Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Seleucid Coins Online launches

Another major piece of the NEH-funded Hellenistic Royal Coinage has been put into place. More than 3,000 Seleucid coin types from Lorber, Houghton, and Hoover's Seleucid Coins, Part 1 (expect Part 2 in 2018) have been published to Seleucid Coins Online. Users of ANS coin type corpora will be familiar with the layout and functionality, as this project is also published in Numishare, the same as OCRE, CRRO, and PELLA. Using semantic modeling inherent to Nomisma, dynasties and political entities to which rulers belong are now available as facet fields.

The first contributors of coinage to this project are the University of Münster (Archäologisches Museum der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität), Harvard Art Museums, the Berlin Münzkabinett, and the ANS's own collection of nearly 1,700 Seleucid Coins. We expect to add coinage from other partners, such as the British Museum and Fralin Museum at the University of Virginia shortly. Our colleagues Karsten Dahmen at Berlin and Frédérique Duyrat are working to translate type descriptions, and we will activate French and German in SCO early in 2018. The ANS and Harvard are both contributing images according to the IIIF specification.

Page for
With the ingestion of typological metadata as RDF into the SPARQL endpoint, it is now possible to conduct broader geographic and statistical distribution and metrical analyses with Nomisma's own set of tools (e.g., to compare the weight of Seleucid tetradrachms with those of Alexander). The type data and associated physical specimens also provide further research context for individual concepts defined on Nomisma. For example, the Nomisma page for Seleucus II will now display a map displaying the distribution of mints and findspots for the ruler, as well as a sample listing of related coin types (with photograph of coins linked to these types).
All of the data are available for free and open reuse.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

More than 20,000 Roman Republican coins from the BnF added to CRRO

In a watershed moment for Roman Republican numismatics, 20,237 coins with high-resolution IIIF images from the Bibliothèque nationale de France have been incorporated into the SPARQL endpoint, and are therefore available in Coinage of the Roman Republic Online. This nearly doubles the coverage of Republican coinage--there had previously been about 26,000 coins available through CRRO from 18 museums or archaeological databases (like the Portable Antiquities Scheme).

RRC 452/3

The addition of IIIF images for these coins greatly increases the scope of dynamic, SPARQL-generated IIIF manifests for coin types, such as this one from RRC 335/1a.

Florence Codine, from the BnF Coins and Medals department, provided a spreadsheet dump of these coins, which have been meticulously cataloged with CRRO URIs. I updated the PHP script I wrote for the integration of the BnF's coins of Alexander the Great into Pella. This script iterates through all of the ARKs in the CSV and queries the Gallica OAI-PMH endpoint to extract further metadata available in the OAI Dublin Core. This script then outputs RDF/XML conforming to the Nomisma ontology and data model, with the IIIF extension following the Europeana Data Model specification.

Some Basic Stats

  • 2,295 total RRC types in CRRO
  • 2,119 types are connected to at least 1 physical type (92% coverage)
  • 2,105 types connected to at least 1 physical type that has been photographed (91%) (SPARQL query)
  • 1,791 types are connected to BnF coins specifically (78% coverage for just one collection!)
  • RRC 340/1 has the largest photographic coverage with 1,878 coins! [I am going to need to introduce pagination for SPARQL results on coin type pages]
  • 63 types have more than 100 photographed specimens
  • 966 types have more than 10 photographed specimens (42%)

Here's a CSV output of all types + the total image count per type: [download]