The Classics Faculty at the University of Oxford, in collaboration with an expert team at the University of Kentucky and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, has been awarded a 3 year AHRC grant entitled: “Living Virtually: Creating and Interfacing Digital Surrogates of Textual Data Embedded (Hidden) in Cultural Heritage Artefacts”. This will involve advanced imaging techniques to unroll virtually, i.e. non-invasively, fragile, carbonised Herculaneum papyri preserved following the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, specifically using as a test case P Herc 108, transcribing and digitally publishing the Greek texts contained therein, and subsequently applying these methods to other manuscripts and artefacts, whilst simultaneously developing apps to be used on 'smart' devices by those visiting museums and libraries all over the world. The international, multidisciplinary project will necessarily involve a variety of expertise, including not just in papyrology, classical philology and imaging, but data curation, database and project management, plus high level computing skills. To support this research, the project is also developing a dedicated metadata management system for the purposes of documentation, accessibility, and transparency in the process of virtual unrolling and text/content extraction. The project is seeking a developer with advanced, demonstrable experience in both front-end and back-end development, and especially in the Python programming language. Knowledge of current metadata standards/schemas in the digital humanities and computer science communities is also highly desirable. S/he will work with the larger project team collaboratively, and remote work is also possible.
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