Serica Project

Between October 2011 and September 2015, Mr Nicholas Coulson and the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation sponsored me to conduct a four-year project to progress the work of cataloguing and digitising the Bodleian Library's pre-modern Chinese holdings and other materials considered to be "special". It was known as the Serica Project, and its website was designed to give an overview of the extent and nature of these resources, and to present the bibliographic data in a way that is readily comprehensible to Chinese readers.

Specimen pages (書影) of many of the editions were provided (following the model of comparable sites in China and Japan), as well as links to those works that have been digitised.

In the autumn of 2021, the Bodleian Library suspended the updating of the database without a word of explanation either to me, the donors, or the wider academic community. Consequently, its version of the site is now out of date, contains errors, and fails to give access to all that has been digitised as well as to the specimen pages.

I have therefore replicated the site here as best I can. The classified menu can be used to get some idea of the nature and size of the collection, and full-text searching of the site using the Google search console is to some extent possible. Access to the specimen pages has been restored, and as of the date below, the site points to more data and more digitised resources than either the Library's original version of the site, or even its own catalogue.

David Helliwell
19 December 2022