Chronique des fouilles en ligne - AGO
Presentation of the Project

The “Chronique” in the BCH

Chronique des fouilles was first published in the Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique (BCH) in 1920, under the title “Chronique des fouilles et découvertes en Orient hellénique ».Its aim was to offer an overview of all archaeological work that took place each year in Greek lands.Over the years it has become an important research tool for historians and archaeologists, teachers, students and interested readers.The annual update of Chronique des fouilles published in each BCH offers a unique research tool, compiling material that is very often unpublished and will remain unpublished for several years. As the amount of archaeological work conducted in Greece increased and the extent of its reporting in printed articles grew each year the decision was taken to turn the publication into an online database. Chronique des fouilles en ligne / Archaeology in Greece Online was therefore created in 2009 as a joint project with the British School at Athens who were facing the same challenges with Archaeological Reports. 

Persée

The content of Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique is already digitized. It is online and open access on the Persée platform (https://www.persee.fr/collection/bch). Following this digitisation, the “Chronika” project was developed with Persée in order to enrich Chronique des fouilles en ligne/AG Online with older records. The project received 24 months of funding from the GIS CollEx-Persée (AAP 2019) to add retrospectively all the older records of the BCH (from before 2005) to the database in the same format as the current records. 

The “Chronika” Project

This retrospective treatment will allow us to enhance the legacy texts with digital information, such as georeferences, image galleries, metadata (keywords, periods, linked field operations). It will allow an accurate linking of the archaeological database, Chronique des fouilles en ligne, to the online library which is Persée.fr.  
Presentation of the process

Method

Here are the main steps for the project. A digitized article from the BCH needs to be structured more finely through the Persée platform. It is re-compartmentalised into smaller units (UD) according to the subtitles already defined by the publication. The data model followed by Persée for the export is the METS schema, which allows a structure and a description of data and metadata (find out more about Persée’s data model).

A special tool has been developed at the EFA in order to read and integrate the structured content. It offers access to a table with one unit per entry (UD number, title, permalink on Persée) in which the content is analysed (text and illustration). The treatment of the reports and their addition to the platform is not an automatic process : human verification and editing is necessary to achieve the desired result. The lines that are to be added or deleted are manually selected and verified (title/site name, description, illustration). Some units invite a further division into smaller sequences. Indeed, Chronique des fouilles as an article in the BCH was written in a more synthetic manner than Chronique des fouilles en ligne/AG Online, which allocates one excavation to each entry. Since the Chronika project does not intend to modify already published content, but rather to enrich it with metadata, the problem of defining a unit appears rather often.
Here is a description of the workflow :

  • Select the BCH volume
  • Select the documentary unit (UD) to be integrated (among the whole volume of the BCH, only the units corresponding to Chronique des fouilles en Grèce are to be selected). Within the unit, select or deselect paragraphs and footnotes that will form one or more new entries. If the units result in the creation of several entries, one needs to make sure the images are tied to the right entry number.
    • Usually a unit comprises a whole and is synthetic, i.e. more than one excavation can be reported. In some cases though it is possible to divide one unit into several smaller units (for contextual, geographical or chronological reasons), as long as the bibliographic reference is repeated. .
  • Save
  • View pre-reports, with the data that will be imported : one can edit the title.
  • Add the report(s) to Chronique/AG Online (the report receives a unique identifier.
  • Edit
    • Chose a title, to be written in this form : SITE. - Subtitle (e.g. ATHENS. - Acropolis). The title imported by default follows the title in BCH, Persée, along with the name of a region and a site name. These are not always correct and need to be readjusted with further information relating to the toponym (ancient or modern) from the title and perhaps secondary more precise information (area of city, context, village).
    • Operation year : by default the year of publication is imported, whereas more than one year can be reported, depending on bibliographic references.
    • Operation year, needs to be verified
    • Identify the responsible institution (from the menu, or add one if needed)
    • Description : check OCR defaults and typos. Particularly for the years 1920-1930.
    • Authors and persons : in order to build a table with persons or actors (in the reports), personal names need to be selected and checked (with this button from the toolbar). This will help to disambiguate persons throughout the EFA’s databases and proceed to align them to standards and repositories (IdRef).
    • Geolocation : pin the site location on the map, verifying or corrected the suggested toponym.
    • Keywords and chronology : select.
    • Bibliographic references : the abbreviation “ibid.” is very often used in the text and in the illustration legends. We have chosen to only replace it by the full reference when it is not cited anywhere in the section and if necessary.
The presentation of the reports from the retrospective BCH articles is slightly modified so that one can easily see the difference between Chroniques des fouilles en ligne/ AG Online and the reports from the Chronika Project. The project is mentioned under the text, the authors of the publication appear where the bibliographic reference usually is, whereas the Editor box indicates the creator of the report. On the top right part of the report, there is a link towards this page (the Chronika project), a link towards the project presentation on the GIS CollEx-Persée page, as well as a link towards the whole BCH on the Persée platform.

As far as the images are concerned, they come directly from the digital version on the Persée platform and are neither copied nor hosted on Chronique des fouilles en ligne/AG Online. Therefore Persée manages the online dissemination rights of published images on their site. Neither the copyright or authorship of images and illustrations belong to the EFA or the Persée. For any reproduction request, please contact relevant authority (Institution involved, Greek Ministry of Culture). Once a whole volume has been edited, it is then released on the platform of Chronique des fouilles en ligne/AG Online. At the same time, Persée will release the BCH volume with its new structure.
 

Consultation

The retrospective records will be available on the AG Online platform as normal, through the search engine with one or more criteria. A new search term has been added to allow a search by year or BCH volume.


Online "Bulletins" - progress of the editing project

BCH on Persée Year Volume Section Reports on AG Online
BCH 128 (22) 2004 128 22 783
BCH 125 (2) 2001 125 2 693
BCH 127 (2) 2003 127 2 546
BCH 120 (3) 1996 120 3 662
BCH 122 (2) 1998 122 2 739
BCH 124 (2) 2000 124 2 713
BCH 123 (2) 1999 123 2 762
BCH 118 (2) 1994 118 2 461