Yale will be home to a new digital humanities project for the study of the Chinese textual tradition, supported by a three-year, $430,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Spearheaded by principal investigators Tina Lu and Mick Hunter of Yale’s Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, with technical development provided by the Yale Digital Collections Center, the Ten Thousand Rooms Project aims to build a collaborative online platform for the study of pre-modern Chinese sources. The first two years will focus on technical development, while the third year will establish an international community of users committed to making the Chinese textual heritage more accessible to a wider audience.
Named after a poem by noted eighth-century lyric poet Du Fu, the Ten Thousand Rooms platform will allow users to upload images of sources and organize projects around their transcription, translation, and/or annotation. The project will serve both as a workspace for crowdsourcing core textual research and as a publishing venue for scholarly contributions that are less well suited to conventional book formats.
“The Mellon grant is making an innovative scholarly idea possible for us,” says Lu, a professor of East Asian languages and literatures and chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. “There are all sorts of texts that, because of their length or complexity or impenetrability, are just too difficult for a scholar to tackle single-handedly, let alone try to squeeze into a conventional journal article or monograph,” notes Hunter, assistant professor of East Asian languages and literatures. “Tina and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be it great if instead of published books of translations we could have ongoing, dynamic translations of the texts that we are all interested in studying?’”
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