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A Report on the Fifth Meeting of the Electronic Buddhist Text Initiative

Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, January 18-21, 1999. [Please also see the report on the same meeting by Lou Burnard

The fifth meeting of the EBTI was held in the form of a joint meeting of the Pacific Neighborhood Consortium (PNC), Scholars Engaged in Electronic Resources (SEER) and the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI).

As usual, we were able to enjoy numerous presentations of Buddhist-related databases, text input projects, preservation projects, digitized Buddhist art, lexicons and so forth. Many of the groups had presented before, and thus their reports were of an update nature, but there were also a significant number of new groups represented.

It was often especially rewarding to see the repeat presentations, as the influence of the input and exchange of information gained through presence at prior meetings was especially evident. That is to say, the developing projects showed not only an enhanced degree of technical sophistication and a greater body of data, but also a greater understanding of the principles of collaboration, cooperation and standardization, which are the three underlying themes in the creation and growth of the EBTI.

A major example of collaboration can be seen in the recent decision of the SAT and CBETA projects to collaborate in the development of a comprehensive online East Asian Buddhist canon. From many other projects, free (or very inexpensive) CD-ROMs which contain large amounts of data useful for Buddhist research are proliferating.

In the area of markup, we are naturally beginning to see a rapid growth in awareness of XML, the newly developing text format for the internet, which will provide browsing capabilities coupled with markup features which will allow for databasing capabilities, as well as assignment of meaning to markup.


List of Presentations

[Listed below are the EBTI sessions, and a couple of relevant presentations done by other groups. For a full list of PNC, SEER, ECAI and EBTI seminars, please see the Academia Sinica web site at <www.sinica.edu.tw>]

To see a brief explanation regarding the content of a particular project, please click the bracketed text marked [NEW] or [UPDATE] alongside the project title.

EBTI-Related Presentations


Chinese Texts

Sanskrit, Pali, Tocharian, Prakrit Texts

Tibetan Texts

Korean Texts Session


Resources in Chinese Buddhism