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New Database "Early Chinese Periodicals Online”

Aug 12, 2016

The database with the name “Early Chinese Periodicals Online” created by the Cluster´s area “Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA)”, the Heidelberg Digital Humanities Unit and Taiwan’s Academia Sinica was launched on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. It was officially presented during the conference “Researching History in an age of digitization” at Academia Sinica.

The database “Early Chinese Periodicals Online” (ECPO) assembles several important digital collections of the early Chinese press and makes them available to scholarly communities around the world. It is distinguished from all other existing databases of Chinese periodicals, because it provides image scans and preserves materials often excluded in reprint, microfilm or digital editions, such as advertising inserts and illustrations. In addition, it offers metadata in both English and Chinese, including keywords and biographical information on editors, authors and individuals. Using ECPO, researcher will be able to nuance, challenge, and potentially refute existing narratives of history and cultural change.

The ECPO project focuses on undervalued materials like women’s and entertainment magazines. It offers several databases on early women’s periodicals and entertainment publishing. “Chinese Women’s Magazines in the Late Qing and Early Republican Period” (WoMag), initiated by Joan Judge and Barbara Mittler, is one of them. “Chinese Entertainment Newspapers” (Xiaobao), supported by the Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context” and various databases hosted through the Academia Sinica in Taiwan can be found there as well.

ECPO has been developed over six years and was created by the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA), the Heidelberg Digital Humanities Unit and in collaboration with Taiwan’s Academia Sinica. The project team, sustained by an international team of researchers in Canada, Europe, Asia and the United States, includes the Cluster members Barbara Mittler (Director of the Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context"), Sun Liying (Assistant Professor, Institute of Chinese Studies) and Matthias Arnold (HRA). The database was launched at the conference “Researching History in an age of digitization” supported by Chiang Ching Kuo Foundation, which took place at the Academia Sinica on Wednesday, August 10, 2016.

Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA), located at the Cluster “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, is a collaboration of IT scientists, software developers, database architects, academically trained professionals in e-learning as well as IT support staff. HRA is in charge of developing metadata frameworks and in offering IT support for the Karl Jaspers Centre.

Please visit the project website for further information.



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  • Screenshot taken from ECPO project website