Digital Media: Life-Changing Online. Creative Section

The Multilingual Full-Text Database of Overseas Life-Writing on Modern Chinese People and the China Biographical Database


  • Rong Huang Peking University


Abstract  The Multilingual Full-Text Database of overseas life writing on Modern Chinese People (the Database) was launched by the Centre for life writing at shanghai Jiao Tong University (sJTU) in november 2011. all subjects in the Database are influential, representative, or exemplary Chinese people whose life materials are either published or preserved outside mainland China after 1898, the year generally considered to be the beginning of China’s Modern age. The Database aims to bring a prosopographical perspective to the transnational and transcultural experience shared by a rather large number of Chinese people in the previous century. by april 2018, the Database has listed more than 3,000 subjects and over 15,000 relevant resources.
The China Biographical Database (CBDB) is a large data aggregator and powerful content harbour co-developed by Harvard University, Academia Sinica, and Peking University. It is one of the oldest and biggest digital humanities projects focusing on China. In its latest data release in August 2017, CBDB contains biographical information about 417,000 Chinese individuals, mostly from the 7th century to the 19th century. Unlike many text-based databases, CBDB does not preserve primary life materials in the original textual sources. Rather, it mines texts from digital sources of reliable historical records and stores them in a relational database. 

Author Biography

Rong Huang, Peking University

Rong Huang is currently a postdoctoral fellow at The School of Health Humanities, Peking University, where she works on the intertwining between life writing and medical humanities. She holds an MA in English Language and Literature and a Ph.D. in Comparative and World Literature. Her research interests include autobiographical narratives, contemporary world literature in English, theories of the body, and media studies. She has published articles about life writing, world literature and new media. Email:    





Digital Media: Life-Changing Online. Creative Section