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The Digital Latin Library

Although anyone with access to an Internet search engine can search for and find Latin texts, no resources yet exist for assisting users in evaluating the quality of the results or finding related items efficiently and effectively. It is true that many online collections such as Google Books, the Internet Archive, the Hathi Trust, the Digital Public Library of America, and Europeana include myriad Latin works in their databases and offer some faceted search features, but because the long history of Latin texts spans the history of publishing, the sheer number of texts and the variety of their formats necessitate a systematic approach to cataloging and curating the information.

In other words, we want to help people interested in Latin find what they are looking for—and perhaps discover resources they might not have found otherwise.

Accordingly, the mission of the DLL Catalog is to build and implement, in keeping with the accepted standards and practices of library and information science, a curated, systematic resource for finding Latin texts of all types and all kinds.

We have conducted user studies to determine the most useful and desireable features for a specialized library catalog for Latinists. Models for the data and metadata have been established, and the information architecture is in place. The catalog runs on Drupal 7 with a MySQL database and Solr search engine.

Currently, there are 2,377 individual author authority records and 4,236 work records, spanning the Classical, Medieval, and Neolatin eras. With that framework in place, we're using data scraping techniques to build out the catalog’s item records with content from a variety of sources including the Packard Humanities Institute’s Latin Texts, digilibLT, Biblioteca Italiana, in addition to those already mentioned.

The DLL Catalog is available at https://catalog.digitallatin.org.