PLEASE NOTE: An unannounced reconfiguration of the servers at Dartmouth has interrupted some elements of ECCP READER's functions. Users of the previous edition of the software will get an error message about socket time-out and be unable to use the device. If you are having this problem, please download the corrected module from the links below. Some functions of the software (apart from reading and saving files) have been interrupted, but will be corrected by a major revision of the software by the end of January, 2010. These revisions will include a major speed-up in the current processes for pinyin conversion of the text.

Part of the Qing Research Portal, Dartmouth College
click to enlarge
Screenshot of the ECCP reader, beta release, on a 12-inch Apple Powerbook desktop.
All students and researchers are welcome to download and use the updated beta release of the ECCP Reader.

The device is stable. It is undergoing minor improvements in function and appearence before being released as a second edition.

The database is undergoing a major re-edit and is growing weekly. Users can now choose between always using the current edits of the files, or downloading all files an databases for offline use.

The ECCP Reader is a fundamental component of the Qing Research Portal, as it allows users to consult not only the ECCP entries along with notes and commentary on the those entries by current scholars, but will also ultimately intersect with the channels for discussion and development of scholarly topics, criticism and bibliography that will be built into the portal devices. The additional channels, and the software that will allow scholars to expand the research portal information base, is in development.

To download and install the ECCP Reader:

select the link below that is appropriate to your operating system.

• download and expand the file.

• follow the instructions included for your operating system. OS X users will put the application into the Applications folder; Windows/Vista users will put the ECCP folder, containing the application, into the directory of their choice.

You may wish to create an alias (OS X) or a shortcut (Windows/Vista) of the application to place where you find convenient. If you use Windows/Vista, be sure to create the shortcut from the program and not from the folder in which it must rest.

The links:

OS X:

DISK IMAGE FILE

Windows:

ZIP COMPRESSED FILE

Linux:

ZIP COMPRESSED FILE

PLEASE NOTE: The ECCP Reader can also be built for OS 9 (without Chinese character support), and various flavors of BSD. Please write to us if you have a wish to use the device with an operating system other than Macintosh, Windows or Linux.


Click here if you wish to see a web-based presentation of ECCP READER

From the "about..." screen of the ECCP Reader:

Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period was originally published in 1943 by the United States Government Printing Office. The editor, Arthur W. Hummel, believed that American readers should have an authoritative reference source on the most significant figures of the Qing (Ch;'ing) era (1636-1912) in China.

Hummel's friend Hu Shih --then the Chinese intellectual best-known to Americans-- agreed to contribute an introduction to the book that placed the Qing philosopher Dai Zhen (Tai Chen) in a comparative global context. To create the content for the book, Hummel recruited a group of scholars from the United States, Europe and Taiwan. They included almost all the individuals who were or would become the most influential shapers of American graduate training in Chinese studies between about 1940 and 1980. Among them, the most substantial contribution was made by Dr. Tu Lien-che and Dr. Fang Chao-ying.

Hummel was a meticulous editor, and rewrote each entry many times to achieve the precise and elegant style for which the book is renowned. He and his assistant Marybelle Bouchard scrupulously checked the initial manuscripts for errors of spelling or grammar, and made sure that the style adhered to the strictest conventions of the Wade-Giles transliteration system. Their printer, in Maryland, knew nothing of Chinese, yet the book was to contain Chinese characters for names and selected terms. Dr. Tu created a master list of every occurrence of Chinese characters in the text. The characters were cast in Hongkong, again with multiple castings for any characters repeated in the book. After the cast characters were received, Dr. Tu numbered each character in its wooden frame, and the printer placed each into the typesetter, by hand, according to the lists and the numbered casts that Dr. Tu provided him. Despite this laborious and in some ways uncertain process, the original printing of ECCP is remarkably free of errors in comparison to contemporary scholarly publications.

Contrary to the book's title, ECCP was not limited to biographies of Chinese, but encompassed Manchus, Mongols, native peoples of the Northeast, and Europeans among the many figures of historical significance (or those considered to have been so in 1943) for the Qing empire. The entries all included invaluable pointers to original sources, and was supplemented by three indices, permitting researchers to efficiently locate references by personal name, book names, or subjects.

For decades ECCP was the first reference for the Qing period for both undergraduates and for researchers. The original printing was in two volumes, but most scholars are more familiar with the single volume reprint done by the Tun-huang (Caves) company of Taipei. Before Taiwan became a signatory of the international copyright laws, Caves was famous as the supplier of cheap reproductions of many excellent scholarly studies. Unfortunately, these books were printed on paper of high acidic content, which has now deteriorated so severely that most of these books cannot be used on a frequent basis. A more important factor in the decline of ECCP as a seminal reference work was the fact that its transliteration system, Wade-Giles, fell out of active use after 1979 and is now all but indecipherable to undergraduate readers. There is, finally, the problem that ECCP was never revised or updated, despite many reprintings. As a consequence, the critically important scholarship on the Qing period that appeared after 1943 is not included.

The purpose of the software device you are now reading is to provide access to ECCP in two media more permanent, more accessible, more flexible and more expandable than print. This work as been supported by Rosenwald Research Professorship, the Cheheyl Professorship, the Robert 1932 and Barbara Black Professorship at Dartmouth College, and the results are provided free of charge to all who can use and appreciate the enduring contributions of the authors and the editor of ECCP.

Software Design, Software Execution, and Content Editor: Pamela Kyle Crossley, Dartmouth College
Database Development: Jonathan Schlesinger, Harvard University
Editorial Assistance: Wei Yu Tan, Dartmouth College (Harvard University), Connie Lam (Dartmouth College)
Beta Testing: Connie Lam, Steven J. Ericson, Patricia Whitaker, Jonathan Schlesinger, Taylor Cornwall

We welcome comments, suggestions and corrections. Please write to us at:

qing_portal@dartmouth.edu

This project has been made possible by the Rosenwald Research Professorship, the Black Professorship, and the Cheheyl Professorship, Dartmouth College.