Behind the Scenes

Ancient History Encyclopedia & Partnership



Ancient History Encyclopedia Announces Partnership with

New collaboration expands online educational resources about the ancient world

LONDON — Ancient History Encyclopedia, a nonprofit, digital humanities website focused on ancient history, today announced that they have begun a strategic content sharing agreement with the Chickasaw Nation Video Network. The collaborative agreement will make digital content on, the official video network of the Chickasaw Nation, available to Ancient History Encyclopedia readers. is the first video network to provide Ancient History Encyclopedia with educational multimedia content about the ancient Native American civilizations of North America and the history of the Chickasaw people. This collaboration coincides with the recent addition of videos to the Ancient History Encyclopedia website, and’s contribution has played a significant role in unveiling this new feature.

Since launching in 2009, over 7 million people have visited the Ancient History Encyclopedia website. The content on Ancient History Encyclopedia has made it a trusted research and homework tool for students worldwide and is progressively being integrated into educator lesson plans. According to the latest data, teachers and students are increasingly relying on video content to demonstrate relationships between historical events. In 2013, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization, Project Tomorrow, conducted a survey of over 400,000 students, teachers and librarians, parents, district administrators and community members from over 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts across the United States. According to the recently released survey, 46 percent of teachers use videos in the classroom, over one-third of students access online videos to assist with their homework, and 23 percent of students are accessing videos created by their teachers.

“Adding video to Ancient History Encyclopedia was the next logical step for us,” said Jan van der Crabben, CEO & founder of Ancient History Encyclopedia. “Over a third of our website visitors are students, and by adding video we can reach and educate more students. We want to provide free, helpful content for all learning styles, and video is becoming more and more important for the internet generation.”

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AHE’s Memorandum of Understanding with EAGLE Portal


Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) is pleased to announce that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the EAGLE Portal, which will entail active collaboration and content exchange between the two organizations.

EAGLE, the Europeana network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy, is a best-practice network (BPN), co-funded through the ICT-Policy Support Programme of the European Commission, which aims to create a new online archive for ancient epigraphy in Europe. As a part of the multilingual, prestigious Europeana Network, EAGLE will link and connect — using Linked Open Data (LOD) — thousands of inscriptions, photos of inscriptions, and related contextual items from European museums, libraries, archives, and multimedia collections into a single, readily-searchable platform from millions of digitized items. The project will make the vast majority of surviving inscriptions from the Greco-Roman world available for study or enjoyment. Additionally, EAGLE intends to build tools which can make the user experience dynamic and engaging. Read more…

AHE Partners with for Content Curation

Ancient History Encyclopedia LogoTheneeds.com_orange copy

Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) is partnering with in order to connect with a virtual audience keen on accessing curated media pertaining to the ancient world via the web and mobile devices.

Launched in 2013, Theneeds is the fastest growing content discovery platform. Theneeds offers users a place to discover, vote on and share the best news, articles, videos, social posts, and more, tailored to their specific interests. Based in San Francisco, CA, Theneeds brings users a personalized web and iPhone app experience, and its underlying technology constantly learns from user’s activity to get smarter and more relevant over time. Read more…

NuSphere Sponsorship

by Jan van der Crabben June 10, 2014 Behind the Scenes 0 Comments

logo-nusphereThe kind folks at NuSphere are now sponsoring us! They have provided our programming team with the latest version of their flagship product PhpED. This is going to help us greatly in programming our website and adding new features, so that our readers can enjoy an ever improving free ancient history website. Thank you very much!

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Collaboration with Past Preservers

Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) will be collaborating on future projects with Past Preservers, enlarging the creative hub between the media, heritage organizations and academic institutions. AHE’s global reach will increase public attention to archaeology, documentary programming, and educational research.

Founded by archaeologists Nigel J. Hetherington and Kelly Krause in 2005, Past Preservers provides a creative space between the heritage and media worlds. They have established a production consulting team with the sole purpose of producing quality history-based, non-fiction programming by focusing on the creative aspect of each project including concept development, production, historical consulting and casting of experts and presenters. Their projects include work for major networks, such as History Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel and Al-Jazeera International. At the heart of their operation are over 1400 heritage professionals from over twenty countries including archaeologists, historians, Egyptologists, classicists, conservationists, forensic biologists, anthropologists, authors, and heritage specialists. Read more…

AHE is now on Pinterest!

pinterest_logoAncient History Encyclopedia is now on Pinterest!  Pinterest is a fine addition to our existing social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. With over 270K social media followers, AHE has a sizable and influential social media presence, and our numbers will only continue to grow. Pinterest provides AHE a new audience, and we feel strongly that Pinterest redefines the way in which people find and access information through multimedia.

Pinterest is a visual discovery and social media tool, which individuals can use to find ideas for personal projects and interests. Pinterest users can browse, upload, save, and manage images –known as “pins– and other media content through collections known as “pinboards.” Not surprisingly, Pinterest is  the first social media platform to bring a “curated vibe” to its user experience.

Please be sure to follow our Pinterest account and share our pins! We look forward to interacting with you there.

Ancient History Encyclopedia in 2013

Old TimeThe new year is here (at least in many parts of the world). This is, as usual, a good time to look back and examine what we’ve achieved, but also a time to look forward. We would like to share our thoughts on the past and future of Ancient History Encyclopedia with you.


The last year has been excellent for Ancient History Encyclopedia. We’ve had our best year ever since we launched in 2009. A whopping 2.6 million people visited our site, viewing 5.6 million pages. In the last few months of the year, we had almost 500,000 people visiting the site every month! Almost 200,000 history enthusiasts follow us on Facebook and tens of thousands more on Twitter and Google Plus.

