The Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World (EHW) “is an original electronic project aiming at collecting, recording, documenting, presenting and promoting the historical data that testify to the presence of Hellenic [from ancient Greek till the Ottoman period] culture throughout time and space.” There are three main areas: Asia Minor, Black Sea and Constantinople.
EHW’s ultimate goal is to contribute to the understanding of how Hellenic culture was shaped and disseminated, taking under consideration its contacts and osmoses with other cultural realities and traditions. EHW’s entries cover the entire spectrum of the Hellenic life and activities and take advantage of the results of current research in relevant scientific fields. EHW draws information as well from archives and archaeological excavations. The electronic format of the EHW enables it to utilize fully the new digital technologies regarding the design of practical methods of integration, structuring and management of a considerable volume of textual and audiovisual material.
The EHW aims at the automatic creation of potential for the dynamic development of content, inter-disciplinary collaborations, educational and scientific virtual communities, the promotion of knowledge in scientific and educational issues and, finally, the provision of by-products of cultural/educational use and coherent thematic units of historical/cultural information to interested communities and institutions.
In its first stage the project’s structure is defined around the following units:
· Entries database, where the historical and cultural information is organized and presented in the form of encyclopedic entries that are accompanied by photographic documenting material.
· Audiovisual applications, where the information appearing in the entries is complemented with the visualization of historical events, processes and phenomena, three-dimensional representations, digital models of cities, music and video.
· Bibliographical database, which includes the complete bibliography of the entries and will be gradually updated, independently from the entries.
· Historical interactive atlas, where the spatial information is organized in the form of maps and is complemented with historical and audiovisual information.
Unfortunately, the latter part, the atlas, I cannot get to work properly. It does say that the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight is required and I took care of that. Still, it starts loading the map and a handy periods sidebar but then time and again it ends: “An error occured while communicating with the server.” Let’s hope this is nothing but a temporary glitch. Regarding archaeology, the focus is on the figurative arts and elite architecture rather than on the common-day material culture. Nice photos accompany the text entries. Some entries are just placeholders, to be completed in the future. Conclusion: a good resource that when fully completed will be very valuable.