It is appropriate that Day of Archaeology should fall on the deadline for our final report for the National Endowment for the Humanities-funded Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) project. The first edition of OCRE launched in late 2012 and received funding from the NEH in spring 2014. Over the last five years, the project has grown tremendously. All coin types from Augustus to Zeno (representing five centuries of Roman imperial numismatics) have been published, and we have now incorporated more than 107,000 physical coins related to these coin types from 21 different datasets. These datasets originate from large collections like our own or that of Berlin or the British Museum, but also include coins from smaller civic or university museums such Museu Arqueològic de Llíria (Spain) or the Fralin Museum at the University of Virginia, as well as from finds or archaeological databases such as the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Domuztepe excavations published through OpenContext.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time discussing OCRE and its technical underpinnings, as there’s already a lot of content online about it. Our recent American Numismatic Society magazine article, “Wishes Granted: The ANS and the NEH,” is a good primer about this and other Open Access/Open Data projects we’ve been working on. However, I would like to post a few relevant snippets from our final report. Note that this report will be turned into a white paper soon and openly published to everyone on the NEH website.