Local Gazetteers Research Tools

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG)

  • Sean Wang, Organiser
  • Dagmar Schäfer, Chair
  • Shih-Pei Chen
  • Calvin Yeh

Since 2013, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) has been conducting research on Chinese local gazetteers by transforming printed materials into a scholarly, enhanced database for new forms of digital historical analysis. Central to this effort is the development of the Local Gazetteers Research Tools (LoGaRT). LoGaRT is a suite of digital tools developed to transform texts in Chinese local gazetteers into structured data, to systematically explore and annotate images and illustrations, to perform historical and literary analyses at different scales, and to visualise research results. These digital features enable scholars to ask new research questions at a scale that were difficult to address previously.

This proposed EACS session will be an interactive workshop, and attendees should bring their laptops with Google Chrome installed. We will (1) introduce LoGaRT and the research program on Chinese local gazetteers at MPIWG; (2) explain a digital methodology for generating structured historical datasets for research; and (3) provide a low-stress space for a hands-on exploration of LoGaRT and its features. Specifically, attendees will get a chance to try conducting both text- and image-focused research on local gazetteers within LoGaRT. By the end of the workshop, the attendees will have gained an understanding of the philosophy and methodology behind LoGaRT and a foundation for further exploration, as well as the ability to generalise the digital methodology behind LoGaRT for researching large collections of textual or image sources.

Special requirements: Reliable Wi-Fi connections and power outlets; the maximum number of attendees is as many as the Wi-Fi network could reliably handle.