Furman History professor Lane Harris has released an 8,500-page electronic database, Translations of the Peking Gazette Online, through Brill as part of a digital humanities project. The database includes English-language renderings of official edicts and memorials from the Qing dynasty that cover China’s long 19th century from the Macartney Mission in 1793 to the abdication of the last emperor in 1912.
A description by Brill says, “The Gazette helps us understand the policies and attitudes of the emperors, the ideas and perspectives of the officials, and the mentality and worldviews of several hundred million Han, Mongol, Manchu, Muslim, and Tibetan subjects of the Great Qing Empire.” Part of Brill’s Primary Sources Collection, the database is important for readers who want to understand the interplay of complex political themes, social movements and cultural ideas in late imperial China, note publishers at Brill.
For the project, Harris was assisted by Elaina Griffith of Furman University Libraries. He also credits the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland for permission to reproduce the translations by John Francis Davis; the British Library for permission to include portions of their copy of The Cycle: A Political and Literary Review; and the Center for Research Libraries for their assistance in acquiring microfilm versions of the North China Herald, the Canton Register, and the China Mail.
Harris, who joined the Furman faculty in 2009, is Director of the South Carolina Center for Teaching About Asia (SCCTA), and Vice-President of the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies.