The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Preserving a key resource on the history of early Christianity

cult of saints project image

The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity database is making readily accessible and searchable the early evidence for the cult of Christian saints (up to around AD 700), with key texts presented in their original language, all with English translation and brief contextual commentary. Over 8000 records, including over a thousand images of original sources, are now available on the Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) platform.

Funded by the European Research Council, this project created a complex database with thousands of records, including a complex set of metadata. Researchers and users can search the project using key information like dates, locations, forms of worship, and other keywords.  

The project ended officially on 31 December 2018, but the process of uploading, checking, editing, and releasing entries continues. Keeping a complex and growing database online after the end of a project's grant-funded period is a significant challenge, requiring both project team time and technical resources.

The SDS platform provides a long-term home for the Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity that removes these concerns. Technical updates can be made centrally, without requiring ongoing IT support by project or faculty staff. Hosting costs are covered by the SDS service (via the Humanities Division) and the future of this research is ensured.

The future of the Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Working with Professor Bryan Ward-Perkins of the Faculty of History and the Cult of Saints technical team, we migrated the records from the Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity database onto the SDS platform.  

The team of academic researchers who have created, and continue to update, the Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity database, are able to use the SDS platform to make edits and additions for as long as it remains on the platform.

The legacy Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity site remains online while final improvements are made to the SDS platform's search functionality. Following final consultation with Professor Ward-Perkins and his team, the SDS team will complete the migration to the SDS platform as soon as identical functionality exists between the two databases.