Digital Resources for Buddhist Studies

Archive for June, 2009

PDF of Nanjio Catalog

Posted by weixian55 on 2009/06/30

While starting (once again) on the task of revising and enhancing the WWW Database of Chinese Buddhist texts, I made a PDF of A Catalogue of the Chinese Translation of the Buddhist Tripitaka by Bunyiu Nanjio. Being compiled and published in 1883, it is of course in part outdated, but since it is mainly a translation the Daming sanzang shengjiao mulu 大明三藏聖教目錄 it is still quite useful as a reference work. At 33MB, the file is quite large, but might be useful to some, thus I made it available for download. Enjoy!


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New Transhelp Release Available for Windows, Linux and MacOS

Posted by jenjou.hung on 2009/06/30

During this week, simon and I have finished writing the installation document of new version of TransHelp(ver. 0.2).  Then we decide to release this new version to the world. The major change of this new version is to adopt sqlite database instead of mysql database as the data storeage medium, which significantly reduces the installation difficulty. Now the installation procedure would be easy and straightforward. Besides, the new Transhelp is now avaiable for three major operation systems in the world: windows, linux and mac. We hope more users will like to use this small tool.

For downloading the newest transhelp, please visit our download page at  DDBC Resources for Buddhist Studies at sourceforge.

At the wiki page of DDBC resource project , you will find the deatail installation doument of  Transhelp.

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gao seng zhuan

Posted by marcus.bingenheimer on 2009/06/22

The datasets for the Liang Gaoseng Zhuan and the Tang Gaoseng Zhuan are now available for download. The data is in TEI/XML format and published under a CC (Attribution Share-Alike) License.

Please visit the Gaoseng Zhuan website for download.

The data for the Ming Gaoseng Zhuan will follow soon (by the end of 2009).

The Song Gaoseng Zhuan files will take somewhat longer (summer 2010 at the earliest).

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Yogācārabhūmi database

Posted by marcus.bingenheimer on 2009/06/13

Dan Lusthaus has noted that the old website for the Yogācārabhūmi database is still up. We are working on getting it closed down.

Those of you interested in Yogācāra, please update your bookmarks to:

This is the newest (Firefox compatible) incarnation of this digital edition, which links various versions of the text in Chinese, Tibetan and Sanskrit with their commentaries.

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Posted by marcus.bingenheimer on 2009/06/13

TransHelp is a program that helps to ensure consistency in a translation. In order to check if a translation agrees with a predefined glossary, TransHelp relies on (stemmatised) word counts. It will for example give an alert if the Chinese passage contains 5  “如來” but the English only 4 “Tathāgata”. There are, of course, many possible reasons for such differences, but TransHelp will make editors notice irregularities which otherwise might go unnoticed.

To use TransHelp, in addition to the software itself, you need three files: the original text, the translation and a glossary ( in CSV format).

TransHelp is available at:

So far you still need Python installed, know how to start a local server and interact with it through your browser.

Once TransHelp is installed, open it in your browser (best results in Firefox), choose a glossary to work with, and them compare translation with original paragraph by paragraph. The first time you use TransHelp you will have to import your glossary (easy).

Joey is working on a excecutable version for Win. It should come out within a month or so.

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Useful online dictionaries

Posted by marcus.bingenheimer on 2009/06/13

Encoders at the Digital Archive Section often use three online Chinese dictionaries:

1. The revised Ministry of Education (Taiwan) 重編國語辭典

offers reliable and clear definitions of characters, compounds. It includes some names.

2. For variants we use:

also by the ministry of education. This allows us to ascertain if non-Unicode character variants are attested elsewhere. Together with a print source on Character variants in the Tripitaka Coreana ( 高麗大藏經異體字字典, 漢城市 : 高麗大藏經研究所, 2000) (29,478 characters), this is an important resource for us whenever we have to annotate characters.

The Variant Dictionary contains 106,230 characters and their variants. This is almost twice the number of characters included in the《汉语大字典》徐仲舒 (Ed.), 1990, (54,678) and still considerable more than the hitherto largest print reference tool the《中华字海》冷玉龙 (ed.), 1994, which contains more than 85,000.

Both websites are extremely badly designed. Especially the the Variant Database website is so badly designed that the interface obscures a valuable resource. If you encounter problems try IE 6, with the encoding set to BIG-5.

3. The website 漢典

is a good general purpose look-up tool for characters, compounds idioms. The user has to decide first whether to search the character, the compound or the Chengyu 成語 database. However, the underlying databases are  excellent. Looking up characters  漢典 contains older dictionaries such as the 说文解字 or the 康熙字典 as well as character variant information (look for 字源字形).

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Posted by admin on 2009/06/09

During the “Sutra Translation Council” meeting in June 2009 at the Xilai temple 西來寺  in Los Angeles, a number of participants expressed interest in a platform for exchanging information about digital resources for Buddhist studies.

On this blog Bill Magee, Christian Wittern, Marcus Bingenheimer, Joey Hong and Simon Wiles will post new developments at the Library and Information at Dharma Drum Buddhist College and elsewhere. Some of the more substantial posts will be  sent out in an email bulletin.  If you would like to receive that bulletin please write to mDOTbingenheimerATgmailDOTcom.

If you feel you would like to partake of all our musings please subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog.

We appreciate feedback. Please feel free to add comments.

We also invite those of you who are involved in the production of digital resources to join this blog as editors. Please write to mDOTbingenheimerATgmailDOTcom.

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