The Future of Sino-Western Relations is in their Past.
The grant will support the expansion of the China Historical Christian Database (CHCD), a platform which provides users the tools to discover where every Christian church, school, hospital, lab, museum, orphanage, publishing house, and other important locations were situated in China. The expansion of this resource will document who worked inside those buildings, both foreign and Chinese. Collectively, this information creates spatial maps and generates global relational networks that reveal where, when, and how Western ideas, technologies, and practices entered China. Simultaneously, it uncovers how and through whom Chinese ideas, technologies, and practices moved West. This project will break new ground in providing quantifiable data about Sino-Western relations. The general public can interact with the data through an intuitive website, while advanced users can download the CHCD’s data for computational modes of analysis. The funds will be used to support undergraduate and graduate research assistants as they embark on a three-month data mining operation that will generate more than 100,000 new points of information, to dig deeper into collections and materials to find the people, places, organizations, and events that connected China and the West.