26/zář/2014 – Táňa DluhošováVeřejná přednáška

Přednáška v Olomouci III: Prof. Hsiang Jieh, 22. října, 2014


Prof. Hsiang Jieh (Research Center for Digital Humanities and Department of Computer Science, National Taiwan University)

Reindexing the Chinese Recorder Index

Místo: Trida Svobody 26, Olomouc, Místnost 3.40

Čas: 11:30–13:00



Chinese Recorder (CR) is a monthly English journal published by Protestant missionaries in China between 1867 and 1941.  During those seventy four years, CR recorded events took place in China through the eyes of the missionaries, from the various wars with foreign powers to the founding of the republic to the beginning of the Pacific War.  Being based in China and written by the missionaries for their fellow missionaries, CR presents a view of China unlike the others of that tumultuous yet exciting era.  Although one cannot say that CR is not biased, at least it is biased in its unique way.

With 73 volumes and over 50,000 pages of material, CR is no doubt a treasure trove for researchers of modern Chinese history.  However, its sheer volume also made using CR a daunting task.  In 1986 Kathleen Lodwick published the 2-volume The Chinese Recorder Index: a Guide to Christian Missions in Asia, 1867 – 1941 (CRI).  CRI is more than an index.  It consists of 3 indexes and 6 special lists (of Persons by Affiliation, Persons by Location, List of Women, etc).  The indexes also contain tags that indicate the nature of the locators.  CRI made CR much easier to utilize for scholarly research.

There is a great wealth of information hidden in the tags.  For example, if a certain page appears in a person name entry A, and if that page also appears in another person name entry B under an ART (article) tag, then we know that A appears in an article written by B.  Using the same page number to check all entries, we can find all person names, locations, missions, subjects, etc that appear in the same article.  If the same page appears in a Subject Index entry indicating a certain event, then we may even “guess” what the article is about without reading the article itself.

As another example, the ATT (attacks) tag tells how many attacks of missions and missionaries had been reported in CR, who were attacked, in what years they occurred and where.  This information should be invaluable to someone studying the attitude of the Chinese society towards Christianity when it was re-introduced to China in the late 19th century.  However, since “attack” is not an entry by itself, this information is scattered all over CRI.  One has to pore through the 13,000 entries to collect every relevant bit of information.

In this talk we present CRISE (CRI Search Engine), a system that incorporates the 3 indexes of CRI into one uniform framework, under which they are fully integrated and cross referenced.  CRISE allows the user to discover relations and information implicitly embedded among the entries in the indexes and, thus, provides a more global view of CR.  The methodology that we have developed is also applicable to any index with a similar structure.  This has the potential of unleashing the tremendous wealth of knowledge hidden in the man-made book indexes accumulated over the past hundreds of years.

Tato přednáška je sponzorovaná projektem CHINET, který je financován Evropským strukturálním fondem a rozpočtem ČR.