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Available (project website) (gazetteer permalink)

Project Team

  • PI: Adam Rabinowitz (The University of Texas at Austin)
  • Co-PI: Ryan Shaw (The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • Co-PI: Lorraine Haricombe (The University of Texas at Austin)
  • Consultant (phase 1): Eric Kansa (Open Context)
  • Developer: Patrick Golden (The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)


The Periods, Organized (PeriodO) project, now in its second phase, seeks to build a Linked Open Data gazetteer of period definitions provided by authoritative sources. Each definition includes three critical components: the authority or source, a statement of temporal coverage (in some form of calendrical time, however vague), and a statement of spatial coverage (again, however vague). The gazetteer parses these statements to provide four-part ISO8601 calendar dates and a geo-resolvable LD statement of spatial coverage (currently, national boundaries in DBpedia). By documenting period usage, rather than seeking to create a unified thesaurus of period concepts, PeriodO seeks to preserve differences of opinion, scholarly tradition, and national standards. In the first phase of the project, funded by a Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2014-2015), the team solidified the data model, constructed a browser-based client that can display both a canonical, curated dataset (with permalinks provided by the ARK ID framework of the EZID system) and local indexed databases with user-generated values, and added 3500 definitions collected from project partners and harvested from publications. In the second phase of the project, funded by a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (2016-2018), the team will work on visualizations to improve the usefulness of the client and reconciliation and aggregation tools to make it easier for data managers to implement PeriodO URIs in their own datasets, and to link their information with other periodized datasets.

Partners and contributors

  • British Museum
  • China Historical GIS
  • Digital Index of North American Archaeology
  • Fasti Online
  • GeoDia
  • German Archaeological Institute
  • Historiska museet
  • Incipit CSIC
  • Levantine Ceramics Project
  • Open Context
  • Pleiades
  • Portable Antiquities Scheme
  • Priniatikos Pyrgos Project (LinkedArc)
  • Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed
  • UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology


Rabinowitz, Adam. 2014. “It's about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data”. In T. Elliott, S. Heath, and J. Muccigrosso, Current Practice in Linked Open Data for the Ancient World (ISAW Papers 7).

Shaw, Ryan, Adam Rabinowitz, Patrick Golden, and Eric Kansa. 2015. “A Sharing-Oriented Design Strategy for Networked Knowledge Organization Systems.” International Journal on Digital Libraries. doi:10.1007/s00799-015-0164-0 Preprint at

Golden, Patrick, and Ryan Shaw. 2015. “Period assertion as nanopublication.” In Semantics, Analytics, Visualisation: Enhancing Scholarly Data Workshop Co-Located with the 24th International World Wide Web Conference. Florence, Italy.

Golden, Patrick, and Ryan Shaw. 2016. “Nanopublication beyond the sciences: the PeriodO period gazetteer.” PeerJ Computer Science 2:e44

Rabinowitz, Adam, Ryan Shaw, Sarah Buchanan, Patrick Golden and Eric Kansa. “Making sense of the ways we make sense of the past”. Forthcoming, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies.

See also