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A manifesto


There are several projects and communities in epigraphy and neighbouring disciplines with whom it is essential that the EpiDoc community of practice maintains active communication. There are two major categories of such project:


  1. Epigraphic and papyrological databases using different technologies or flavours of XML, for example:
    1. The members of the EAGLE Consortium:
      1. Epigraphische Datenbank Heidelberg (EDH)
      2. Epigraphic Database Bari (EDB)
      3. Epigraphic Database Roma (EDR)
    2. Duke Database of Documentary Papyri (DDbDP)
    3. Packard Humanities Institute Greek Epigraphy database
  2. Epigraphies of different cultures and languages (other than Greek and Latin), and related Classical textual objects, who may have different conventions and needs than classical epigraphers, including:
    1. South East Asian inscriptions
    2. Etruscan Texts Project
    3. Hebrew/Aramaic or Armenian inscriptions
    4. Byzantine Seals
    5. Numismatics


The projects in the first of these categories, those using databases or other electronic media, are generally well-established projects who are not about to abandon their existing technologies. The EpiDoc community considers it vital to encourage compatibilty and synergy between platforms and has long been in communication with these projects to that end. On the one hand, we need to ensure that "core" EpiDoc recommendations are adequate for the needs of these projects and the categories that they have established and agreed upon. Resolving issues of compatibility may involve modifications to EpiDoc, to the sister project, or to both. On the other, it is also important to create and maintain tools for crosswalking from one format to the other (e.g. the CrossWalker) in those cases where complete compatibility is not possible or desirable, for one reason or another.


For the second category, those projects collecting texts of other traditions than the Greco-Roman, the problems may be more profound. Some of these projects will have needs that have not been foreseen by classical epigraphists, such as the problem of encoding letters and syllables in certain Indic scripts, for example. Some communities may have entirely different conventions and expectations from those of scholars used to adhering to the Leiden Conventions for epigraphic and papyrological transcription. These communities also need to be taken into consideration when developing the EpiDoc core, although the primary responsibility lies with the target community itself to develop their own conventions, guidelines, and recommendations. The most urgent task in all these cases is *identifying* the needs of such projects/conventions and communicating with the people involved.


EAGLE Conformance


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