LGPN and Information Technology

LGPN began using computers to store and manipulate its data as far back as 1975. Alongside the  publication programme, and despite the electronic upheavals which have marked the last 30 years, LGPN has maintained the material from all the published volumes in a consistent state in a relational database, which was designed in 1984 to reflect the potential research values of all the fields which make up an LGPN entry i.e. not only names, but places, dates, references, relationships, statuses etc.

Historical background to LGPN's use of IT

This database is the final repository of material once it has been edited, and from it:

  •  the printed volumes are generated and typeset by computer program;
  •  research questions may be answered, for our own work and for researchers who contact us;
  •  data are generated for online dissemination: currently, statistics (numbers of people and names, distribution by gender, place), name indexes and bibliographies;
  •  primary names are output for online analysis in a variety of fonts.

Online facilities based on the current database:

  • Online searches: search and analyse over 35,000 published names, the LGPN website, or the LGPN database.
  • Files for downloading: bibliographies, forward and and reverse name indexes, from LGPN I-VA;
  • addenda and corrigenda.to LGPN II, Attica (1987), with supplementary bibliography, posted by Sean Byrne.
  • LGPN IIA: is the completely revised LGPN II, provided to the LGPN database by Sean Byrne. Full data are not yet available on this site, but the forward and reverse name indexes are available as downloadable files, and statistics about persons, names and places, are posted.
  • More general statistics - in preparation.

The XML Project

Elaine Matthews and Sebastian Rahtz have been working on a major conversion project using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) and Extensible Mark-up Language (XML), as the basis for LGPN's long-term preservation, online dissemination, and interoperability with other online resources. Complete data from all published volumes (currently I-IV) will be delivered as one integrated online resource.


**** LGPN is in the initial stages of a major upgrade which will see the migration of the data contained in the seven published volumes from the current Ingres database to a XML database. As part of the upgrade, the potential uses of the online search facility will be enhanced so as to provide in the future enriched information about the individual person and their family relations, the place where they are attested and the nature of the documentation, as well as linguistic analysis of the names themselves and their frequency over time and space. The project would therefore welcome suggestions from users of the existing online searching, concerning improvements to its general layout and organization, as well as additional features and searchable variables that could be made available. Please contact any one of the editors by email with suggestions and ideas.****


Email lgpn@classics.ox.ac.uk




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