Merle Greene Robertson Maya Rubbings Collection
The Merle Greene Robertson Maya Rubbings Collection provides digital images of almost 2,000 rubbings of carved monuments and architecture of the ancient Maya. The Latin American Library (LAL) of Tulane University is the repository for this corpus of original ink on rice paper rubbings of Maya relief sculpture and carved hieroglyphic texts created by Merle Greene Robertson (MGR). Produced over a 40-year long career, Merle Greene Robertson’s rubbings record and preserve ancient Maya monument and architectural art and hieroglyphic texts that were being lost at an alarming rate through systematic pillaging, the ravages of the tropical environment, and natural disasters.
Merle always intended that the images of her Maya rubbings, drawings, and photographs be accessible to the global community of scholars, students, descendent communities, and interested members of the public. The Merle Greene Robertson Maya Rubbings digital collection is created with that goal in mind. Digitizing this vast body of visual works is a long-term process. The first set of images to populate the collection consist of rubbings and line drawings made of Classic-period monuments from settlements in the western and central Maya lowlands. These include the sites of Palenque, Caracol, Copán, Tikal, Naranjo, and Yaxchilan. Moreover, images from this digital collection will form part of a larger corpus compiled online within the Classic Maya Text Repository (CMTR) (http://hieroglyphicresearch.org/cmtr.htm).
Imaging work by contract photographer, Jason Kruppa, and metadata work by Research Associate, Ashley Burke, completed in 2021 for the Merle Greene Robertson Maya Rubbings digital collection was funded by a Dan C. Hazen Fellowship from SALALM (Seminar for the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials). Additional metadata work completed in 2022 by Dr. Gabrielle Vail and Research Associate, Holly Maxwell, was funded by Florida Institute for Hieroglyphic Research (FIHR). The Classic Maya Text Repository Project was funded by a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant (HAA-268887-20) from the National Endowment for the Humanities and two Adopt-a-Character grants from the Unicode Consortium (AAC-Mayan-2019 and -21). Work on Maya hieroglyphs for a related project, completed in association with the Script Encoding Initiative, received support from NEH grant PR‐253360‐17 and PR-268710-20 through the Universal Scripts Project at UC Berkeley.
Acknowledgments and thanks to all who participated in Phase 1 work: Howard-Tilton Digital Production Group (Jeffrey Rubin, Elizabeth White, Sean Knowlton, Madeleine Wieand, Riley Marsh, and their team of student workers), Project Assistant, Diego Matadamas, and student worker, Diego Hernández.
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