Local Gazetteers (difangzhi 地方志) have been important sources for studying China’s local history, since they were the major recordkeeping places for local history and knowledge including landscape, flora and fauna, local products, temples and schools, officials and celebrities, local culture and customs, and much more. More importantly, the large quantity of extant local gazetteers and the consistency of topics that each of them covers make the gazetteers perfect sources to compile a global database of local records for historical China. The Local Gazetteers Project at MPIWG provides a set of digital tools that help historians to transform textual sources into a scholarly enhanced database as a means to support new forms of digital historical analysis especially for large scaled analysis and comparison.
This workshop invites nine scholars who work on the histories of science, technology, medicine, environment and deal with issues of local materiality to explore these rich research materials in their digital forms. The scholars will bring their individual research projects and will use the digital tools provided at MPIWG to collect and analyze data across the local gazetteers. The tools include a data extraction interface to quickly collect data from textual sources, a GIS mapping service to visualize data on historical maps, and a scholarly enhanced data repository to share and integrate individually collected data. Together the scholars and researchers at MPIWG will jointly develop innovative digital research methodologies through the use of digital sources and tools.
Aurelia Campbell, Boston College, Department of Fine Arts
Desmond Cheung, Portland State University, Department of History
Fei Huang, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Institute for Sinology and Korean Studies
Gregory Adam Scott, The University of Edinburgh, Asian Studies
He Bian, Princeton University, History and East Asian Studies
Hongsu Wang, Harvard University, the Insititute for Quantitative Social Science
Ian M. Miller, St. John's University, Department of History
Kathlene Baldanza, Pennsylvania State University, History and Asian Studies
Wu Huiyi, Needham Research Institute, Cambridge
On August 1st, the organisers Dagmar Schaefer and Shih-Pei Chen will introduce the digital tools built at Department III for the Chinese Local Gazetteers. The nine invited scholars will also present the research projects that they will work on during the workshop. On August 19th they will present results of using the provided digital tools in pursue of their research.