By Lu Lu-yen and Piong Tsuey-yin
Photographs by Hou Ming-yen
Dr Chen Shu-jiun, executive secretary of the ASCDC (left) and Prof Tracy Miller (right) from Vanderbilt University reach a consensus to import vocabularies for traditional Chinese architecture to Art & Architecture Thesaurus.Prof Miller explicating the vocabulary she constructs for Architectura Sinica.Dr Chen and Prof Miller in conversation.Pop-in visit of Dr Ming-chorng Huang, director of the Museum of the Institute of History and Philology. Prof Miller was a visiting scholar at the Institute in the 1990s.
New contribution of vocabularies for traditional Chinese architecture will be made to the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT).
Prof Tracy Miller from the College of Arts and Science, Vanderbilt University visited the Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures (ASCDC) on November 27. The visit brought about a consensus to transpose a multilingual vocabulary for traditional Chinese architecture to the AAT constructed by the Getty Research Institute.
A scholar of East Asian art and architecture history, Prof Miller specializes in the ceremonial architecture and gardens in China and Japan from the Tang dynasty to the Ming dynasty. Architectura Sinica, a database she has been building since 2014, surveys and documents over 120 buildings dating back the 8th-13th centuries across China. Preserved in structured data forms such as RDF/XML or TEI/XML, the data include images and vocabulary for the specific area of study.
The AAT is a multilingual dataset widely used by scholars in the humanities around the world. It contains over 35,000 entries in the arts, architecture, and material culture equipped with title, definition, and citations. The entry has seven major facets including associated concepts, physical attributes, styles and periods, agents, activities, materials, and objects.
With Getty's introduction, Prof Miller and the ASCDC will work together to import the vocabularies on Architectura Sinica to AAT to enrich the thesaurus's corpus and facilitate the consistency of data hierarchy of the given field of study. The same data will also be loaded to AAT-Taiwan.
AAT-Taiwan is a website constructed by the ASCDC, formerly known as the Taiwan e-Learning and Digital Archives Program (TELDAP) in 2008, when the Getty Research Institute designated it to be the transposing agent of the AAT into traditional Chinese. Over a decade, AAT-Taiwan has translated more than 34,000 entries into Chinese and in return made localized contribution in Chinese calligraphy scripts, bronze ritual vessels, and Chinese festivals.
In acknowledging the significance of this collaboration, Dr Chen approbates the partnership for its ability to give what the existing thesaurus is lacking in terms of specialized languages.
In addition to the importation of the Architectura Sinica vocabulary, the ASCDC will co-conduct a project with Prof Miller to convert the existing AAT-Taiwan into Linked Open Data (LOD) and optimize the visual representation in databases by applying the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) to the current websites.