The Past's Digital Presence, February 19-20, 2010


10 - Mapping History: "Buddhist Authority Databases"

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The nexus of Digital Humanities and Buddhist Studies presents a number of interesting challenges, and has already met with some notable successes. In this paper some of the challenges that we face are introduced, and some approaches and solutions which have proven beneficial in our work at Dharma Drum Buddhist College are discussed. Some general principles are outlined, which are applicable to all kinds of digital resources, and which are aimed at ensuring that our digital resources are as valuable as possible, for as long as possible. In particular it is argued that, as far as digital resources are concerned, the integrity of content and data should always take priority over modes of consumption, and that data structures and interfaces must be designed with inter-operability and integrability as a main concern. The Buddhist Authority Databases are introduced as an example of a project designed according to these principles which meets several specific needs in Buddhist studies. Finally, the /Gāosēng Zhuàn/ (高僧傳) GIS project is presented as a very brief case-study which demonstrates some of the many benefits of this approach.

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This Article is Open Access