Beazley Archive Online Databases

Project Description:

The Beazley Archive databases are the central projects run by the Classical Art Research Centre (CARC), which is part of the Oxford Faculty of Classics. They comprise several collections of material relevant to different users, on ancient Greek pottery; ancient and neoclassical engraved gems; Etruscan and Italic architectural terracottas; antiquarian books and photographs; archival documents; paster casts of ancient sulpture; and ancient artists' inscriptions. The Beazley Archive Pottery Database (BAPD) is the largest of the collections, with around 110,000 records, and it receives some 7-8 million pageviews a year. It is the single most important resource for research nto ancient Greek vase-painting. Its record numbers are now used internationally as a standard method of citing particular pots. The original project, a database of Athenian figure-decorated pottery 626-300BC, began in 1979 as a complement to the physical photographic library of the Beazley Archive. It was the second in the University of Oxford to be available 'online' (after Cairns Science Library). From 1992 that database began to be prepared for migration to the web. The project represented the first stage of an integrated multiple database system available on the web. To manage data more efficiently they were merged into one 'extensible' database system (XDB) between 2004 and 2005. Merging datasets also enabled the 'benefits' of one database to be transferred to another. For example, a database of inscriptions on Athenian vases was merged with the Pottery Database, and the latter was merged with the online Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, a digitization project carried out on behalf of the Union Académique Internationale. Users can search individual databases or a combination. The merger was also a preparatory step towards further integration projects, primarily Claros (now run within the OeRC). The webpages for the different databases include tools for advanced and more basic searches, catering for researchers at all levels, from school students to specialist academics and curators.