This website describes the Pliny project which is no longer being developed. I'd like to think, however, that it can be usefully consulted for historical purposes. (John Bradley, 2017)

1. Welcome

Welcome to the Pliny project homepage. The Pliny project aims to promote some thinking that looks broadly at the provision of tools to support scholarship. One of its products is a piece of software, also called Pliny, which facilities note-taking and annotation -- a key element of Humanities research for many scholars. It attempts to go further than this, however, by providing a set of facilities allowing its user to integrate these initial notes into a representation of an evolving personal interpretation -- perhaps one of the key goals of scholarly research.

  • You can read a little more about what Pliny is about here.
  • You can download a copy of Pliny to try out yourself from here.

There is still more about Pliny on the Screenshots page, and a more detailed description of what has motivated Pliny's development on the page Pliny: What and Why?.

Pliny is and will continue to be free software, publicly available. It is open-source; all the code written as a part of the Pliny project is freely available via SourceForge.

If you'd like to comment on Pliny, please get in touch with me at my email address

New developments

  • An email discussion list for Pliny users is now available: This list is hosted by SourceForge, and you can join it by visiting page (March, 2010)
  • Version 1.1.0 of Pliny is now available for the Macintosh and Windows machine, or as a set of Eclipse plugins. There are a number of new features -- including a new title search mechanism in the Resource Explorer, some enhancements for setting the types of Pliny reference objects more easily, support for more image-PDF document types (due to the upgrade to a new version of the JPedal PDF viewer), a performance speedup due to some internal restructuring, and several other new features. (October 2009)
  • Pliny was one of the projects awarded some funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation MATC 2008 competition! The money has made it possible to explore some of what I call Pliny's second agenda. To see what that is and what was done, please visit the site of Pliny's subproject on the Pliny Workspace, and WordHoard. I'd like to thank the Mellon Foundation for running the MATC competition, and the judges who found Pliny interesting enough to allot it some funds! (December 2008)

Building Tools on Pliny

Although Pliny is a tool that could be useful in itself, it also represents a model of how computing tools could be built for the humanities. It uses the plugin model proposed and developed for Eclipse that allows independant tool developers to construct tools that can interact with each other in sophisticated ways. I believe that this model, although of course not proposed originally with the humanities computing tool builder in mind, provides some significant benefits both for the tool builder and tool user. The page Building Tools on Pliny talks a little more about this in terms suitable for a software developer, and provides references to facilities to help a programmer get started doing this.


Pliny's development has been made possible by the provision of leave time for me in the academic year 2005-6 so that I could focus on Pliny's development. I am much indebted to Harold Short (director of CCH) and King's College London (KCL) for making this possible. Furthermore, in 2008 the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded KCL one of its MATC awards to Pliny. The money provided made it possible for more work to be done on Pliny. I wish to thank the Mellon Foundation for making this possible.

John Bradley
Center for Computing in the Humanities
King's College London