Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Open Resources for Celtic

Jack Leigh writes:

Ever searched in vain for an online text or translation? Wanted to make a correction to something you did find? Only found out about online resources after you managed without them? Open Resources for Celtic Studies is the beginnings of a project to provide an easily-accessible repository of open [1] information of use to Celticists. At the moment it’s somewhat lacking but you can help change that! Please take a look and, if you like the idea, do something to help out.

Things you could do include:
  •  Contribute some translation or bibliography (you need to revise those set texts anyway!) 
  • Post an article you’ve written 
  • Post links to existing online resources you know 
  • Pick a character and write about them (texts they appear in, etc.)
  • Any other idea you think would be useful! 
I was fortunate to recently meet Lucy Chambers and Rufus Pollock of the Open Knowledge Foundation (which has brought us cool projects like Open Shakespeare, Public Domain Works, and Open Bibliography) and we discussed some of the ways to take this idea forward, perhaps through integrating it with work done for Open Shakespeare, into a wider ‘Open Literature’. 

Things I would currently like to see include: a comprehensive bibliography which links books and articles with their reviews, and allows users to add their own reviews; profiles of literary characters, texts they appear in and genealogical information; open transcriptions, critical editions and translations marked up using TEI XML. Anyone have grand ideas of their own? Please take a look and see what you can make of the resource. 


[1] “A piece of content or data is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share-alike.” (See http://www.opendefinition.org/, particularly the ‘Open Knowledge Definition’ for further explanation)

5 comments:

  1. I’m sorry if this looks like blatant spam, but something vaguely similar is well underway at the website of the A. G. van Hamel Foundation: http://www.vanhamel.nl/wiki. Since 2010, the site is home to an online project called *selga, which aims to build a catalogue of texts (currently over 400) and manuscripts relevant for Celtic studies, all tightly integrated with a bibliographic system which points to known online resources.

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  2. Thanks for the heads-up! Hadn't even heard of it.
    Are you planning to have editions and translations of your own available?
    What is the licensing?
    What are your requirements for involvement?
    Do you think something like this could benefit from involvement with eg. the Open Knowledge Foundation or integration into a wider 'Open Literature'?
    Looks like a really useful resource.

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  3. Thanks, Jack. The project is most definitely not a ‘Wikipedia’ for Celtic studies in the sense that anyone can get involved, but we do encourage scholars and students specialising in Celtic studies or related fields to get in touch with us. At present, we do not offer anything (yet) in the way of original research, such as editions, translations, articles and reviews, although under certain conditions such contributions may, in fact, be welcomed in the future. Terms of use can be found under the ‘Copyright’ link, recently added. This is probably not the place for a full discussion, but I’d be happy to address any further questions by e-mail.

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  4. There is of course a wealth of stuff up at the Corpus of ELectronic Texts at UCC Dublin, and has been for years, but for the very reason I'm guessing you knew this. Otherwise you may be instancing an all-too-common phenomenon...

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  5. Not entirely sure I understand your comment, however: CELT is certainly a useful resource but doesn't encourage user contribution, nor are resources 'open', since there are restrictions on use.

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