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Periodicals and Newspapers in Database Projects of the Heidelberg Research Architecture
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Periodicals and Newspapers in Database Projects of the Heidelberg Research Architecture

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This paper introduces resources on newspapers and magazines developed by the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA), the Digital Humanities unit of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”. Its focus will rest on the Early Chinese Periodicals Online (ECPO) project, a collaborative endeavor between Academia Sinica, Taipei, the Cluster project MC15 “Powers of the Press,” and the HRA. The technical core of ECPO is the development of a database of women’s magazines and entertainment newspapers.
This database combines and significantly expands two resources developed in the Cluster’s first funding period which represent two complementary methodological approaches: The “Xiaobao Entertainment Newspapers” database covers more than fifty newspapers and provides information from a macro perspective (“extensive approach”). It offers characteristic features of individual newspapers and illustrates these with a number of examples. The “Chinese Women’s Magazines” database approaches its material from a micro perspective (“intensive approach”). It covers four major publications and records and analyses every single item, including advertisements.
While both methods have their advantages, with the extensive analysis providing characteristic features of a larger set of publications, and the intensive analysis offering detailed information for individual magazines, their combination within one system will offer a powerful research framework for the study of Early Chinese Periodicals.


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    • 1. Periodicals and Newspapers in Projects of the Heidelberg Research Architecture Matthias Arnold Newspapers and Transculturality: New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers, 30. 1. 2014
    • 2. Agenda 1. The Heidelberg Research Architecture 2. Small-scale digitisation a. Tokyo Puck b. Abou Naddara Collection 3. Larger databases a. Xiaobao Entertainment Newspapers database b. Women‘s Magazines database c. Early Chinese Periodicals Online 4. Outlook / Wrap-up Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 2
    • 3. The Heidelberg Research Architecture Digital Humanities Unit at the Cluster of Excellence Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 3
    • 4. The Heidelberg Research Architecture Digital Humanities Unit Main expertise: General Digital Humanities consultancy for projects - Conceptual design for DH related tasks Digitisation, MediaLab - Workflows and documentation - Data migration Workshops and trainings - Participation in classes Project databases – Research analysis Development: Metadata Framework Tamboti Small team: 4.5 positions - 5 persons Functional requirements from the projects, Sustainability specs from DFG Webportal: http://hra.uni-hd.de Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 4
    • 5. Agenda 1. The Heidelberg Research Architecture 2. Small-scale digitisation a. Tokyo Puck b. Abou Naddara Collection 3. Larger databases a. Xiaobao Entertainment Newspapers database b. Women‘s Magazines database c. Early Chinese Periodicals Online 4. Outlook / Wrap-up Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 5
    • 6. Abou Naddara Collection Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 6
    • 7. „By-product“ of Eliane Ettmüller‘s Ph.D. thesis Discovery of unique original material, permission by heirs for online publication, collaboration B1 with HRA, additional Cluster funding Complete digitisation of James Sanua‘s newspapers 1878-1910 Ca. 2200 pages Image optimisation Collection of metadata: Excel for editing, transformed to MODS XML Website in Tamboti with individual design Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 7
    • 8. Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects
    • 9. Agenda 1. The Heidelberg Research Architecture 2. Small-scale digitisation a. Tokyo Puck b. Abou Naddara Collection 3. Larger databases a. Xiaobao Entertainment Newspapers database b. Women‘s Magazines database c. Early Chinese Periodicals Online 4. Outlook / Wrap-up Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 9
    • 10. Xiaobao Entertainment Newspapers Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 10
    • 11. Started by Prof. Yeh in conjunction with a class on Chinese entertainment newspapers Goal: introduce xiaobao as important primary source Provide a „profile“ for each newspaper: • What characterises its typical contents? • Who were the main contributors, founders, illustrators? • What kind of (serialised) literature, essays, reviews? • Which illustrations, phtographs, advertisements? Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 11
    • 12. Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 12
    • 13. Chinese Women‘s Magazines Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 13
    • 14. Research project Interdisciplinary research project „A New Approach to the Popular Press in China: Gender and Cultural Production, 19041937“ • History (Joan Judge, York University) • Cultural studies (Barbara Mittler, Heidelberg University) • Literature (Grace Fong, McGill University) • Literature (Michel Hockx, SOAS) • Art history (Julia Andrews, Ohio State University) • History (Christian Henriot, Lumière-Lyon 2 University) • Linguistics (Elisabeth Kaske, Carnegie Mellon University) Main Funding: SSHRC (Canada), Humboldt Foundation (Germany) Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 14
