佛學數位資源的建置與開展
The Creation of Buddhist Digital Resources in Taiwan
杜正民 (Aming Tu)
 

   The development of Buddhist Digital Resources in Taiwan has won an international fame. However, because of their richness and diversity as well as of their extended applications, they are not always easily accessible and therefore have been under-utilized by non-specialist users in the Humanities as well as in the field itself of Buddhist. Thus a systematic organization of and introduction to these sources represents an immediate need and priority. The aim of this paper is to systematically present the creation and development of such a wealth of Buddhist Digital Resources, and to classify and categorize their contents so that these facilities will be better accessible and utilized.

  The paper begins by introducing the project and models of the Chinese Buddhist Tripiṭakas developed by the “Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association” (CBETA). The entire project of digitization of the Electronic Tripiṭaka Collection inlcudes three phases: 1. digitizing the modern printed versions, 2. digitizing the block-printing versions, and 3. digitizing manuscripts and rare books. In order to familiarize scholars in related fields with the contents, features and applicability of the digitized Tripiṭaka collections, I discuss the rationale of the assemblage of the Chinese Tripiṭakas materials for each phase, analyze the quality of digitized texts, and point out their salient features.

  Next, with a focus on usability, this paper presents the various Buddhist Digital Projects by allocating them to six categories according to the nature and targets or functions of the projects: Textual Study, Digital Catalogues, Lexicon Study, Time-Space Information, Social Networks and Integral Service. This enables users to apply extended functions, auxiliary applications and facilities of the digital Buddhist corpora in question more aptly and conveniently in their own researches.

  Lastly, the paper engages with (a) the present relevance and challenges of the electronic Buddhist text collection, and (b) the theme of sustainable development of digital projects at large. A number of cases taken as examples from the present scene of Buddhist Digital Resources in Taiwan are reviewed, and the present products of the digital Chinese Buddhist text projects and their limitations are evaluated and discuss in more general terms.

  The paper concludes with an outlook of the future development of digital Buddhist texts, discussioning the knowledge asset of the integral-service of digital Buddhist texts.


Keywords:

Electronic Tripiṭaka Collection; Buddhist Digital Projects; Buddhist Digital Resources; Tripiṭaka Catalogues; CBETA