As part of the ENP-China project, the Biographical Dictionary of Occupied China (hereafter BDOC) aims to fill one of the main gaps in the studies of the Japanese occupation of China (1937-1945). Indeed, there is no specific biographical dictionary on the subject, whether in Chinese, Japanese or Western languages. Although it does not claim to be exhaustive — far from it! — the BDOC is designed to help understand the Japanese occupation state in China through the multiple biographical trajectories of its actors. The number of entries (currently 170) will increase in the years to come. Initially published in French, they will eventually be translated into English. In addition to internal references to the BDOC, each entry contains hyperlinks to other online dictionaries, such as the Biographical Dictionary of the International Labor Movement (known as “the Maitron”), the Biographical Dictionary of Republican China (known as “the Boorman”, abbr. BDRC) and the Historical Dictionary of Japan. Each entry ends with a list of the sources on which it is based. The complete references are listed in the “Sources” tab. Photographs are taken from WYW and online sources which can be accessed with a click. For other sources, a caption is provided.
The website represents an interactive and searchable database encompassing travel narratives found within the biographies of Chinese Buddhist monks and nuns, spanning from the fifth to the seventeenth century CE.
There are several distinct ways to access the information stored within this repository:
"Events": This feature allows users to identify and peruse travel narratives using various filters, such as person, location, book title, dynasty, and motivations and outcomes of the journeys.
"Maps": This functionality enables users to locate every place visited by Buddhist monks and nuns, identifying their points of departure and arrival, as well as tracing their travel routes. This is facilitated through three different types of maps and corresponding filters, including person, location, book title, dynasty, and motivations and outcomes of the journeys.
"Search": This option enables users to read comprehensive biographies of itinerant monks online and conduct keyword searches.
This open-access database aims to provide a platform for students, teachers, researchers, artists, and curators to exchange critical ideas about diverse Southeast Asian cultures.
The website features a table that lists intellectual, critical, and creative works about different Southeast Asian contexts categorized according to author, medium, and field. It includes annotations about academic journals in the region. Lastly, the section ‘Archipelagic Juxtapositions’ explores emergent topics, which uncover possible connections among seemingly unrelated objects, conditions, and processes pertaining to myth, geopolitics, art, music, and the environment.
‘Doing Theory in Southeast Asia’ was supported by a Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund (GRF), together with a Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Faculty of Arts Direct Grant.
In 2022, the East Asia Department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin celebrates three important anniversaries: Christian Mentzel’s 400th birthday (first curator of our Sinica collection), the 100th anniversary of its founding, and 70 years of funding by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). To mark this occasion, we have launched a hybrid lecture series in June 2022: CrossAsia Talks. The lectures focus on objects from our collections in the broadest sense. Researchers and colleagues from Germany, Europe, Asia and the USA will talk about the earliest results of research on the first Chinese holdings in the Electoral Library, Southeast and Central Asian manuscripts, medical history texts and research results from cooperation projects between the East Asia Department and academia. They present innovative projects, techniques and ideas on how to work with our digitised collection and what future challenges look like.
We warmly welcome you to join the lectures online or offline in our library and look forward to seeing you there. Please find the recordings of past lectures as
On March 14-16, 2023, immediately prior to the Association for Asian Studies annual meeting in Boston, Harvard will host an international conference on the transition from print to digital tools, databases, and platforms in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Buddhist studies, sponsored by the several research institutes and libraries concerned with East Asia at Harvard.
The Conference will have plenary sessions, at which leaders of libraries and research centers in China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Europe, North America, and Buddhist studies will address their respective strategies for development and which we hope will spark comparisons and contrasts, mutual learning, and considerations of improving connectivity across national boundaries. There will be workshops which discuss new technologies and methods that are not language specific. There will be center presentations at which leading digital humanities/scholarship centers and libraries introduce the works they have created. Finally, there will be exemplary projects to introduce particular tools, platforms, databases, and platforms. For workshops and exemplary projects we expect to have a combination of invited presenters and a selection of those who respond to the call-for-presentations.
The Rationale for the Conference
The invention of printing extended the dissemination of tools to support research—dictionaries, bibliographies, atlases, text corpora, and more. One might say that the modern research library is the most important of all “tools.” Yet it dates only to the late nineteenth century in the US and later for East Asian Studies. The demand for new research tools began when the turn away from traditional training led to a need for new ways of discovering information beyond the texts. The Harvard-Yenching Institute Sinological Index Series (1931-50) of 64 titles ranging from the Confucian classics to Japanese scholarship of the 20th century was the first of these new research tools. Through the 1990s there were major investments of scholarly time in the creation of a variety of print tools to support modern scholarship and some began to be published digitally.
Today, the bulk of investment in tools for East Asian studies goes into the development of digital technologies and less and less goes into research tools in print. Mirroring these trends, usage at research libraries has become overwhelmingly digital. This conference begins from a recognition of the long history of research tool building and proceeds to ask how the advent of digital technologies is changing the nature of the tools themselves and user expectations. What are the changes in skill sets required for the developers of research tools to meet the shift from print to digital? What do digital technologies allow that print media did not? Does the low marginal cost of wide dissemination change publication strategies? Can political and linguistic barriers be overcome so that different databases and platforms can be productively linked together? What are the funding and institutional models necessary to sustain research tools in a digital environment? These are questions that concern us all.
The UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies is a non-profit organization dedicated to translating texts into English and Chinese from the shared heritage of Tibetan and Inner Asian Buddhist systems. All UMA's publications present English and Tibetan together for comparison. We distribute our translations free of charge across the internet.
UMA stands for "Union of the Modern and the Ancient" and also means "Middle Way" in Tibetan. Founded by Jeffrey Hopkins, renowned scholar and human-rights activist, the UMA Institute is unique in that most of our translators have worked together for decades. More importantly, all share a consistent vocabulary and produce translations in a uniform style.
The UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies was founded in Charlottesville, Virginia (USA) to support long-term translation efforts.