    • 15. Research project – Magazines Selection of four important women’s journals as research objects: Women’s World (Nüzi shijie, 女子世界, 1904-07) The Women’s Eastern Times (Funü shibao, 婦女時報, 1911-17) Ladies’ Journal (Funü zazhi, 婦女雜誌, 1915-31) Elegance (Linglong, 玲瓏, 1931-37) Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 15
    • 16. Methodology 1. Horizontal reading close reading of all material included in one issue 2. Vertical reading close reading of one particular theme over time 3. Integrated reading reading journals against other journals, within the same "family of journals" 4. Situated reading reading journals against other source materials cf. Joan Judge, Barbara Mittler and Michel Hockx ed., A Space of Their Own: Women and the Periodical Press in China's Long Twentieth Century, forthcoming (2014). Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 16
    • 17. Database Requirements: • Provide access to large amounts of metadata and images • Cross-reference individual items • Articles – Images – Advertisements (…and Agents) • Collaborative online editing platform • Research tool • Read/browse magazines online • Search analytical data (e.g. Keywords, genres) and metadata • Open access via website Conceptualization and implementation: Heidelberg Research Architecture Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 17
    • 18. Database - Features Important features • Read/browse all issues online, cover to cover (if pages available) • Every item on a page was recorded: articles, images, ads • Pages arranged in original order, incl. blank/missing pages • Records cover Chinese, Pinyin transcription, and English translation • Some records provide full textual contents (Chinese only), esp. advertisements • All types of agents were recorded with their roles: e.g. authors, photographers, organisations, translators, incl. mentionings • Search and filter functionality • Analytical and research data: keywords, genres, notes, together with magazine columns Access: http://womag.uni-hd.de Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 18
    • 19. DB Features - Horizontal reading Close reading of all material included in one issue Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 19
    • 20. Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 20
    • 21. DB Features - Vertical reading Close reading of one particular theme over time Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 21
    • 22. Early Chinese Periodicals Online Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 23
    • 23. Early Chinese Periodicals Online (ECPO) Collaborative project Academia Sinica - University of Heidelberg, with international research team (esp. York University, Toronto, and Boston University) Funded by Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, with additional support by Cluster of Excellence, University of Heidelberg Technically important: Combination of different material sets Combination of different databases Larger number of publications covered Larger number of editors Matthias Arnold | University of Heidelberg | The Chinese Women’s Magazines Database - An Introduction 24
    • 24. New challenges • Newspapers AND magazines within one DB-system • Extensive and Intensive recording of metadata in one DB • Integrated access to data from different existing databases • Three databases: ECPO – WoMag – Xiaobao • Expansion of database system • More distributed editors -> track changes • Mix of image-scans (1, 2, or 3 pages on one sheet) • Preparation and launch of ECPO Website for Academic research (large proportions as open access) • And: Always open for additional requirements from researchers Matthias Arnold | University of Heidelberg | The Chinese Women’s Magazines Database - An Introduction 25
    • 25. Early Chinese Periodicals Online Combines two very successful Cluster databases with Academia Sinica Taipei, funded by the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation
    • 26. Early Chinese Periodicals Online Combines two very successful Cluster databases with Academia Sinica Taipei, funded by the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation
    • 27. ECPO – The „three supporting columns“ ECPO SEARCH SEARCH SEARCH SEARCH WoMag Additional magazines (Jingbao, Funü Xiaobao xunkan, etc.) (intensive) (intensive & extensive) (extensive) Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 28
    • 28. ECPO – The „three supporting columns“ ECPO SEARCH SEARCH SEARCH SEARCH WoMag Additional magazines (Jingbao, Funü Xiaobao xunkan, etc.) (intensive) (intensive & extensive) (extensive) Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 29
    • 29. Outlook / Wrap-up Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 30
    • 30. From small-scale digitisation… Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 31
    • 31. …to larger international endeavors ECPO SEARCH SEARCH SEARCH SEARCH WoMag Additional magazines (Jingbao, Funü Xiaobao xunkan, etc.) (intensive) (intensive & extensive) (extensive) Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 32
    • 32. HRA – Partner for Co-operations HRA as possible co-operation partner for your project • From small-scale digitisation to fullfledged international collaborative research endeavors • Reasearch annotations (vs. fulltext) • Expansion of projects is possible, e.g. to add character recognition (OCR), textual markup (TEI XML), quantitative or qualitative analysis • Integration of project data within Tamboti for better access and sustainability • Interested? Contact us: hra@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 33
    • 33. „Feasible Links“ http://abou-naddara.uni-hd.de http://xiaobao.uni-hd.de http://womag.uni-hd.de http://hra.uni-hd.de http://tamboti.uni-hd.de hra@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de Workshop "New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers" | Matthias Arnold | Periodicals in HRA Projects 34