Technology and Skills

In March 2012, CLST held its first Technology & Skills Workshop for students working on antiquity from many Departments and Programs at Columbia University. This event was supported by Butler Library and the Teaching Center of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and organized with the help and input of the CLST Ph.D. students. Particular thanks go to Irene SanPietro for starting this initiative. The workshop was devoted to advanced skills in using the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG), a database that is “ancient” in more than one sense. The TLG offers rather sophisticated ways for searching Greek texts, and it dates back to the early days of the “digital humanities.” As a result, it is most helpful but also rather tricky to use. CLST is grateful to Butler Libraries’ acclaimed TLG expert Bob Scott for being our instructor.

Following the success of the inaugural workshop on ancient texts, a second workshop focusing on ancient places was conducted by Joe Sheppard in April 2013. The extensive information available through the Pelagios API was harnessed to demonstrate how students could quickly access and analyze huge amounts of data tied to a specific place, especially when that data is discrete and well organized, as in the case of coins and coin hoards. Again Bob Scott provided invaluable support, along with his colleagues Alex Gil and Karen Green from Butler Library.

Further workshops in our Technology & Skills series will take place every year.