International digital library of artifacts inscribed with cuneiform writing

The mission of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) is to collect, preserve and make available images, text and metadata of all artifacts inscribed with the cuneiform script. It is the sole project with this mission and we estimate that our 334,000 catalogue entries cover some two-thirds of all sources in collections around the world. Our data are available publicly at and our audiences comprise primarily scholars and students, but with growing numbers of informal learners.

At the heart of cdli is a group of developers, language scientists, machine learning engineers, and cuneiform specialists who develop software infrastructure to process and analyze curated data. To this effect, we are actively developing two projects: Framework Update and Machine Translation and Automated Analysis of Cuneiform Languages As part of these projects we are building a natural language processing platform to empower specialists of ancient languages for undertaking automated annotation and translation of Sumerian language texts thus enabling data driven study of languages, culture, history, economy and politics of the ancient Near Eastern civilizations. As part of this platform we are focusing on data standardization using Linked Open Data to foster best practices in data exchange and integration with other digital humanities and computational philology projects.

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  • python
  • mariadb
  • rdf
  • php
  • nltk


  • Data and Databases
  • natural language processing
  • machine translation
  • information retrieval
  • linguistics
  • semantic web
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Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative 2018 Projects

  • Sameer Sengar
    Granular Temporal Data Management
    The Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) aims to collect, maintain and make available images, text, and metadata of all artifacts inscribed...
  • Bakhtiyar Syed
    Towards building the first Semantic Role Labeling system for Sumerian
    Semantic role labeling (SRL) is a task in Natural Language Processing which helps in detecting the semantic arguments of the predicate/s of a...