Nautical Archaeology Digital Library

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The Nautical Archaeology Digital Library (NADL) project is a collaborative effort of researchers at Texas A&M University's Center for the Study of Digital Libraries (CSDL) and the Nautical Archaeology Program (NAP) at Texas A&M University. We are developing a digital library of artifacts and information gathered in the domain of Nautical Archaeology and will use the library to further the discipline. The project will draw its materials from the extensive archives collected at the NAP during field studies over the past 32 years.

A major component of the project is to gather information on the texts, dictionaries, compiled notes, and treatises on shipbuilding in existence, and share it in an easy and organized manner on the NAPWiki, both for quick searches and more in-depth studies. Many of these texts are difficult to access, handle, copy, and understand. More information can be found on the Treatises page of the NAPWiki.

Although a small number of texts about shipbuilding dating to the early and mid-15th century have survived in Italy, it was not until the late 16th century that writing about the building, rigging, and handling of oceangoing ships seems to have become fashionable among scholars and intellectuals.

The specific goal of the project is to design, implement, and evaluate a framework that will:

A. efficiently catalog, store, and manage treatises, artifacts, and ship remains along with their associated data and information produced by an underwater archeological excavation

B. integrate heterogeneous data sources from different media to facilitate research work and handle uncertainty in data and structure

C. incorporate historic sources to help in the study of current artifacts

D. develop visualization tools to help researchers manipulate, observe, study, and analyze artifacts and their relationships

E. develop algorithm and visualization based mechanisms for ship reconstruction, i.e., to determine where recovered pieces and fragments fit in a whole.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0534314. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.1


Monroy, C., Parks, N., Furuta, R., and Castro, F., “The Nautical Archaeology Digital Library,” in Gonzalo et al. (Eds.), European Conference on Digital Libraries 2006 LNCS 4172 :544-547, Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 2006.
Monroy, C., Furuta, R., and Castro, F., "A Multilingual Approach to Technical Manuscripts: 16th and 17th-century Portuguese Shipbuilding Treatises," ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, Vancouver, BC, Canada (2007) :413-414.
Monroy, C., Furuta, R., and Castro F., "Ancient Technical Manuscripts: the Case of 17th-century Portuguese Shipbuilding Treatises." Digital Humanities 2007 Conference. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, June 4-7, 2007.
Monroy, C., Furuta, R., and Castro F., "Texts, Illustrations, and Physical Objects: The Case of Ancient Shipbuilding Treatises." 11th European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries ECDL, Budapest, Hungary, 2007.
Monroy, C., Furuta, R., and Castro F., “Ask Not What Your Text Can do For You. Ask What You Can do For Your Text (a Dictionary’s perspective)” Digital Humanities 2009, College Park: University of Maryland, 2009.
Santos, T., Fonseca, N. and Castro, F. "Naval Architecture Applied to the Reconstruction of an Early XVII Century Portuguese Nau", in Marine Technology, (October 2007), 44.4 :254-267.

This work was also supported by Dr. and Mrs. Peter Amaral, Mr. Mauro Bondioli, Mr. Lars Bruzelius, and the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation at Texas A&M University (CMAC).

Link to the NADL

1. Nautical Archaeology Digital Library "About NADL"

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