Development of RPC Online

History

The original website for Roman Provincial Coinage Online was developed in 2005 and launched in 2006 under the direction of Chris Howgego.

At launch RPC Online covered only the Antonine period (AD 138-192). It was based on data originally collected by Volker Heuchert for his doctoral thesis (1993-7) on the coinage of the province of Asia. Empire-wide coverage for this period was made possible by a research project under the then Humanities Research Board of the British Academy (now the Arts and Humanities Research Council) Institutional Fellowships Scheme. This project ran from 1998 to 2005. The Institutional Fellowship was principally held by Volker Heuchert and shared in its final year with Liv Yarrow.

The academic development of the original website was undertaken by Volker Heuchert, Chris Howgego, and Liv Yarrow. It was possible only because of the effective data structure originally developed by Volker Heuchert for an Access database for his doctoral thesis. The technical development of the website was undertaken by the Academic Computing Development Team of the University of Oxford (Paul Groves, Richard Doe and Joseph Talbot).

From the beginning the website included an innovative feedback feature which has allowed users to contribute to the project over the years. We have received and incorporated thousands of comments from curators, dealers and collectors with corrections and new types.

Volker Heuchert, now Assistant Keeper for Greek and Roman Provincial coins in the Heberden Coin Room, became a director of Roman Provincial Coinage Online in 2013.

The editorial board of Roman Provincial Coinage (British Museum Press and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France) became an Advisory Board for Roman Provincial Coinage Online in 2015.

All the more recent major developments, which have transformed the project, have been the work of Jerome Mairat. Following his recruitment to the Heberden Coin Room in 2013, currently as eCurator and Curator for Roman coins, he developed a new underlying database for the project to facilitate collaborative working. He also rewrote the code of the website so that coverage could be extended to all volumes. He became a director of Roman Provincial Coinage Online in 2015.

He subsequently developed the present web application for the project from 2017 onwards. This permits collaborative working online, which is essential for the completion of the project. It can also produce fully typeset versions, including plates and indices, for hard-copy publication.

The present web application replaced the original Roman Provincial Coinage Online website as the public interface in 2019.

Funding

Roman Provincial Coinage Online is maintained and developed by the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.

The original website was confined to volume IV. It was the output of a research project funded for seven years from 1998 jointly by the Humanities Research Board, now the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and by the University of Oxford. The development of the original website in 2005/6 was undertaken by the University of Oxford’s Academic Computing Development Team from their own resources.

Work on volume VI was partly funded by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust.

The digitization of volumes I and II is currently (2018–2020) the focus of a dedicated project made possible by generous private support. The initial donation came jointly from Clifford Thring and his employers, TBG AG, to mark Clifford’s retirement. This project has also been supported by a generous anonymous donor and by Giovanni Staffieri, Patrick Matthijs, and Eric Ten Brink.