From a Project-Specific Database to an Open Access Digital Humanities Database

Maya Termonia's picture

Dear colleagues,

In the period 2009-14 a relational prosopographical database MP3 was constructed at Ghent University for the study of late medieval Syro-Egyptian political elites, institutions and practices, in the context of a specific collaborative research project on ‘Mamluk’ state formation. In the period 2015-16 new funding was obtained to create from MP3’s Filemaker 12 database a more widely accessible, connected and multifunctional research infrastructure and to expand its textual component and analytical potential. This project is currently known as the MPP project, and it now is conceptualised as a pilot project for the Islamic History Open Data Platform(IHODP) that we are developing.

IHODP will be an Open Source & Open Access Data Platform for ’Medieval’ Arabic Humanities Research. It is being constructed from, and integrates, several interconnected open data projects, including MPP and the Arabic historiography project MMS-II. IHODP will be a flexible, sustainable, user-friendly and multi-purpose solution and allowing for the creation of multiple independent and/or integrated data projects with freely definable multiple user roles, default back up and export facilities, and opportunities to work with various metadata ontologies, annotation tools, and Arabic text corpora. 

After extensive testing we are ready to launch a beta-version of the Islamic History Open Data Platform (IHODP) in which MPP runs as a first project. Two other related and interconnected projects, Corpus: Texts from Late Medieval Egypt and Syria (Corpus) and Bibliography of 15th Century Arabic Historiography (BAH), are soon going to be launched on IHODP too. You can find a detailed explanation with demo’s of IHODP and MPP on our MMS-website

Kind regards,

Maya Termonia

Jo Van Steenbergen