We are pleased to announce that Pelagios Commons has awarded a Resource Development Grant to an international collaboration of digital humanities scholars from Brumfield Labs, LLILAS Benson, World Historical Gazetteer,  and CONICET. The collaboration will develop a linked dataset for colonial Latin America, based on Anntonio de Alcedo’s ​Diccionario geográfico-histórico de las Indias Occidentales ó América​ (1786), a gazetteer describing places within the New World from a Spanish colonial perspective.

The primary goal of the LatAm project is to use Alcedo’s Diccionario to create a generally-useful dataset to be contributed to linked data resources including Peripleo and the World Historical Gazetteer.  The secondary goal is to develop tools and protocols allowing scholars working with historical gazetteers to prepare digital editions and GIS datasets from those documents.

Project members from CONICET and LLILAS Benson will import Alcedo’s Diccionario into FromThePage, the open-source editing platform installed at the University of Texas-Austin and correct the raw OCR text.  Software developers from Brumfield Labs will expand FromThePage’s existing subject tagging capabilities to include latitude and longitude attributes on toponym subjects,  URIs for external authorities on all subjects, and standards for tagging administrative hierarchies.  Members from the World Historical Gazetteer will process the exported toponyms and context into a PGI format that can be ingested by both Peripleo and WGH.

We hope that the LatAm project can serve as an ​example that many groups concerned with other region/period combinations will be able to follow, demonstrating an effective workflow and tool suite for encoding historic gazetteers.