A request to the community of Pompeii scholars

It’s like trying to grow a hand from the fingers inward.

This is the analogy I have been using to describe the steady, but frustratingly dislocated process of constructing the different elements of the Pompeii Bibliography and Mapping Project. The bibliographic catalog and full text repository, the GIS map, the natural language processing of the repository, and the user interface all are growing apace, but none are yet connected and can demonstrate the power of the final product. Nonetheless, now is the time to ask for your help. As the group I anticipate to be the most avid users of this resource, I need your cooperation to make it as useful as possible. Therefore:

I need your bibliography, especially any and all full-text copies.

Citations: While the 15,000+ corpus of citations based on L. Garcia y Garcia’s Nova Bibliotheca Pompeiana is nearly ready for release as a searchable database (the first iteration will be here), there are still hundreds of citations that are unaccounted for, especially in the last decade or so. To tell the PBMP about an important citation, join our Zotero group and add items to the “New Citations” collection or simply fill out the form on this page.

Full text: There is an obvious benefit to being able to seamlessly go from discovering a potential source to reading it with only a single click. For thousands of the works about Pompeii this is possible and for those works it is being realized. There are many other thousands, however, that remain in copyrighted status and cannot therefore freely be accessed or redistributed. The PBMP will be working with authors and publishers to seek the release of as many of these works as possible. In the meantime, I am still asking for any full-text items – ebooks, electronic offprints, personal scans, etc – regardless of copyright status to use in our natural language processing of Pompeian sources. Let me be clear, these items WILL NOT be redistributed. Instead, they will be used to help make the search functions of the PBMP more robust. To put it another way, your copy will be read by a machine and not by humans. Please email me (Pompeiana@gmail.com) to make arrangements to transfer files.

I need your maps, underlying spatial data, and suggestions for inclusion.

The map of Pompeii will be based ultimately on the superintendency’s CAD plan of the city. In many ways, this base data is like the Eschebach map of property function – we all know its faults and we know there is no little alternative. We have made many valuable improvements, but if you have or can recommend maps that are crucial to an updated topography of Pompeii – whether descriptive or interpretive – please send them along.

I need your expertise and your time.

If you have an interest and a skill that might be valuable to the PBMP, please do let me know.

Please email me directly at Pompeiana@gmail.com to offer your data, suggestions, or to ask questions. The more data I have today, the more data you will have tomorrow. Thank you all in advance for your help!

-Eric Poehler