Monthly ArchiveAugust 2014

A New Allen and Greenough

Chris Francese No Comments

With support from the Mellon Digital Humanities Fund and the Roberts Fund for Classical Studies at Dickinson, we have completed a new digital version of that perennially useful tool, Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges, edited by J.B. Greenough, G.L. Kitteredge, A.A. Howard, and Benjamin L. D’Ooge. Boston: Ginn & Company, 1903.


The project involved re-scanning the book to have good quality page images, then editing a set of existing XML files kindly provided by the Perseus Project. We added to that the newly digitized index, which was not in the Perseus XML. The purpose there was to make the book browsable via the index, which is important for user utility, and absent in all other online versions. On March 23, 2014, Kaylin Bednarz (Dickinson ’15) finished revision of XML files for Allen & Grenough, and the creation of html files based on the new XML. She was assisted and trained in the use of Oxygen software (which converts the XML into web-ready html) by Matthew Kochis, Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities, who also helped with day to day project management.

In late March, Dickinson web developer Ryan Burke uploaded the html and XML files to Dickinson servers, and created the web interface for A&G in html. This revealed issues of formatting: indentations were often not preserved, resulting in lack of clarity. Some character formatting was not right, and footnotes from the original print resource were not clearly displayed. Forward and back buttons had to be put in for each of the 638 sections.

On May 20, 2014, Meagan Ayer (PhD in classics and ancient history, University of Buffalo, 2013) began work hand-editing Allen & Greenough html files, removing errors and fixing formatting, adding navigational infrastructure using Adobe Dreamweaver. A few missing XML files had to be added and converted to html, and those finishing touches were put on last week.

The differences between our version of A&G and others available on the internet are:

  • Page images attached to every section
  • Analytical index makes finding what you need easier
  • Functioning word search for the entire work
  • Attractive presentation with readable fonts and formatting
  • Fully edited to remove spelling errors and OCR misreads (further error notifications appreciated!)

And of course the whole is freely available under a Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license. We plan to systematically link to this version of A&G in our Latin commentaries, and we are planning to have a similar work on the Greek side up soon:

Thomas Dwight Goodell, A School Grammar of Attic Greek (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1902). This excellent work was scanned by the Internet Archive. Last year Bruce Robertson of Mont Allison University kindly performed the OCR using Rigaudon, the output of which is available on Lace. At Dickinson the OCR output was edited and the XML and html pages created by Christina Errico. Ryan Burke has created the web interface. Meagan Ayer is in the process of editing and correcting the html pages. So look for that in the next few months!

Image Viewer

Chris Francese No Comments

The new image viewer is complete. This spring we put some thought into the question of what metadata we need for images. After looking at the various metadata standards (VRACore, Library of Congress, etc.) and examining some good museum websites, we settled on a fairly limited set of fields that give 1) the basic information about the object or art work; 2) clear source credit and terms of use for the image itself; and 3) scholarly description and discussion. This information is divided into tow tabs, “Properties” (for basic data), and “Annotation.” Annotations include a straightforward description, typically taken with credit from the museum web site or other image source, and “Comments,” which will normally be original DCC content connecting the image with a particular passage in a DCC text. Under Annotations there is also space for bibliography, and links to associated passages. This is an overdue infrastructure improvement that will help us make illuminating connections between texts and images, a key goal for the Aeneid edition in progress. If you go to the Images link on the fron page, you’ll see that most of the content uploaded so far is related to the Aeneid (by Lucy McInerney and Tyler Denton). Thanks to visual resources librarian Jen Kniesch at Dickinson for advice, and to Drupal developer Ryan Burke for making this tool.