Gynaecology in Traditional Chinese Medicine: Selected Texts
Gynaecology in Traditional Chinese Medicine: Selected Texts

A Brief Introduction to the Project

Gynaecology was a medical specialty that developed in China in the Tang (618-907) and Song dynasties (960-1278). It is a subject that was little studied by modern scholars until recently, even though at least 349 individual works were devoted to the topic by medical doctors over the centuries. It has great potential for throwing light on the issues of the changing nature of gender relations and the understanding of the body in traditional China. All of the texts in this pilot digitization project are held by the McGill Libraries, Montréal, Québec, Canada. One of these texts is unique, others are well known works that exercised considerable influence in the practice of gynecology in late imperial China and were reprinted many times.

The project has four main aims:

  1. To provide access for researchers and those interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine to examples of traditional Chinese gynecology texts in their original format as digital images. The high quality of the digital images will enable them to examine these texts without damaging the original documents.
  2. To demonstrate the use of digital technology for creating a searchable full-text database of rare books and manuscripts written in classical (literary) Chinese, together with the textual notes and commentary.
  3. To provide a full-text database for researchers and scholars of history of Chinese medicine to enable them to identify quickly key terms, concepts, and ingredients of composite drugs in their original context and to enable them to compare their uses and analyze their significance.
  4. To provide training to graduate students in preparing Chinese materials for digitization and virtual library projects using the latest technology.