About this site (stoa.org)

Origins and history

The Stoa Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities was created in 1997 by Ross Scaife, Professor of Classics at the University of Kentucky. Scaife edited the Stoa until his death in 2008. He created the Stoa to serve several purposes: dissemination of news and announcements, mainly via the gateway blog; discussion of best practices via discussion groups and white papers; and publication of experimental on-line projects, many of them subject to scholarly peer review. Open Access to networked scholarship was a bedrock principle for the Stoa and the projects it hosted.

Projects at the Stoa were often linked closely to materials and tools available from the Perseus Digital Library based at Tufts University, and some of them were created in XML and SGML and published using a copy of the Perseus "Hopper" software package.

Funding for operations at the Stoa came from a variety of sources over the years, including an initial FIPSE grant from the U.S. Department of Education, shares of NEH and NSF grants, funds from the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC, and local support at the University of Kentucky from the Center for Computational Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences. To all these benefactors, and to the many friends who have lent their expertise on an ad hoc basis, we are most grateful.

Preserving the legacy: 2008-

Following Scaife's death in 2008, Mark Lauersdorf and Jonathan Milby at the University of Kentucky's Collaboratory for Research in Computing for Humanities maintained the Stoa server for over a decade in order to ensure the continued availability to scholars and students of its content, as well as a home for projects still in progress. In 2019, when this arrangement became untenable, a group of friends of the Stoa (both extramural and at UKY) banded together to ensure the long-term availability of its content. The following changes were put in place at that time.

A new home for the Stoa blog

Well prior to 2008, Scaife had expanded the mission of the Stoa blog to include service as the official blog of the Digital Classicist, a site based originally at King’s College London and edited principally by Gabriel Bodard. Since 2008, the blog continued to be active, jointly maintained by a consortium of scholars in Classics and Digital Humanities. In the summer of 2019, Bodard arranged for its rehosting on a server operated by the Institute of Classical Studies at the University of London. A new URI (https://blog.stoa.org) was created for this purpose, and HTTP redirects were put in place to bring users to the rehosted copies of individual posts.

Archiving and rehosting

At Duke University's Digital Classics Collaboratory (DC3), Ryan Baumann undertook to ensure that at least one snapshot of every page on the Stoa had been submitted to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine for long-term preservation. This archival copy may be browsed starting at https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.stoa.org/.

In order to keep as many Stoa URIs from going stale as possible, Tom Elliott (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU), undertook to establish a new, primary server for the domain and to work with original project authors and others to rehost static versions of the Stoa content. This is an on-going effort, and the status of individual projects is provided on the new home page.