Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln



Donald J. Waters

Date of this Version


Document Type



International Journal on Digital Libraries


"published on an open access basis by the International Journal on Digital Libraries"


This article advances the thesis that three decades of investments by national and international funders, combined with those of scholars, technologists, librarians, archivists, and their institutions, have resulted in a digital infrastructure in the humanities that is now capable of supporting end-to-end research workflows. The article refers to key developments in the epigraphy and paleography of the premodern period. It draws primarily on work in classical studies but also highlights related work in the adjacent disciplines of Egyptology, ancient Near East studies, and medieval studies. The argument makes a case that much has been achieved but it does not declare “mission accomplished.” The capabilities of the infrastructure remain unevenly distributed within and across disciplines, institutions, and regions. Moreover, the components, including the links between steps in the workflow, are generally far from user-friendly and seamless in operation. Because further refinements and additional capacities are still much needed, the article concludes with a discussion of key priorities for future work.