“The China Biographical Database is an online relational database with biographical
information about approximately 35,000 individuals as of April 2007 [over 40,000
individuals in Apr 2008 – ed.], primarily from the seventh through fourteenth centuries.
The data is meant to be useful for statistical and spatial [i.e. GIS – ed.] analysis as
well as serving as a kind of biographical reference. The long term goal of CBDB is
systematically to include all significant biographical material from China’s history and
to make the contents available free of charge, without restriction, for academic use.
CBDB is currently adding more Song period biographies. CBDB originates with the work of
Robert M. Hartwell (1932-1996). Professor Hartwell bequeathed his estate, including the
first version of this database, to the Harvard-Yenching Institute. The development of
CBDB is now a joint project of the Harvard-Yenching Institute, the Institute of History
and Philology of Academia Sinica, and the Center for Research on Ancient Chinese History
at Peking University.
The CBDB Steering Committee is responsible for oversight: Peter K. Bol, Harvard
University (chair); Deng Xiaonan, Center for Research on Ancient Chinese History, Peking
University; Michael A. Fuller, University of California at Irvine; Robert P. Hymes,
Columbia University; Lau Nap-yin, Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica Liu
Cheng-yun, Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica; Zhang Xiqing, Center for
Research on Ancient Chinese History, Peking University.”