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Transcultural Image Database
Transcultural Image Database
Coordination: Matthias Arnold
The Image Database is a stable environment for storing and annotating images hosted by the Heidelberg University Library. Metadata can be added via a webinterface which also includes access to controlled vocabulary from the German Subject Headings Authority file (SWD). Images can be made visible/editable to different users or user groups based on a fine grained authentication system. The images are deposited in a dedicated storage system, including professional backup infrastructure, maintained by the Heidelberg University ITC department.
The Image Database offers basic and advanced search functionalities, as well as basic tools for grouping and presenting images (i.e. for use in class). The system is unicode-based, so metadata can also include non-western script (i.e. Chinese or Hindi). The search function is able to find non-western terms. There is a detailed user manual available as well as a guideline to edit metadata and templates for recording data more efficiently.
The MediaLab was set up as part of the HRA infrastructure within the Karl-Jaspers-Center at Voßstraße 2. It is located in room 005c, ground-floor, right wing. It provides three workstations with A3 flatbed scanners and a broad range of software, e.g. for image editing and OCR. All three workstations have to be booked in advance, as demand usually is high. To do so please use our reservation calendars in the intranet.
The team operating the MediaLab can be approached either directly in rooms 005b and 005c or contacted per mail at email@example.com or per telephone extension 4094.
Beside providing workstations at KJC and rental equipment -like cameras- the team offers advice to cluster projects on all matters related to visual material and digitisation to help you get as much as possible out of your material: From brainstorming sessions, conceptualisation of databases and planning metadata input to workshops on digitisation. They can also train you and your project staff with hard- and software and provide a number of guidelines and tutorials.
For more information please go to the MediaLab pages in the intranet (login required).
HRA8 Chinese Women's Magazines
Chinese Women's Magazines in the Late Qing and Early Republican Period
Coordination: Barbara Mittler
This HRA database is linked to a collaborative project funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the German Humboldt Foundation. The primary objective of the project is to restore complexity to early-twentieth-century Chinese history by liberating that history from its own reductive discourses on the failings of tradition and the promise of modernity. Our instrument and object of investigation is the popular press, a new medium that dominated the contemporary print market and became one of the prime sites for the dissemination of knowledge and the production of culture. In particular, our focus is on four seminal women's or gendered journals—a key genre of the popular media—published between 1904 and 1937. They include Nüzi shijie (女子世界, Women’s World, 1904-7), Funü shibao (婦女時報, The Women’s Eastern Times, 1911-17), Funü zazhi (婦女雜誌, The Ladies’ Journal, 1915-31), and Linglong (玲瓏, Elegance, 1931-37).
Historicizing and contextualizing this new medium, our methodological approach to these materials combines “horizontal” and “vertical” readings of the journals. Horizontal readings restore integrity and materiality to the popular press by approximating the ways journals were read in their own day, not as repositories of disembodied and disconnected articles, images, and advertisements but as organic, physical texts embedded within specific cultural contexts. Vertical readings historicize the contents of the popular press over the first three decades of the twentieth century as the medium shifted from more intellectual, politically driven journalism, to increasingly commercialized, market-driven journalism. We trace across journals and over time the emergence of new topics such as hygiene, new social categories such as the “new woman,” and new genres such as free-verse poetry. We are, however, particularly attentive to the persistence of established cultural forms, and to the myriad ways new concepts and narrative devices merged with and recycled the old.
The database is central to the achievement of the project’s intellectual and methodological aims. Comprehensive in scope, it provides richly graphic scans of or links to digitized versions of the four journals that are the focus of our study, together with comprehensive metadata on the content of the journals—including discursive essays, photographs, advertisements, fiction, and poetry—and on their editors, journalists, and contributors.
Current, with Cluster funding and external funding.
HRA11 Chinese Entertainment Newspapers
Chinese Entertainment Newspapers
Coordination: Catherine Vance Yeh
This database project focuses on a special type of newspaper known as the xiaobao or entertainment newspaper. It first appeared in China in the 1890s and was inspired by Western entertainment tabloids. The center of publication was Shanghai, and from the time of its creation, it became one of the most popular media for the daily publication of entertainment news, serialized fiction, short stories, social and political commentary, and cartoon drawing. While little studied, its impact on the formation of popular culture and of urban lifestyle for the first half of the 20th century has been all-pervasive.
Current, with external funding.
HRA 14 Chinese Comics
The focus of our current digitization process is on comics from the second half of the Cultural Revolution and immediately thereafter, the heyday of comic production in the xiaorenshu format which, throughout the 1980s, stayed largely resistant to alternative international models and assimilates very little from the internationalized comic worlds surrounding it.
By providing metadata not just on the contents and artists, but also on the artistic styles of these comics, our database has the purpose of making available Chinese comics as one important genre of Chinese popular culture which needs to be better understood both in terms of its artistic practices and its audience reception as a paradigmatic example for the making of Chinese popular culture which in spite or because of being propaganda art is both manufactured from above and appreciated from below.
Current, with external funding.
Evaluating an innovative image annotation tool
The project "HyperImage – Bildorientierte e-Science-Netzwerke", funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) 2006-2009, has been developed by teams at the Leuphana Universität Lüneburg and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. HyperImage is an innovative tool that allows to link and annotate parts of images and to present the result online. The tool was tested by a number of Pilot projects at different German and Swiss Universities, who gave feedback to the programmers. As a result, a public version of HyperImage was developed which is now available as Open Source Software.
The HRA project "HyperEvaluation" exterted deliberative efforts to systematically evaluate the software and formulated a specific proposal about the strategic development of the tool for research use. An important outcome is the development and implementation of an interface to the easy-db software (e.g. used for the HeidICON image database), which allows to access material within the database from external systems, e.g. the HRA metadata framework.
Originally designed as a software-development-project GeoTWAIN grew to become a combination of research, software-development and interdisciplinary teaching in order to maximise sustainability of the GeoTWAIN-project.
In our research cluster on transculturality many projects deal with georeferenced data. Our tool GeoTwain works on visualisation techniques for such data. It is the aim of GeoTwain to provide easy visualization of 4-D-information based on Google Earth and to grasp spatial relationships embedded in historical evidence to analyse, recombine and disaggregate geo-referenced historical data without having to use more specialized and highly complex GIS Tools. Envisioned visualization with GeoTwain allows for fast and efficient assessment of georeferencing’s analytical potential in any given case; it also allows the user to carefully weigh further investments in data enrichment in relation to expected findings. Both the development and application of GeoTwain are embedded in our broader research environment infrastructure, the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA).
HRA10 Turkology Annual Online
"Turkologischer Anzeiger" / Turkology Annual Online
The “Turkologischer Anzeiger/Turkology Annual” (TA), founded by Andreas Tietze (†) and György Hazai, is an indispensable systematic bibliography for Turkology and Ottoman Studies. Experts from all over the world contribute to its compilation, which is funded by several institutions including the UNESCO. The volumes edited by the Department of Oriental Studies of the University of Vienna have until now only appeared in printed form.
The project digitized the first 26 published volumes at the Cluster's MediaLab and produced quality fulltext-versions using the Abbyy FineReaderTM software. Team members from the Department of Computational Linguistics analysed and parsed the data into a database. Finally, a web-site was established to provide an online "re-published" version of the resource with new and efficient search functionality. It is planned to add the entries of volume 27-28 (2010), which was published after the project started.