Over the last couple of months, I have become aware of another individual who, quietly, and without any fanfare, is making a real difference to ancient history online. Her name is Carole Raddato, and she writes the Following Hadrian blog.
What she is doing is travelling all over the Roman Empire, and photographing its material remains. The results appear on Flickr here.
She’s going into museums, and photographing exhibits, and placing them online. In quantity: there are over 14,000 photographs in that Flickr collection. And at very high quality: far, far better than anything we see in published literature.
I became aware of her work, while working on the Mithras site. Again and again I found that a striking, clear, good quality image would be … by Carole Raddato. It might be in Wikimedia Commons (a site that takes a pretty casual attitude to copyrights of others); more usually on her own Flickr feed.
Again and again I would look for some artefact in some museum and then find … Miss Raddato had visited that museum and made a collection of photographs, all now freely online.
The path she is following – that of the Emperor Hadrian in his travels about the empire – is taking her to the major sites and repositories of the ancient and modern world. The result is this marvellous collection of material.
A lot of people put holiday photos online. They are of variable quality. But I don’t know of anybody else who is undertaking such a herculean task, and doing so in a way that is of permanent value.
We are all in your debt, Madam. May your camera flash never grow dim!