EAGLE to make classical European inscriptions accessible


EAGLE is a best practice network that brings together the most prominent European institutions and archives in the field of Classical Latin and Greek epigraphy (epigraphy = the study of inscriptions/epigraphs), to provide Europeana with a comprehensive collection of unique historical sources which constitute a veritable pillar of European culture.

A ‘touch’ reading of a partially-faded inscription in the catacombs of St. Alexander on via Nomentana in Rome. Picture by Giorgio Crimi.

In particular, it will supply inscriptions from 25 EU countries, providing more than 1.5 million images and related metadata, including translations of selected texts, for the benefit of the general public. This represents approximately 80% of the total amount of inscriptions in the Mediterranean area.

Furthermore, EAGLE will implement an inscription-specific metadata model based on standards and recommendations developed through related Europeana projects and a bespoke service platform for epigraphy to allow for multi-format ingestion and multi-device distribution of content. The project will also bring new content providers and users to Europeana.


Base of a statue dedicated to the Emperor Septimius Severus by a group of soldiers in Ostia. Picture by H.G. Kolbe

Two flagship applications will be integrated to validate the project’s results with real users and to step up the mass adoption of EAGLE: a mobile application to enable tourists to understand inscriptions they find on location, and a storytelling application to allow teachers and experts to assemble epigraphy-based narratives for the benefit of less experienced users.

A multilingual wiki will be set up for the enrichment and curation of epigraphic images and texts, with special emphasis on translations – providing a basis for future translations of inscriptions in other European languages.

The results of EAGLE will be disseminated to the epigraphers’ community and to the general public to ensure the sustainability of the project. To this end, EAGLE will foster a tight integration of its collections with Wikipedia through their publication to Wikimedia Commons and it will develop an inscription-themed documentary with a related teaser video.

EAGLE will coordinate its activities with Europeana and the Europeana family of projects to ensure full integration of services.

Source: Europeana Professional Blog

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