Those are absolutely stunning numbers! Let’s put that into perspective…  Encyclopedia Britannica sold 120,000 copies in its best year (that was in 1990). Most history magazines have far fewer monthly readers than we do:

Compare that to our 500,000 per month! It’s incredible to know that this little website is reaching more people every month than most top publications do. Our interpretation: We’re doing something right.

We saw huge growth in September 2013, when Google switched to its “Hummingbird” search algorithm: They changed the way they rank pages, putting higher priority on pages with high-quality unique content… which was very good for us.

For 2014, we expect this growth to continue. We’re less likely to see another boost like in September, but we’ve seen a steady growth (of around 3% per month) in the previous years, and we expect that this will remain the same or increase slightly.


Almost every week we hear feedback from students around the world that our site has helped them learn about ancient history, complete their projects, or allow them to complete their homework. Many teachers use our site as set reading for class. More than ever before, Ancient History Encyclopedia is being used as an educational tool.

For 2014, we want to focus more on education. We’re analyzing textbooks and school curricula to make sure we deliver more of the content that teachers and students really need. We also want to create classroom materials for teachers, which contain selected texts, quizzes, and activities.

For this, we also need your help! If you’re a teacher, please write to us to let us know what you really need. Send us suggestions… we’re usually rather quick to act upon them.


We’re now nearing the 1,000 definitions + articles mark (we’re at 934 today). Of course we expect that number to increase, even more so than in all the years before. We’ve got more authors joining our ranks and our editorial team has nearly doubled last year, and we’re receiving more and more revenue from donations and advertising.

That money doesn’t go into anyone’s pockets: We use all revenue to produce more content! In 2013, we spent £1,251 on history source books for our authors, which they used to create a vast number of new definitions and articles. Without books, our volunteer authors have to rely on their private libraries, which are of course limited.

Thanks to our generous donors (thank you so much!) and ad-clicking visitors, we hope that in 2014 we will be able to purchase even more books for even more authors, producing much more new, unique, and high-quality content than before.


The primary goal of our non-profit company is to provide free ancient history information on our website, for students, teachers, and enthusiasts all over the world. We’re proud to be an Open Education Resource that is recommended by the European Commission and listed in the OER Commons. We’re always going to be a free online resource for the world — this is our mission.

We also want to explore other ways to bring out content to new readers, however. We’ve just finished creating an eBook on Ancient and Classical Greece (due to be published soon), which will be distributed to libraries across the world and also sold to the general public. We hope to publish at least one more eBook in 2014, and if we can make it work, possibly also publish a printed book. We’ve also repeatedly been asked to create a mobile app for offline reading, which is something we expect to do in 2014.

All revenue generated from the sales of books and apps will go towards creating more free content, of course!

Thank You

We hope that you will continue to enjoy Ancient History Encyclopedia, and that you’re pleased with what we’re doing. A special thanks goes out to our donors and sponsors, who are making this website possible. And we thank all those readers who have written to us with feedback, suggestions, and corrections. Please continue to do so!

All the best for 2014!

Jan van der Crabben, Founder & Director

AHE Listed as an “Indispensable Resource” for Online Academic Research

OnlinePhDPrograms225x300We are excited to announce that the Ancient History Encyclopedia has been listed as one of 105 Indispensable Resources for Online Research by

Academic research is at the heart of any masters or doctoral program of study. While in-depth research was once confined to reference libraries and organizations with access to copies of academic journals, much of the work of original research can now be done virtually. Major repositories of academic research — like JSTOR and LexisNexis — can be searched comprehensively online, and even Google has an easy-to-use scholarly search engine. Online libraries, journals, databases, and academic search engines are great resources for graduate students, as well as people at any level of education who are conducing research projects. is dedicated to helping future doctoral candidates find the right program that meets their needs, desires, and goals. Their site offers helpful blog posts, articles, and a wealth of other information that can answer your questions about doctoral programs. We thank them for their inclusion of AHE in their list!

Tsohost is sponsoring us!

by Jan van der Crabben July 03, 2013 Behind the Scenes 0 Comments

Tsohost.Logo.PrimaryToday we are happy to announce that we are being sponsored by Tsohost, the company that has been hosting Ancient History Encyclopedia for several years now. This is great news as it not only saves us money, but above all it means that we can improve our service to you, with faster and better hosting.

We initially chose Tsohost because they had been recommended to us, and we were not disappointed! Of course there are cheaper hosting providers around, but Tsohost really convinced us with their service. They have advised us on what hosting solution is right for us, helped us move our site (which was not that easy because it is a custom-built content management system), and they have actively supported us ever since. Every problem was resolved in a few hours, and even the founder himself sometimes answers our support tickets.

We are extremely happy to have arrived at this cooperation. There are many free hosting solutions around… but instead of being anonymous and without any support, we much prefer being with our friendly, local hosting provider (they are only 70 km away from us). One of our strong beliefs is that trust can only be built when a company has a face, and Tsohost shares this philosophy.

Mr. Seb de Lemos, Director at Tsohost, told us: “At Tsohost we are delighted to sponsor with out hosting technology and services. We a
re strong supporters of non-for-profit organisations and appreciate the efforts these organisations go through to get information online for the benefit of us all. As a historian myself, I believe Ancient History Encyclopedia’s aim to provide ‘the best ancient history information on the internet for free is a great vision and we look forward to continuing supporting their cause.”

Thank you, dear Tsohost, for sponsoring us!