At present, there are lots of research centers around the world, such as those in Stanford University and University of South California. Digital Humanity has covered areas ,such as linguistics, literature, history, art and ethnology, and has obtained lots of remarkable achievements. As a country with long history and wonderful culture, China has an advanced humanity research. It will be interesting to know how the digital humanity develops in China, a country with lots of research topics in traditional humanity. In the following is a brief introduction to some current researches of digital humanity in China.
Compared to research of digital humanities in western countries, the scholars in mainland of China have relatively advanced application of computer and information technology. In the cross domain of GIS (geographic information system) and history, the Research Center on History and Geography in Fudan University started to cooperate with lots of institution abroad including the east Asia department in Harvard University, Harvard-Yenching Institute, Asian space data center in Griffith University and Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative(ECAI)since 2001. They co-built an information system of population geography in China. History College in Wuhan University used infrared scanning technology to recognize the unearthed the bamboo slips of Chu (ancient Chinese written on bamboo during period of Chu ,1042 B.C-223 B.C) and built a data base of bamboo slips of Chu dictionary. They also had a close cooperation with National Remote Sensing Lab in Wuhan University. Another examples are Nanjing Normal University and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Researches in Nanjing Normal University are making effort to found a platform of geographic information system about the family tree of Chinese nation. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences jointly developed comprehensive geographic information service platform with SuperMap Corporation at March of 2009.
In the study of ancient literature, the department of Chinese language and literature of Peking University developed an electronic retrieval system on poetry of the Tang Dynasty (618-690), which can intelligently analyze the rhythm of the ancient poems. Since 2004, China’s national digital library project has built several digital humanities data bases including real object of Jiagu langurage (inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty) and rubbings, Dunhuang treasure, books during period of the Republic of China and New Year pictures. The foundation of these digital data bases laid an excellent solid of China’s research and teaching of digital humanities.
Though Chinese researches in humanity have done lots of projects and developed quickly in digitalization of documents and resources of humanity. Most researches haven’t paid enough attention on new multidisciplinary area. The cross researches of humanity and computer are lack the support and direction of digital humanities, which limits the sustainable development digital humanity and revolutionary innovation of traditional humanity.
However, more and more attention is focused on this new concept. For example, on August 1st,2011, the first digital humanity research center was set in Wuhan University, which devotes to freeing researchers in humanity area out of the multifarious work of data collection and sorting so that they can be more efficient in their academic work. This center is based on the majors such as information management and integrates relative strengths of humanity and natural science within the whole university. It will focus on basic theory and method in digital humanity, relative technology and standard, platform of digital humanity and popularization within the campus. We have reasons to believe that digital humanity will play a much more important role in Chinese humanity research in near future.