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Food Studies Online

Thanks to the generosity of the Faculty of Humanities which approved the ‘Asian Food’ collection budget last year, Leiden University Libraries will have access to “Food Studies Online“, a large database with a wealth of materials and sources related to food studies.

Food Studies Online contains rare and hard-to-find archival content: cookbooks, menus, recipe books, marketing pamphlets, posters and secondary sources. Videos include documentaries (for example [see filmstill], the documentary “A Taste of China” from the early 1980s), interview series and vintage commercials.
The food ephemera collection has over 5,000 pages of ephemeral materials from the turn of the century through the 1960s, made up of educational pamphlets from food production companies as well as food labels, food advertisements, and recipe books.

The larger part of the materials contained in this database are kept at the Schlesinger Library, at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute, which is renowned for its extensive collections on food (i.e. 20,000 cookbooks and the manuscripts of Julia Child).
Alexander Street’s Food Studies Online provides researchers rich archival content, visual ephemera, monographs, and videos that explore how food shapes the world around us. Food studies is a relatively new field of study, but its importance is felt in many major disciplines. It has social, historical, economic, cultural, religious, and political implications that reach far beyond what is consumed at the dinner table.

Picture credit above: hand-pulling noodles in a 1981 Shandong province restaurant kitchen. Filmstill from ‘A TASTE OF CHINA, Part 1: Masters of the Wok‘, 4:28

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November 10, 2016 at 9:14 am Leave a comment

Digital Dictionary of Buddhism 電子佛教辭典

Buddhist temple, Chengde, ChinaThe Digital Dictionary of Buddhism 電子佛教辭典 or DDB is a large portal with a compilation of Buddhist terms, texts, temples, schools, persons and more, found in Buddhist canonical sources.
Started out as a basic glossary of Buddhist terms for translation purposes, it has grown into a very useful source for both beginners as well as for professional scholars.

The main focus of the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism is an extensive dictionary, which can be searched in Chinese or by English, Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan terms; or by texts, persons, temples, schools, places and names of dieties. (more…)

November 24, 2015 at 9:36 am Leave a comment

Global Commodities

The Global Commodities database provides a vast range of visual, manuscript and printed materials, sourced from over twenty key libraries and more than a dozen companies and trade organisations worldwide. These original sources will help scholars to explore the history of fifteen major commodities from about 1500 and to examine the ways that these have changed the world.

The commodities explored in this resource are: coffee, tea, chocolate, cotton, fur, opium, oil, porcelain, silver and gold, spices, sugar, timber, tobacco, wheat, wine and spirits. The content of Global Commodities comprises mainly primary sources providing high quality visual materials, descriptions, diaries, shipping manifests, travel logs, and much more. (more…)

August 23, 2015 at 9:56 am Leave a comment

Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies

Since 2014, Leiden University Libraries are hosting a ‘Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies‘. This resource center, established by an official agreement between the National Central Library in Taiwan (NCL) and the Leiden University Libraries (UBL) signed in 2014, will be the platform for Taiwan to promote and share both Taiwan and China studies with the faculty, scholars and students of Leiden University. The agreement, aimed to strenghten academic ties, resulted in a generous donation of books on all kinds of subjects relating to Chinese studies, and provides access to a wealth of digital Chinese resources.

The TRCCS book collection (here’s the list) which is continuously updated, can be found on dedicated bookshelves inside the East Asian Library Reading Room. All books are available for browsing and borrowing. Apart from printed works, staff and students of Leiden University have access to many electronic databases, hosted by the National Central Library in Taipei.

Here are two important ones:

  • Linking Publishing ebooks collection 聯經電子書 Lianjing dianzi shu:
    A collection of 270 ebooks on various topics including history, literature, economy, and arts and lifestyle. Although downloading these PDFs is not possible, all ebooks can be read from the screen. Access from within the University campus.

For a full list of available databases go to the TRCCS website and browse the ‘Resources’ section. There are a lot of interesting databases, of which below a small selection :

  • Rare Books and Special Collections 古籍與特藏文獻資源. Integrated search box for all following collections:
    • Union Catalog of Rare Books Database 中文古籍聯合目錄 | National Central Library’s rare books catalogue.
    • Digital Images 古籍影像檢索. Tick the box saying 是否有影像 on the search screen, then click”瀏覽影像” top left to view scanned books from the NCL, the Library of Congress, the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, and others.
    • Genealogy Catalogue 臺灣家譜聯合目錄 | Search through the genealogy catalogues of 11 Taiwanese libraries and institutions.
    • Collection of Rubbings from Metal and Stone 金石拓片資料 | Scanned collection of almost 4,000 Chinese rubbings and epitaphs. Click on the image to view full screen or to print.

The most important of these databases will in due time be added to the Database list for Chinastudies in the library catalogue.

July 7, 2015 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

Database of Chinese classic ancient books 中國基本古籍庫

The Database of Chinese classic ancient books 中國基本古籍庫 is the largest database of pre-20th century texts covering all fields of knowledge. It has in recent years become a standard reference for anyone working on pre-twentieth-century China, due to its vast scope and the good quality of the editions it includes.

This 中國基本古籍庫 Zhongguo jiben guji ku database currently includes 10,000 titles in 12,500 editions from the pre-Qin period through to the Republican period. All texts are provided in full text and image format, allowing for a direct comparison both between digitized text and original text image, and in some cases between different editions of the text. (more…)

March 2, 2015 at 11:26 am Leave a comment

Chinese local gazetteers 中國方志庫


The Chinese local gazetteers 中國方志庫 database (by Airusheng/ Erudition) is a large collection of more than 4000 (in future 10,000) geographical works known as ‘gazetteers’, dating from the Han dynasty until the Republican era.

There are gazetteers grouped by jurisdiction, i.e. at national and comprehensive levels (總志; 一統志), as well as at provincial levels (省 sheng), town levels (府 fu, 州 zhou) and district (xian 縣) levels; other gazetteers are on temples, mountains, rivers and border regions. Airusheng is expected to add more gazetteers in the years to come.

All texts are provided in full text and image format, allowing for a direct comparison both between digitized text and original text image. The database is fully searchable and available to all staff and students from the university as well as from home with ULCN login. (more…)

February 3, 2015 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

Japan Chronicle

The English-language Japan Chronicle Weekly (1902–1940) was founded and based in Kobe, a port city that saw enormous expansion during the Chronicle’s lifetime. Edited by representative figures in this treaty port, the Chronicle provides a unique perspective not only on the settler communities in Japan and East Asia, but also to the historical development of East Asia as it happened.

As the Chronicle is an English-language newspaper edited and printed in Japan, the Chronicle is a valuable primary resource for students and scholars on modern history unable to work with Japanese language materials. The Japan Chronicle Online resource now offers the years 1919 – 1941. The remaining years 1902 – 1919 will be made available within the coming year.

Access this source both from the university as from home, using your ULCN login.

December 16, 2014 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

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this blog is set up by Alice de Jong, former subject librarian of sinology at the East Asian Library, part of the Asian Library
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