Pelagios is a community initiative that aims to facilitate better linkage between online resources that document the past. Each of our member projects represents a different perspective on our shared history, whether expressed through text, image, map, or archaeological record. But as a group we believe passionately that the combination of all of our contributions is enormously more valuable than the sum of its parts. The medium through which Pelagios creates links between heterogeneous data is geography. Using shared conventions to encode and publish place references contained in their data, our partners implicitly build up a network of documents connected to places, documents connected to documents, and places connected to places. Contributing to the wider ecosystem of the Graph of Humanities Data that is gathering pace in the Digital Humanities (linking data about people, places, events, canonical references, etc.), we believe that this will ultimately open up new avenues for computational and quantitative research in a variety of fields including History, Geography, Archaeology, Classics, Genealogy and Modern Languages.
In its initial phases, Pelagios has had a specific focus on classical antiquity. That is, the known world at the time of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, around and beyond the Mediterranean and the Middle East. More recently, however, the project has also started to expand its geographical and temporal scope towards the European Middle Ages, as well as to the Early Islamic and Chinese world. Supported by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation we are currently working on the collaborative annotation of relevant Geographic Documents (texts and maps) from these eras.
In our workshop, we invite participants to learn about the Pelagios initiative, test our Open Source tools for annotation and spatiotemporal search hands-on, and to discuss how our tools and the resulting data can be used for further research, within and beyond the Pelagios project.