Project Report

Applying DCMI Elements to Digital Images and Text in the Archimedes Palimpsest Program

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On 22 October, 1998, the only known copy of Archimedes’ key mathematical and scientific works was sold at auction for $2.2 million. After a decade of scientific study of this historic object, on October 22, 2008, the approximately 2 terabytes of Archimedes Palimpsest image and transcription data will be released to the public. A candidate release will be available for the 2008 Dublin Core Conference. Standardized metadata using the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set is essential for managing this large amount of data combining over 4,000 images and 130 pages of transcriptions in the Web 2.0 environment. Applying the Dublin Core Metadata Standard to a variety of data sets containing different texts and images in a dynamic technical environment offers a unique set of challenges. Following a presentation to the 2006 Dublin Core Conference on use of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set in the Archimedes Palimpsest Program, the program team has continued to refine its data dictionary and elements based on the Dublin Core standard and feedback from the Dublin Core community. Since the 2006 conference, the amount of data has grown tenfold with new imaging techniques. Use of the DCMI Standards will allow the hosting and integration of this data set and other cultural works across a range of services providers, libraries and cultural institutions. Inclusion of the DCMI Standards as part of the data set will contribute to ensuring this data from an over 1,000-year-old manuscript will be readily searchable, available and accessible for decades to come.

Author information

Michael Toth
Walters Art Museum -- RBToth Associates,
Doug Emery
Walters Art Museum -- Emery IT,

Cite this article

Toth, M., & Emery, D. (2008). Applying DCMI Elements to Digital Images and Text in the  Archimedes Palimpsest Program. International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, 2008.

DOI : 10.23106/dcmi.952109287

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