New data­base inter­face now live

4. April 2023

The Census data­base has upgraded to a new system and a new inter­face. There are several aides to help you navi­gate the new system:

A user guide (available in English only)

A webpage with FAQs (in German and English)

A help video (available in English only)

A live discus­sion and trai­ning session which will take place on Zoom on 14 April at 18.00 CET.  Please check the help page (in German and English) for the link, which will be posted one hour before­hand. There is no need to register.

In the new system, the search func­tions have changed signi­fi­cantly: while users of the previous version of the data­base first had to choose between “Antique Monu­ments” and “Post-Antique Docu­ments” when making search queries, the new inter­face now has a free-text bar which allows them to search the enti­rety of data­base records.

Within the new inter­face, the vast image coll­ec­tion of the Census takes center stage. Users can view search results as images of multiple objects and artworks, and no longer have to open records one-by-one to access images.

As was the case in the previous version, the crea­tion of a user account enables the crea­tion of personal coll­ec­tions, in which important records can be saved for future refe­rence. In the new data­base, however, when­ever copy­right allows it is also possible to down­load rele­vant images. In the future the Census will also be adding PDFs of biblio­gra­phic lite­ra­ture or other files which, when out of copy­right, will be available for download.

Another change in the new inter­face is that the object type previously referred to as “Post-Antique Docu­ments” is now called “Post­clas­sical Works.” The new termi­no­logy reflects the comple­xity of Post­clas­sical texts and works of art them­selves, as well as the comple­xity of their rela­ti­onships with antique mate­rial culture. These rela­ti­onships are no longer defined in the Census data­base through the frame­work of “docu­men­ta­tion,” allo­wing users instead to grapple with the methods, moti­va­tions, and tech­ni­ques of the recep­tion of anti­quity in the Early Modern era.

In the new inter­face, records more clearly indi­cate uncer­tainty about dates, loca­tions, and author­ship. There is also greater oppor­tu­nity to model in the data­base varied opinions about these topics.  New fields in the data model can define the era in which opinions about the dates, authors and loca­tions of antique monu­ments origi­nated: in the Early Modern period, or in current scho­lar­ship. These features allow the Census data­base to model diverse opinions about objects and texts that might have been considered antique in the Early Modern era, but are not considered antique in current scholarship.

The Census data­base has also been seman­ti­cally modelled, and other Linked Open Data features are being intro­duced and imple­mented (see the FAQs under Linked Open Data).

At the moment the map view, which was available as part of the old data­base inter­face, is curr­ently not available.

We hope you enjoy the new features and capa­ci­ties of the database!