Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative

Project Description:

The Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) represents the efforts of an international group of Assyriologists, museum curators and historians of science to make available through the internet the form and content of cuneiform tablets dating from the beginning of writing, ca. 3350 BC, until the end of the pre-Christian era. We estimate the number of these documents currently kept in public and private collections to exceed 500,000 exemplars, of which now nearly 225,000 have been catalogued in electronic form by the CDLI. In its early phases of research, the project concentrated on the digital documentation of the least understood archives of ancient cuneiform, those of the final third of the 4th, and of the entire 3rd millennium BC that contained texts in Sumerian, in early Akkadian and in other, still undeciphered languages. he CDLI, directed by Robert K. Englund of the University of California at Los Angeles and Peter Damerow of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, is pursuing the systematic digital documentation and electronic publication of all cuneiform inscriptions, with special attention paid to these 4th and 3rd millennium sources, but with increasing resources devoted to the entire cuneiform text corpus bearing witness to 3500 years of human history. Cooperative partners include leading experts from the field of Assyriology, curators of European and American museums, and computer specialists in text markup. The CDLI data set will consist of text and image, combining document transliterations, text glossaries and digitized originals and photo archives of early cuneiform.