Library Ancient and Universal

Does there exist a project to assemble an online library of ancient written works intended to be complete? It sounds ridiculous, I know. But, if you start back far enough–say 3000 BCE–there is hardly anything to compile. And then the project can work forward until the project spreads out too much.

There are practical problems–images vs symbols and alphabets, fragmentary or derivative manuscripts, arguments over translation, historical translations versus modern ones, organization by region or language, but they have all been worked over by traditional publishers. The result would look like a cross proto-Project Gutenberg / Wiki.

If anyone tries this (assuming I just haven’t heard of it), I fear one of the most frustrating issues would be copyright. Museums forbidding the taking or use of images of the rare manuscripts or tablets or whatnot that they control.

It seems that most of the ancient manuscripts are described are referenced in fragments in medieval studies books and rare manuscripts. I hear about this stuff by third hand descriptions rather than by to links to online reference copies.

Update: Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG)

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