Ming Government Official Titles: A Crowd-Translation Project

University of California

Funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation under the Innovation Grant of the Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL), the crowd-translation project aims to develop a comprehensive Chinese-English dictionary of Ming government official titles. To do so, we, a team of Chinese studies librarians, devise this online crowd-translation system, which allows Ming scholars around the world to contribute English translations of Ming official titles that have not yet been translated by Charles Hucker in his Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China. Through this system, registered Ming scholars would be able to form a collaborative virtual community where they could not only submit translations, but also review and comment on translations by their peers, suggest potential translators, and more.

Ming government official titles currently in the system come from two sources: automatic text mining from the China Biographical Database (CBDB) group, and manual extraction by the librarian team from primary sources, such as Ming Shi. We sincerely invite and encourage Ming scholars around the world to make contributions to this project, which could benefit generations of Ming studies. Their contributions will be recognized on the list of contributors, and in Bilingual Dictionary of Ming Government Official Titles.

The bilingual dictionary will be made available in e-Scholarship, the University of California’s institutional repository, for open access by the end of July 2017. It will also be used to enhance the infrastructure of China Biographical Database (CBDB).

Further information available here: https://mingofficialtitles.lib.uci.edu/#/

A flyer is available here: Ming Government Official Titles Project

Please note that while the official funding period has concluded, the project remains ongoing.

A presentation regarding this project was delivered at the recent CSAA conference by Susan Xue, Head, Information and Public Services, C.V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley.