Current work

This page presents brief updates and news on the current state of work on the I.Sicily project, website and collaborations.

5 February 2018

Tuuli Ahlholm has joined the I.Sicily team as research assistant, and the editing of files has speeded up considerably as a result 😉

Over the Christmas period, we completed the work necessary (data cleaning, and creation of new data exports) to enable the generation of metadata to support full Linked Open Data for the basic geodata of the inscriptions, in collaboration with the Pelagios Commons project, and you can see the results. We look forward to working with others to exploit this capability.

21 November 2017

There now 3246 records online (including several newly published or reported Sicilian inscriptions – ISic4368, 4369 and 4370), as well as one of the Egadi rostra (ISic 4367). The full set of ISicily xml files are now maintained in a GitHub repository ( and those interested in tracking specific updates and edits can monitor these directly through the repository’s commit history. Potential contributors familiar with GitHub are very welcome to propose editing files via Github. Current editing includes a gradual complete referencing of the inscriptions cited in the significant epigraphic discussion of Roman Imperial Sicily by Giacomo Manganaro in ANRW II.11.1 (1988).

Work is currently underway in collaboration with the CWRC project under Professor Susan Brown (Guelph University) and with the Oxford Lexicon of Greek Personal Names to develop an editing interface to enable the direct annotation of names and individuals inthe I.Sicily texts; the intention is that this tool will be made available to other projects and facilitate the direct incorporation of URIs from LGPN and LGPN-Ling by other projects.

We have now received follow-on funding from the Oxford University Humanities Division to enable an extension of the collaboration with colleagues at Catania which resulted in the ‘Voci di Pietra’ exhibition at the Castello Ursino. The intention is to produce a second, smaller, follow-up exhibition at the Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi, in Siracusa.

At the end of August, we presented a poster on the I.Sicily project at the International Epigraphic Congress in Vienna.

18 August 2017

There are currently 3242 records online, with almost 100 now checked or edited.  In recent months there have been several new developments on the project:

  • In July we successfully curated and launched an exhibition (‘Voci di Pietra’) of the inscriptions in the Museo Civico Castel Ursino of Catania (more information on this project will be posted shortly on the blog). You can read a report on the exhibition in Italian in Corriere della Sera
  • Early in the summer we obtained a grant from the International Catacomb Society to work with Davide Tanasi (University of South Florida) and Ilenia Gradante (Research Associate, Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford) on the inscriptions of the catacombs of ancient Syracuse as part of the Virtual Ancient Siracusa Project.
  • We are now one of the overseas project partners on Canadia CANARIE-funded grant, led by the CWRC project under Professor Susan Brown (Guelph University), which will help us to develop a better user interface for collaborative editing of inscriptions online.

22 February 2017

All records have now been aligned with Trismegistos, and the links are active in both directions (this applies to 2554 records; the remainder have yet to be allocated a number in Trismegistos).

We have begun a pilot project with current Oxford graduate students: students learn basic XML EpiDoc editing skills and put these to work editing the text division. In the first instance this work is focused on adding texts to records for which this information is currently missing, and we expect this work to gain speed in the next couple of months.

As of today 28 records have progressed to ‘draft’ or ‘edited’ status and 52 images have been uploaded.

18 January 2017

The error in displaying corpus reference numbers has now been fixed, and in addition multiple references within these fields now display together within the main data table.

15 January 2017

The website is now live, in beta mode: there are currently 3,242 inscriptions listed on the site. At this moment all but three of the EpiDoc files are ‘unchecked’, and all data should be used with caution. The current priorities are (a) checking for significant errors and bugs, (b) checking and revising the EpiDoc files, including text transcriptions, and (c) beginning to incorporate images.

We are also currently writing the first version of the guide to searching on the site.

We are aware of – and actively correcting – a data conversion error, which means that references to CIL, IG, AE, BE and SEG ending in a zero may currently be incorrectly displayed (any trailing zeros in the reference are omitted).