With many thanks to curator Christopher Lightfoot for providing a concordance between the Met's coins and reference numbers and Ben Rasmusen for some tips on interacting with the Met's not-yet-published 'additionalImages' web service, I wrote a simple PHP script to generate Nomisma-compliant RDF. I have just ingested this into Nomisma's SPARQL endpoint. About 60 coins have been positively linked to URIs in CRRO and OCRE. Furthermore, these coins will be integrated into the Pelagios Project by means of the Nomisma->Pelagios export feature.

You can see examples of three aurei of Julius Caesar (RRC 466/1) from the Met along with examples of the same type from six other museums. You can get a concordance list of Met and coin type URIs back out of the SPARQL endpoint with the following query: https://gist.github.com/ewg118/f9c8bae782fdc841af6c7aca782ef06d.

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