From print to LOD, part II: Extracting structure

As explained in the previous post, we want to transform the Repertorio Terminologico per la Schedatura delle Sculture dell’Arte Gandharica from a printed book to a SKOS vocabulary that we can use in a linked data context. In this post, we’ll describe our efforts and experience with the first steps: OCR’ing the Repertorio and extracting its content in structured form.

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From print to LOD: A vocabulary for Gandharan art

The core task of the DiGA project is the digitization of two collections of Gandharan sculptures. But in doing so, it aims at advancing the research of Gandharan art in the digital space. We start from established practices in the field of Gandharan studies and bridge them with best practices from digital cultural heritage studies. One central building block for this is the Repertory of Terms for Cataloguing Gandharan Sculptures, a central reference work, that we aim to bring into the Linked Open Data space.

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Digitization of Gandharan Artefacts

DiGA, short for “Digitization of Gandharan Artefacts. A project for the preservation and the study of the Buddhist art of Pakistan” is a project that aims to digitize and catalogue a corpus of just under 2,000 Buddhist sculptures from the ancient region of Gandhara. Gandhara – or Greater Gandhara, as scholars are now more enclined to name it – is a historical region which covers present-day Northwest Pakistan and Eastern Afghanistan and which was a pivot between South and Central Asia. Produced during the first centuries of the Common Era, the objects which the project will digitize bear testimony to the rich cultural and religious heritage of this region that was once considered a Buddhist Holy Land. This blog will successively elaborate on the history, research questions, and design of the project, as well as provide status reports as the project progresses.