Digitally Reviving a Numismatic Collection: Pedagogy and Scholarship
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In the past decade, several digital projects aimed at digitizing, mapping, linking, and studying material culture from the ancient world have sprung up. Many of these can be viewed at The Digital Classicist Wiki, but several of primary interest to this project are noted below. All of these projects seek to broaden the community of digital scholarship and launch collections material culture into the realm of open-access. The collection at our university holds a large number of ancient coins (~800) with dates ranging from the 6th c. BCE to 7th c. CE. Several other undergraduates and I have started documenting these coins and creating a database of their numismatic data. We are currently creating a robust site for the collection, through which scholars, students, and the general public can easily access the data. These coins have never been properly studied by numismatists or classicists, so opening the collection to a wider audience will benefit the entire scholarly community. Further, it will promote its original pedagogical purposes. The database will be accompanied by interactive visualizations of the collection, which can be used to query the numismatic data. The insights produced by querying a representative collection of ancient coins can be used in all Classics courses with the added benefit of having the real objects available for physical study.