Background to the project

JISCcolour15Funded by the JISC (within the eContent Programme) Visualising China builds on recent digitisation work undertaken by the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Bristol culminating in the presence of a large, growing collection of historical photographs of China. Approximately 15,000 digital images were created in total, an increasing number of which are searchable and browsable at http://chp.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr, covering a date range of 1870 to 1950.

Illustration of the Research Environment this project will create.Illustration of the Research Environment this project will create.

Our project proposal described how we would enhance this collection by building on sophisticated visualisation Web software from the JISC-funded STARS project. We are harvesting image metadata to a Bristol-hosted database searchable by STARS software and extend STARS technology to support image annotation (it currently implements resource and video annotation) and also cross-searching in a Web 2.0 context to seamlessly integrate related content from Google Scholar, Google Books and Google Images among other valuable third party resources to include Virtual Shanghai and Queen’s University Belfast’s Hart Digital Image Gallery.

With China an increasingly significant superpower in the current economic climate, Mandarin growing at Secondary and primary level and Chinese History entering A level and GCSE syllabuses there is nonetheless a lack of resources relating to this period. This project aims to expand the Bristol collection and cross-search with related China collections in an extensible, social software context thus offering a major and authoritative open access resource to support research, teaching and learning.

More About the Funder and the eContent Programme 2009-11

With a UK investment of £2.1 million JISC has funded the eContent programme of work which will not only create more digital content, but also to help sustain and deliver existing content in a more effective way.

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