CSA Ming Letters project

The China Biographical Database project (CBDB) has opened the beta version of its crowd-sourcing platform for identifying social associations. The CSA, Crowdsourcing System for Association Data, currently is devoted to Ming dynasty letters.

In collaboration with the Center for Chinese Studies 漢學研究中心, we are including all the letter titles found in all known literary collections for 1650 Ming dynasty writers. There are currently over 10000 letters listed, mainly from the mid-Ming; the remainder will appear as processed.

The purpose of the CSA platform is to enable scholars to find letter exchanges by author, recipient, or title and to contribute their knowledge about letter exchanges. The addressees of a minority of letters have already been done. The identifications will remain available on this platform and will be included in future releases of the China Biographical Database.

Our hope is that scholars working on individual historical figures will contribute such identifications as they can, to the benefit of all. CBDB has already identified recipients for over 7000 letters from the Song and Yuan periods.

    Register at the platform website: https://csa.cbdb.fas.harvard.edu:81
    You will find further guidance on using the platform, in English and Chinese, at:
    Chinese https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/files/cbdb/files/crowdsourcing_platform_cn.pdf

The Crowdsourcing System for Association Data was developed and is maintained by the CBDB open source community. We are currently using it to collect the social association data from letters in Ming Dynasty. However, it can be used for many kinds of social associations and it will be possible for users to upload a list to this system to create their own social association projects for any dynasty.