As a humanist, I have always thought of the library as the stable center of my community: it is the steward of information and ideas, and the developer of new tools for organizing, accessing, controlling, and enhancing them, at once guardian of the past and architect of the future; it is the critical infrastructure without which my scholarly life would grind to a crawl.
For more than a quarter century, Duke’s Department of Classical Studies and the University Libraries have partnered on the Duke Data Bank of Documentary Papyri (http://idp.atlantides.org/trac/idp/wiki/DDBDP), the canonical repository of published Greek and Latin documents written on papyrus from the third century BC through the eighth century AD. As a result of this long and rich collaboration between department and library, the DDBDP--along with several other related tools--is now rapidly morphing into an open access, web-based, real-time, multi-editor, peer-reviewed environment in which the world community of papyrologists can conduct a wide range of its disciplines’ scientific activities. The tools are new, but the library is just doing what it has always done: helping to bring people together around a set of rigorously controlled information and providing the tools, space, and technical expertise to keep that community productive, and its output secure for the future.
The Library is my lab.
Associate Professor, Duke University Classical Studies Director of Undergraduate Studies,
Associate Editor, Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies
Co-Director, Duke Data Bank of Documentary Papyri
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