minor and major technological innovations have transformed the humanities
fields over the past several years, and perhaps nowhere has the
impact been more visible than in Asian Studies. Primary sources
- from rare versions of classical texts to 1930s Shanghai nightclub
music - that were once barely accessible to students overseas can
now be obtained on the web, and languages that were once laboriously
typeset by hand can now easily be read, designed and interpreted
through software. More important, the ability to keep up with the
news and make and maintain international contacts is something no
longer restricted to a small group of experts, but has become an
integral part of the learning experience for undergraduates and
graduate students alike.
Web research cannot replace the staples of language
training, travel, working with texts, reading scholarship, and writing
and discussing one’s findings with fellow students and researchers,
but it certainly can enhance them. The visual resources of web presentation
also allow us to exploit the pictorial wealth of certain kinds of
historical documents in ways that had not been possible before.
The materials in this section serve as a selective introduction
to both possibilities of the web for studying Chinese culture and
history. It offers a guide to web resources via annotated links
and a set of standalone tools and primary-source-based learning
modules (the Historian's Toolkit) that
will continue to expand as this site grows.