The academic year at the University of Warsaw has just begun. It is a good moment to offer a sneak peek of our database. Although a lot of work is still ahead of us, we can already pridely show how our tool will look like.
The main page welcomes the user with the up-to-date information about the content of the database. And, yes, we have already 446 presbyter records and 818 evidence records from 206 places in the Late Antique West! From the menu in the header, one can choose either to search the presbyter records or the evidence records (clicking on the button “enter database” in the middle will bring you to the evidence record search).
First, the evidence records. The panel on the right displays the records – with number and title offering a short summary of the content. The list of results can be sorted by ID and Chronology. In the left panel, you will find the search engine. The user will be able to type in the name of the author or the title of the specific work, to choose only legal or only narrative sources etc., but in the heart of our tool is the list of categories that allows to search the evidence on the various topics relating to the life and activity of the presbyters.
The search with the use of categories can be combined with the chronological and geographical searches. The user will be able also to confine his search to one type of source, or one language (the evidence in the database is mostly in Latin, but we have already records in Greek). There is also something for the lovers of Google: full-text search that allows finding a specific term in the titles of the records, source’s texts and their translations, as well as in the discussion fields.
In the evidence records the user will find source passages referring to presbyters – in the original language and in English translation. Below – discussions about the source and its contents and bibliography. If the evidence points to specific presbyters (whose names are known), in the panel “Categories” the user will find links to the presbyter records.
We deliberately decided to make the presbyter records less elaborate. They will not provide “prosopographical narration” but only general chronological and geographical information, and links to relevant evidence records. The presbyter records have their own search engine, so the user will be able to search a specific presbyter (e.g. by his name), or presbyters from a specific town or region. The search using the categories is also possible.
All of that, we hope, looks promising, and whet the appetite of our future users. As you can see the works are quite advanced, and every day there is more and more records in the database. Hopefully, we will soon announce the official launch (though the project runs until 2019).