Welcome to LoGaRT!

1. Introduction

“Local Gazetteers Research Tools” ( LoGaRT ) is a software for searching, analyzing, and collecting data from digitized Chinese local gazetteers (difangzhi 地方志). It provides historians with a bird’s-eye view on a collection of gazetteers beyond browsing and reading individually. The philosophy behind LoGaRT is to treat all the digitized gazetteers available as a conceptual database for historical inquiries. Thus, LoGaRT allows historians to ask larger-scale questions that are not necessarily bounded by geographical regions, time periods, or individual efforts.

2. Content

There are many collections of digitized Chinese local gazetteers with differing quality and licensing conditions. Currently, two high-quality collections are accessible via LoGaRT:

LoGaRT is developed as part of the research activities by the Local Gazetteers Working Group at Department III: “Artifacts, Action, Knowledge” of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG). Citation is a very important metric for the external evaluation of research activities at MPIWG, so please do cite LoGaRT according to the guidelines in Section 7 below if you make use of it for your research. Any inquiries can be directed to contacts in Section 8.

3. System requirements

LoGaRT requires the installation of Chinese font and a compatible browser; we strongly suggest using the latest stable version of Google Chrome.

4. Features

According to the philosophy and the research purpose above, LoGaRT provides a suite of digital tools (1) to search across local gazetteers across space and time; (2) to visualize search results; and (3) to collect data and encode meaning of texts and images by tagging. Four types of data regarding Chinese local gazetteers are recorded in LoGaRT, and thus they can be searched and visualized quantitatively: (1) book metadata (bibliography) including publication dates and locations; (2) section data including the section headings in the Table of Contents and their page ranges; (3) text on each pages; (4) pages with illustrations (PWI). Search can be issued at any of these four types, and any search result can be saved, statistically quantified, displayed and analyzed in LGMap, or downloaded (as CSV spreadsheet) for further usage.

Please see the following resources to understand the features in LoGaRT:

Research highlights:

5. Recent additions

6. Collaborators

Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin) and CrossAsia
China Biographical Database at Harvard University
Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology

7. Citation

In addition to citing the individual gazetteer titles as you normally would cite primary sources, please also follow the citation guidelines below as appropriate. Your citations help us continue to develop LoGaRT by providing impact metrics during MPIWG’s external evaluation and supporting our compliance with funders and licensors. Please direct any questions about citation to Shih-Pei Chen (see Section 8).


Please cite LoGaRT itself and include it in your publication’s notes or acknowledgement. In addition, please cite LoGaRT’s theoretical paper iin IJDH below:

Rare Local Gazetteers at Harvard-Yenching Library

For those who make use of Rare Local Gazetteers at Harvard-Yenching Library via LoGaRT, please cite the digitization project itself and include it in your publication’s bibliography or reference list. An example below is available in Chicago author-date style:

Erudition’s Zhongguo fangzhi ku

For MPIWG affiliates who make use of Erudition’s Zhongguo fangzhi ku via LoGaRT, please include the additional information below in your publication’s notes or acknowledgment:

Except for materials published in scientific, technical, or professional outlets (i.e., those that have undergone peer review before publication), the following disclaimer must be included along with the note or acknowledgment:

8. Contacts

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Department III

Shih-Pei Chen, Senior Research Scholar and Digital Content Curator: schen@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de
Calvin Yeh, IT Architect: cyeh@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de