In early March 2019, UC Irvine Libraries was awarded a grant of nearly $36,000 to build a sustainable infrastructure for ongoing enrichment and enhancement of A Bilingual Dictionary of Ming Government Official Titles 明代職官中英辭典.
The online dictionary, developed under a highly collaborative crowd-translation project in 2017, was financially supported by Andrew Mellon Foundation and administratively coordinated by UC Irvine Libraries. Since the official open access release through eScholarship in late 2017, the dictionary received 7,260 visits and it has been downloaded 1,930 times, with a monthly average of 403 visits and 107 downloads. Our faculty collaborator, Harvard Professor Peter Bol, acknowledged the value of the dictionary as follows.
“(The dictionary) has made an important contribution to the infrastructure for the international study of Ming history. It is more extensive than the set of Ming official titles in Hucker’s dictionary. It provides the structure of the Ming bureaucracy. It provides consistent English translations.”
Despite the initial success, with limited time to develop the dictionary and minimal resources under the Andrew Mellon Foundation grant project, the dictionary may not be inclusive and error-free.
The newly awarded grant, from the Geiss Hsu Foundation, provides the resources to develop an automatic update mechanism for enhancing and enriching the dictionary. Specifically, as our continued commitment to the successful digital humanities project, an Application Programming Interface (API) will be implemented to connect the UC Irvine Libraries’ Crowd-Translation System to Ming Government Official Titles and Harvard’s China Biographical Database (CBDB). Any future updates of Ming Government Official Titles in one system will be synchronized in the other systems. Under the one-year project, Dr. Ying Zhang, the Principal Investigator, will work closely with UC Irvine Libraries’ IT team and Harvard’s China Biographical Database project team. A UCI programmer and a research assistant will work on the technical and content aspects respectively.
Please address any questions and feedback to Dr. Zhang, the Research Librarian for Asian Studies, at email@example.com or 949-824-0489.