Old Collections in a New Bottle: How The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library Uncovers Hidden Treasures of the University
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Library is one of the pioneers in digital initiatives in Hong Kong. At present, there are over 25 digitization projects with more than two million images, including newspaper clippings, ancient Oracle bones, selected journals relating to the Hong Kong Literature, Chinese threaded bound books published from Yuan Dynasty (year 1271) to Qing Dynasty (year 1911) as well as CUHK theses and dissertations. The above digitized materials were hosted on different home grown systems.
These materials represent the treasures of the Library and have much research potential that they should be discoverable and accessible by the research community. A robust and modern repository is needed to replace the increasingly outdated home grown systems that were developed decades ago. This presentation will illustrate how the Library tackles all the problems encountered in the move to a new repository built on Islandora. The most critical problem is that Islandora needs to be tweaked and localized to handle the following issues relating to the display and searching of Chinese characters in Chinese Japanese Korean (CJK) environment:
Searching and indexing of Chinese words and phrases;Cross-walk search of materials in Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese;The page turning direction from left to right for all ancient Chinese classics, which is the opposite of the direction from right to left for Western publications; andDisplay of Chinese characters in ancient Chinese texts vertically from top to bottom and left to right
Two distinct collections of the Library, namely the Chinese Rare Book Digital Collection and Sheng Xuan Huai Archive that contains the letters and correspondences of Sheng Xuan Huai, who was a very influential entrepreneur in late Qing Dynasty, will be used to illustrate how the Library rides over the above challenges to revitalize old collections in a new repository. The road map for the further development of CUHK Digital Collections particularly the bringing of legacy collections into the repository will also be presented.