This dataset is a database outcome of the Research Project entitled "Beijing in Transition: A Historical GIS Study of Urban Cultures, 1912-1937." Supported by the Research Gant Council of the Hong Kong SAR Government with the project code number #450407, the research project aims at examining the spatial patterns of modern urban cultural change in China. The object of observation is set in this project at the Beijing city from the advent of the Republican era in 1912 to the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Beijing city represents a good case where traditional and Western cultures encountered and intermingled with extraordinary intensity under the political cultural vacuum of either a weak central government or as a provincial city during the Nanjing regime.
The project has three objectives:
- To develop a Historical GIS dataset with six sets of cultural spheres.
- To present the spatial patterns and changes in each of these spheres.
- To apply the spatial analysis functions of the GIS program to the dataset and compare the data across the six cultural spheres so as to explore any implications therein.
The six cultural spheres are as below:
- Urban morphology
- Market culture
- Education culture
- Public health and medical culture
- Legal culture
- Religious culture
Information collected in this dataset is from the public domain, either online or by request on site. Those from the Beijing Municipal Archive constituted the main body of the dataset but there were also data from other libraries, archives and museums. The sources of the data were also noted in the attribute tables and other materials presented in the Online Resources in the Homepage.
This dataset may support research in various disciplines, including history, urban study, historical geography, historical GIS study, archival study, economics, law and legal history, religious study, education history, public health and new cultural history, and so on. It promotes interdisciplinary inquiries.
Project investigators would like to thank Beijing Municipal Archive for its very professional staff’s considerate assistance during the entire process of our data collection; and to Rockefeller Archival Center for their support in our research regarding Peking Union Medical College. In particular we would thank them for their kind permissions to let us and our users use their information, including the rare old Beijing maps in their possession.