Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities Implementation Grants

Period of Performance

9/1/2015 - 8/31/2019

Funding Totals

$322,615.00 (approved)
$322,615.00 (awarded)

Pleiades 3

FAIN: HK-230973-15

New York University (New York, NY 10012-1019)
Thomas R. Elliott (Project Director: February 2015 to present)

Substantive changes to the technical and editorial infrastructure for the Pleiades gazetteer project, a geographic dataset for the ancient Mediterranean world. 

This proposal responds to new provisions in the Implementation Grant guidelines that invite “substantive changes to the design, technical architecture, and dissemination and preservation strategies” of established digital humanities projects. We seek support to renovate the Pleiades gazetteer of the ancient world (, which provides open access to the most comprehensive geospatial dataset for antiquity available today. Although Pleiades is valued by scholars, students, and the public, its potential impact and long-term sustainability are being held back by the limits of its architecture. We propose, therefore, to transform Pleiades from an overloaded website into a collection of related applications. We will split the current monolithic system into four parts whose performance and capacity can be managed independently and we will refine the structure of the database in order to document and analyze relationships between the ancient places we catalog. 

Associated Products

Workshop on Pleiades: Mapping the Ancient World (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Workshop on Pleiades: Mapping the Ancient World
Abstract: This workshop will begin with a concise overview and introduction to Pleiades, its mission, and capabilities. Dr. Elliott will summarize current work-in-progress and planned improvements under the aegis of Pleiades' current NEH grant. The rest of the workshop will focus on interests of audience members as articulated in open discussion. It may touch upon some or all of the following: How is information organized in Pleiades? How does one download and make use of Pleiades data in other formats? How is new content added to Pleiades and what is the editorial review process like? How can I publish my geographical information through Pleiades?
Author: Thomas R. Elliot
Date: 03/23/2016
Location: Center for Georgraphic Analysis, Harvard University
Primary URL:

Linking the Ancient World: A Pleiades Workshop With Sarah Bond (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Linking the Ancient World: A Pleiades Workshop With Sarah Bond
Abstract: What can you do with linked data for over 35,000 ancient places, locations, and names? has a few answers. The gazetteer, which began as a means of digitizing the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (2000), grows daily and provides extensive coverage for the Greek and Roman world. It is also expanding into Ancient Near Eastern, Byzantine, Celtic, and Early Medieval geography. SarahBond At this workshop, Associate Editor Sarah Bond will introduce the Pleiades community to participants. She will walk them through the history and layout of the gazetteer, discuss the popular contribution and review of our linked geodata, and then help participants make a map of sites within the ancient Mediterranean. Persons at all levels of experience (from “interested” to “expert”) are welcome to participate and to contribute at no charge… just like the Pleiades project itself. This event is co-sponsored by the Corcoran Department of History, the Department of Classics and the Scholars’ Lab.
Author: Sarah Bond
Date: 03/15/2016
Location: Scholars Lab, University of Virginia
Primary URL:

Tom Elliott on “The Pleiades Gazetteer Data Model: Going Off-Road in the Spatial and Digital Humanities (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Tom Elliott on “The Pleiades Gazetteer Data Model: Going Off-Road in the Spatial and Digital Humanities
Abstract: On Friday, March 25, 2016 at noon in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, Tom Elliott, Associate Director for Digital Programs and Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, will discuss the Pleiades Gazetteer of the Ancient World, a community-built gazetteer and graph of ancient places. Tom will unpack the Pleiades data model and the content curation process that supports it, highlighting the major decision points and criteria in its development history. A key theme of the talk will be conceptual flexibility and reinvention in a digital humanities project. This event is part of the Spatial Humanities Lecture Series and is sponsored by Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4), the Brown University Library, and the M. B. Mandeville Lectureship Fund. It is free and open to the public.
Author: Thomas R. Elliot
Date: 03/25/2016
Location: Brown University Library, Brown University
Primary URL:

The Pleiadic Gaze: Looking at Archaeology from the Perspective of a Digital Gazetteer (Book Section)
Title: The Pleiadic Gaze: Looking at Archaeology from the Perspective of a Digital Gazetteer
Author: Tom Elliott
Editor: Kristian Göransson
Abstract: Addresses the history and key developments of the Pleiades gazetteer.
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Publisher hosted copy.
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: DOI URL
Access Model: open access: cc-by-sa 4.0
Publisher: Propylaeum
Book Title: Classical Archaeology in the Digital Age – The AIAC Presidential Panel: Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World – Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Cologne/Bonn 2018
ISBN: 978-3-948465-7