From 1929 to 1943, the researchers at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, made many extended trips to China’s southern, southwestern, and northeastern regions to conduct in-depth ethnological investigations. They collected and brought back large amounts of artifacts, documents, and field photographs, which they carefully preserved. The mission of this project is to convert these precious items into digital format for permanent preservation and wide application.
During our first “five-year period,” we have completed the digitalization of most of our collection, and created the portal website “Villages”, as well as a digital archive called the “Digital Archives of Minorities in Southwestern China”. Once we enter the second stage of this program, in addition to continuing with the previous period’s tasks of cataloguing books and scripts, summarizing and interpreting their contents, and finishing our website on southwestern China’s various ethnic minorities, we will expand several core projects based on what we already have—a webpage on the early researchers of China’s southwestern borders; a database of reference materials, and the ethnological investigation Geographic information system.These three projects will present the process of nationalization for ethnic minorities in contemporary southwestern China and the roles that IHP and its researchers played in the context of “people” ,“document” and “region”, respectively.We are positioning the portal website “Villages”, as a medium for communication and exchange for historical and anthropological research on China’s southwestern minorities. At the same time, through the simple and easy-to-understand contents of our webpage, we hope to popularize all of the latest knowledge and information that we have on ethnology, history, and culture.
Our team will revisit southwestern China by tracing the routes that the researchers of IHP took in those early days and gather first- and second-hand photographs, videos, and oral interview records. These newly-acquired materials increase the overall value of our collection, and show the changes in modern and contemporary history. Another important component of this program is the construction of an English version of our website, which will useful to globalize the website and its database, and promote international collaboration.
Writer：Professor: Ming-ke Wang