Digital Humanities Projects on Chinese Canadian Studies

  • Jack Hang-tat LeongEmail author
Part of the Digital Culture and Humanities book series (DICUHU, volume 1)


This chapter discusses how librarians collaborate with humanities scholars in projects involving the creation and curation of cultural and heritage materials in digital format on Chinese Canadian studies. Libraries, as the “laboratory for the humanities,” have played a significant role in curating printed materials. In the digital era, libraries continue to take up the challenges of facilitating and preserving collections for digital humanities. Information professionals, with training in data curation and analysis methods, can support humanists in the exploration of digitized artefacts, presentation of research findings by digital means and curating the data created for seamless, persistent and long-term access. This paper first reviews the concept of digital humanities, such as its origin, evolution, characteristics, challenges and opportunities. Second, using the digital humanities projects on Chinese Canadian studies that the author coordinates, leads and participates in, the paper provides useful experiences and lessons in developing digital initiative for research in the humanities.


Digital humanities Hong Kong migration Chinese Canadian history Education resources Digital libraries Digital preservation Chinese Canadian archives Internet resources University of Toronto libraries Text analysis Metadata Chinese diaspora Hong Kong social movement 


  1. ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee. (2014). Top trends in academic libraries: A review of the trends and issues affecting academic libraries in higher education. College & Research Libraries News, 75(6), 294–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams, J., & Gunn, K. (2013). Keeping up with digital humanities. Retrieved from Association of College & Research Libraries website. Retrieved from
  3. Bush, V. (1945, July). As we may think. Atlantic Monthly, pp 1–8.Google Scholar
  4. Causer, T., & Wallace, V. (2012). Building a volunteer community: Results and findings from Transcribe Bentham. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 6(2). Retrieved from
  5. Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University. (2017). Retrieved from
  6. Fay, E., & Nyhan, J. (2015). Webbs on the web: Libraries, digital humanities and collaboration. Library Review, 64(1/2), 118–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gardiner, E., & Musto, R. (2015). The digital humanities: A primer for students and scholars. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Green, D. (1998). The national initiative for a networked cultural heritage. Information Technology and Libraries, 17(2), 107.Google Scholar
  9. Hara, N., Solomon, P., Kim, S.-L., & Sonnewald, D. H. (2003). An emerging view of scientific collaboration: Scientists’ perspectives on collaboration and factors that impact collaboration. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 54(10), 952–965.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kirschenbaum, M. (2010). What is digital humanities and what’s it doing in English departments? ADE Bulletin, 150, 57.Google Scholar
  11. Lancashire, I. (2013). Forgetful muses: Reading the author in text. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  12. Moulin, C., Agren, M., Bozzi, A., Kelleher, M., Kuutma, K., Tadic, M., Ciula, A., & Nyhan, J. (2011). Research infrastructure in the humanities. Strasbourg: European Science Foundation. Retrived from
  13. Newell, S., & Swan, J. (2000). Trust and inter-organizational networking. Human Relations, 53(10), 1287–1328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Office of Digital Humanities. (2010). Digging into data challenge. Retrieved from http:/
  15. Schreibman, S., Siemens, R., & Unsworth, J. (Eds.). (2004). A companion to digital humanities. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  16. Siemens, R., & Shawver, G. (2009). Introduction: A volume celebrating and recognizing Ian Lancashire. Digital Studies, 1(1). Retrieved from
  17. Siemens, L., Cunningham, R., Duff, W., & Warwick, C. (2011). A tale of two cities: Implications of the similarities and differences in collaborative approaches within the digital libraries and digital humanities communities. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 26(3), 335–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sinn, E. (2013). Pacific crossing: California gold, Chinese migration, and the making of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. SSHRC. (2004). From granting council to knowledge council: Renewing the social sciences and humanities in Canada. Ontario: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.Google Scholar
  20. Statistics Canada. (2001). Profile of citizenship, immigration, birthplace, generation status, ethnic origin, visible minorities and aboriginal peoples, for Canada, provinces, territories and forward sortation areas, 2001 Census. Cat. No. 95F0489XCB2001003.Google Scholar
  21. Statistics Canada. (2013a). 2011 National household survey: Immigration, place of birth, citizenship, ethnic origin, visible minorities, language and religion. Retrieved from
  22. Statistics Canada. (2013b). 2011 National household survey: Immigration, place of birth, citizenship, ethnic origin, visible minorities, language and religion. The Daily. Retrieved from 2014.
  23. Turing, A. (1937). On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungs problem. Proceedings London Mathematics Society, s2–42(1), 230–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Waters, D. (2013). An overview of the digital humanities. Research Library Issues: A Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, 284, 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Yip, H. M. (2009). Donghuayizhuangyuhuanqiucishanwangluo: Danganwenxianziliao de yinzhengyuqishi [The Tung Wah Coffin Home and global charity network: Evidence and findings from archival materials]. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing.Google Scholar
  26. Zhang, Y., Liu, S., & Mathews, E. (2015). Convergence of digital humanities and digital libraries. Library Management, 36(4/5), 262–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations