Updates to the Website
Posted on 18. Jun, 2009 by James Miller in News and Discussions
Since relaunching the website in January 2009 the website has expanded greatly in both content and membership. We now have over 1,000 subscribers across the world and over 10,000 pages of information. The bulk of these are the 6,000 or so records in the Daoist Studies bibliography database, including the nearly 1,500 titles of the Ming Zhengtong Daozang and now, for the first time, the nearly 1,000 records of the Zangwai Daoshu.
It's my goal to make access to PDF versions of these manuscripts freely accessible to everyone, but this is not quite so easy as it may sound. So far, I have uploaded PDFs of the 36 volumes of the Zangwai Daoshu. These are fairly large files, about 15-30MB each. The bibliography record for each specific title will tell you which of the files to download, and which page each text starts on. You then have to scroll through the file to the right page number to find your desired text.
The PDF files of the Ming Zhengtong Daozang are too large to be stored on the server as single volumes and thus have to be broken down into smaller PDF files. My plan is to create one PDF file for each of the 1500 or so texts. This is a somewhat laborious process, which I have recently restarted, and now we have 285 of the texts online as individual PDF files.
On a more contemporary note, the website is automatically aggregating videos and photos from Youtube and Flickr. Because this process follows a somewhat clumsy algorithm, it sometimes doesn't capture every video or photo that I would like, and sometimes captures ones that aren't particularly relevant. But what is interesting to me is that there are now many videos of Daoist rituals in China and Taiwan being uploaded by amateur videographers. These could potentially be quite useful as objects of study and interesting to anyone wanting to see Daoist ritual in its native setting.
Finally, I would encourage all of you to log on to the site whenever you visit it. This enables you to contribute to each page of the website by adding comments to virtually every page. Even if you don't log on, you can still rate each page. Over time this will help to sort out the good content from the bad, and will help enrich the website and make it truly a community venture.