Welcome to the Early China Website, the internet home of the Society for the Study of Early China (SSEC), hosted by the University of Chicago Library. The overall mission of this site is to foster scholarly exchange and communication among all people interested in the culture and civilization of China from earliest times down to and including the period of the Han dynasty (A.D. 220). We hope that the site will be more than just a place to publicize the activities and publications of the SSEC, but that it can be a home to various types of research projects small and large that are more suitable to online rather than traditional print publication. We also hope to publicize the news, events, and scholarly activities and interests of people in the field, much as the Society’s newsletter, Early China News, once did before it ceased publication in 1998.
This site is divided into five major sections: Research and Resources, News and Events, SSEC, Publications, and Links. Brief descriptions of each section are provided on the homepage. You can quickly jump to any major section by using the navigation bar at the top, right of each page. The Early China Website is fully searchable using the provided search facility, also accessible from the same navigation bar. Some pages include material written in Chinese, for which users may wish to consult the guide to the proper display of Chinese characters.
The Early China Website originated at Lehigh University under the direction of David Pankenier, then the editor of Early China News. Many of the pages on the current website are directly related to those developed by Dr. Pankenier, to whom the SSEC is indebted for his efforts to give Early China its initial presence on the web. In 1999, with the help of Dr. Pankenier and Humanities Computing Services at the University of Chicago, the Early China Website was transferred, essentially intact, to the University of Chicago. The site has grown gradually since then, mostly through the addition of material from successive volumes of Early China. Much of this content was supplied in a usable digitized form by David Goodrich of Birdtrack Press, who has continued to devote a great deal of time and effort to converting material from the journal to a format that can be easily posted online.
The current expansion and retooling of the Early China Website began in 2000 with a generous grant through the University of Chicago’s Provost’s Program for Academic Technology Innovation. The grant provided funds for equipment and for the hiring of student research assistants, as well as technological guidance and avenues of communication with various resources at the University that could help us to implement our plan for a thoroughly revamped website. The most crucial of these contacts was the Digital Library Development Center at the University of Chicago Library, which has generously and patiently guided us through every stage of the project. Without their assistance which included designing the visual layout of the entire site, offering extensive guidance on the best way to convert material for online presentation, and even providing training in HTML and web design to student research assistants this project could not have come to fruition.
While the Digital Library Development Center has provided the technological assistance to make the Early China Website possible, it is now up to the SSEC membership to contribute the content that will make the Early China Website a valuable resource for this field. For a start, we encourage members to supply their contact information and research interests to facilitate communication among members of the Society. Additionally, we hope that members will consider the Early China Website as a potential avenue of publication and presentation for research notes on works in progress, abstracts of secondary scholarship, conference reports, bibliographies, etc, especially when the format of data, e.g. a database, or the necessity of frequent of updates makes print publication impractical. Help make the Early China Website a useful resource. If you have something that you’d like to contribute, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Webmaster, Yuri Pines at pinesy at mscc.huji.ac.il. Before submitting, please review the submission guidelines.
The Early China Website is not responsible for the content of the linked sites.
Last Updated: 9/29/11