The UEE developed out of the need in Egyptology for a current, comprehensive resource and as a counter to the many non-authoritative sources, especially ones that appear on the Web, that are used by students. The pilot is scheduled to be completed in March 2006. The results of this stage of the project are:
- establishment of the Academic Editorial Committee (complete)
- establishment of the Technology Committee (complete)
- acquiring endorsement of the International Association of Egyptologists (complete)
- online peer review system through eScholarship (complete)
- Entry Composition Codes matrix to direct the writing process (complete)
- conceptualization of the required UEE search functions (ongoing)
- development of content taxonomy (hierarchical system of facets and concepts from which the entries are developed, ongoing)
- proposal for the first 500 entries drawn from the content taxonomy (ongoing)
- Web Assessment Database (already functioning, to be expanded)
- design of contracts for authors (complete);
- development of the metadata and coding system (ongoing);
- design of the screen layout (ongoing, for screen samples see the project description website)
- testing several open source applications (ongoing)
Implementation Phase 1 (2006-2008)
At the end of this phase the UEE Open Version will have published 500 encyclopedia text entries through eScholarship, which will consist of PDF's containing the entry title, a brief identification in English and Arabic, terminology in hieroglyphs and relevant illustrations. A trial of the UEE Full Version will be launched on the Web with the same 500 entries and additional search and access functions. Entry titles can be searched in English, Arabic, French, and German. Each article will link to the relevant annotated references available through the website of the Annual Egyptological Bibliography .
Outline of Implementation Phase 2 (2008-2010)
At the end of this second phase an additional 1000 text entries will have been commissioned and incorporated into the structure of the UEE. Implementation Phase 2 will give specific attention to developing the image database and GIS of the UEE Full Version.
Outline of Implementation Phase 3 (2010-2015)
At the end of this third phase the UEE will be published at its full scope and updating of the initial entries will have begun. A considerable number of authors will be asked to write larger synthetic articles, that link in with the entries published previously. Activities to build the financial base will be increased, as the full scale of the project is presented to potential donors. At this stage high resolution research-based 3D reconstructions of temples, tombs, settlements, and landscapes will be incorporated.
1. Publication of the UEE in Arabic for Egyptian readership.
It is desirable to develop and publish an Arabic UEE Full Version at the same time as the English one, but considering the costs involved in translating all text entries, the metadata and the search functionality into Arabic, separate funding will be sought for this. The UEE Full Version will be freely available to IP addresses in Egypt . Egyptian scholars read and write English, but Egyptian students and the broader public often do not, or not at a level that is sufficient to make optimal use of the UEE.
2. Integration of primary and secondary sources
It can be surmised that the future development of Digital Humanities is related to a change in emphasis in scholarship: from physical searches for information that is difficult to access (e.g. archives), to developing methods to analyze and synthesize large bodies of more easily accessible information (on the Web). Here cooperation with initiatives such as Perseus and Etana will be of great importance. Providing access to archival material from archaeological expeditions, or museum collections will be one of the future goals of the UEE. The development of data mining capabilities of the UEE will enhance access to a large body of content.
3. Publication of articles in French and German
The three official languages of the International Association of Egyptologists are English, French and German. Ideally authors should be able to submit their articles in any of these languages and Arabic. At this moment the budget does not allow for translation of the articles into English, the default language, but in future the English translation, as well as the article in the original language should both be published in the UEE Full Version.
4. Search functions on hieroglyphs.
At present searches on individual hieroglyphs and hieroglyphic texts are problematic. A search function on hieroglyphs would enable access through UEE of actual primary sources in hieroglyphs.
5. Access for K-12 and lay public.
The information and structure of the UEE can be used to formulate attractively presented entries and give good quality information to children and young adults. This requires the involvement of specialized writers, artists, and editors to modify and adapt the content. The material is eminently suitable for developing interactive educational games, linked to the present 6th grade program, or to specific exhibits in museums. Funding will be sought from a variety of federal and private sponsors.
6. Increased interactivity
From the outset the UEE offers a platform for scholarly debate in Egyptology by offering the opportunity to comment on articles and propose unsolicited articles or updates. Interactive features will be incorporated in both the scholarly and K-12 / non-academic part of the website, such as exploratory models of temples, archaeological sites, and museum objects, as well as other means such as a regular update on new discoveries.