Internet Guide for Chinese Studies Newsletter
11 Aug 2005, reviewed by Matthias Arnold

New in IGCS - Digital full-text resources (

Digital Research Library (DRL): Modern China Studies

Ed./Corp.: East Asian Library/Digital Research Library, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Language: English, Chinese (GB).

Self description: "[...] Since the digitization of selected monographs was a pilot project by the University of Pittsburgh's Digital Research Library, only 36 titles (37 volumes with approximately 10,500 pages) published before 1955 were selected from the East Asian Library (EAL). The goal of this pilot project is to enhance the access to these rare and unique primary documents and reference books for both researchers and librarians. The titles cover two categories: primary sources and reference tools. The subject areas range from politics, economy and law to history, education and literature. Primary sources are divided by subject: history (4), law (2), literature (1), political science (4) and social sciences (8). Reference tools are arranged by type: bibliography (1), chronology (1), directory (1), handbooks (2), statistics (7) and yearbooks (5)." 

Description: Although limited to 36 titles, this digitizing project can serve as an exemplary model in terms of metadata, image quality, and project documentation. The available texts "about Modern China published in the first half of the twentieth century" are listed on a single "Texts" page, each linking to an information page with a detailed bibliographic description and a table of contents. Each item of this table is linked to the corresponding page image of the text. The main shortcoming of the whole project is that all texts are available as images only, there is no fulltext. Texts are displayed within an embedded application called "Pageviewer", that allows to view the page as image (small, normal, or large) or as pdf-file (requiring Adobe Acrobat plugin). One can also jump to a specific page; an overview list of all text-pages (numbers or thumbnails) is not available. It is recommended to view the files as pdf because that allows for easy zooming in/out the page. Unfortunately, this is not the default option, but once set to "view page as pdf" it will not change within the current text. There is no "full screen" option; to display a full page on the screen one has to zoom out in pdf mode, or to print the page. The "About" section offers insight into the concepts and process of digitization, a section explaining why each individual text was chosen for digitization is missing. 

Site contents: (1) Home; (2) Selection; (3) Texts; (4) About; (5) Copyright; (6) Help; (7) Contact Us.

With kind regards,

Hanno E. Lecher



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