Academic Information | Professor Yao Baihui: Search and Utilization of Archives-Foreign Language Database of World History Research: A Survey Based on Domestic Collections

2020-07-10 | By Historian | Filed in: World.

On July 8, 2020, at the invitation of the School of History of Wuhan University, Professor Yao Baihui, Vice President of the School of History of Capital Normal University, gave the second lecture in a series of lectures on “Archives Search and Utilization Course”, “Foreign Language Database for World History Research: A Survey Based on Domestic Collections”. The lecture was presided over by Professor Xu Youzhen from the School of History of Wuhan University and broadcast live simultaneously on Tencent Conference and Bilibili website. Teachers and students from many universities in China participated in the activity, with more than 10,000 people watching the lecture.

At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Yao explained the topic of the lecture, explaining such important issues as “why do you want to speak foreign language databases” and “what is the research based on domestic collections”. Digitalization of information is the changing trend of contemporary information. In this case, it is necessary to understand the collection of digital information-database. However, the foreign language databases of domestic libraries are incomplete and not fully understood by researchers, so it is necessary to carry out unified research.

Next, Professor Yao introduced in detail the number and distribution of foreign language databases in world history in China. According to the investigation, there are about 1140 kinds of foreign language databases in world history in China. However, due to the large number and scattered distribution of databases, the investigation is not accurate. According to different classification methods, Professor Yao divided these databases into different categories, such as commercial databases and free databases in terms of usage costs. From the publishing type, it can be divided into books, periodicals, archives, etc. In terms of disciplines, it can be divided into historical geography, other disciplines and comprehensive categories. In the specific operation, cross-content will be handled according to the methods of “front and back”, “ability to be specialized” and “content orientation”.

Professor Yao also talked about the key points that need to be paid attention to when using the database. First of all, users need to name and characterize the database. Due to various reasons, the name of the database may be modified artificially. Researchers need to know not only the current name of the database, but also the historical name of the database. In addition, because the databases collected by different libraries may have different names and contents, and the names cannot fully reveal the contents, researchers still need to determine the nature and scope of the databases. Secondly, when studying a specific topic, a thematic database can be established according to the Guide to Foreign Language Databases for World History Studies. Finally, in the process of use, it is necessary to examine and argue the contents of the database, compare the authority of different database contents, and understand the relationship between the contents of different databases and the entity paper.

After the lecture, Professor Yao interacted with his classmates for half an hour, answering questions about the citation of database data, database search, and the use of the Guide to Foreign Language Databases for World History Studies.

This article is reprinted from the public number: Luojia Historiography

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