The Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL) is a comprehensive collection of ancient Latin inscriptions from all corners of the Roman Empire. Public and personal inscriptions throw light on all aspects of Roman life and history. The Corpus continues to be updated with new editions and supplements by the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften.
This digitized version of the CIL is intended to initially comprise the more than 50 parts (of vols. I-XVI + auctaria and of v. I (edition altera)) published before 1940. Available funding covers the digitization of the volumes with an imperfect OCR searching capability. The goal is to eventually create a keyword searchable database to contain also future volumes of the CIL as they fall outside of copyright restrictions and to eventually do the same for the Inscriptiones Graecae.
The printed version of the CIL consists, as of September 2012, of 17 volumes in approximately 70 parts, recording some 180,000 inscriptions. Thirteen supplementary volumes have plates and specialized indices.
In 2009 the Heads of the libraries of the American Academy in Rome, Rebecka Lindau, and École Française de Rome, Yannick Nexon, met to discuss the possibility of digitizing the volumes of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum currently out of copyright. This had been a desire of both for a long time. Soon the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut and the Head of its library, Thomas Fröhlich, joined the project. Providing a server to host the volumes was more of a challenge. The DAI and Reinhard Foertsch at the University of Cologne came to the rescue with their object database Arachne, which is dynamically connected to international aggregators such as Claros.net or the multinational European project CARARE, and freely available on the Web.
Project partners include the American Academy in Rome, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, l’École française de Rome, Universität zu Köln, with assistance from Institutum Romanum Finlandiae, Svenska Institutet i Rom, and the British School at Rome.