If you work with early Chinese texts, you have probably used the Chinese Text Project (ctext.org), a wonderful on-line resource created by Donald Sturgeon some years ago while he was still a master’s student in Taiwan.
To many of us, within two or three years of its founding, ctext.org had become a more convenient and useful research tool than the online e-text resources created by large institutions such as Academia Sinica. As Donald has continued to expand the site’s functions — such as by adding a dictionary and concordance indexing — its utility has overtaken that of any rival Chinese text database, online or not.
Often, while working on a book chapter or essay, I have multiple browser windows open displaying different pages of content from ctext.org. I’m sure many others in the field use the site the same way.
All that useful content takes up a lot of server resources, however, which someone has to pay for. For years now, that someone has mainly been Donald himself. He’s had a few welcome anonymous donations and a handful of short-term sponsors, but by and large the costs for the site come out of his own pocket. And that’s not counting all the time and programming expertise that he’s put into it.
So a graduate student living on a modest stipend in one of the world’s most expensive cities is paying for a valuable research tool that all of us use.
May I suggest that those of us who can afford it — not graduate students, but professors and other interested readers — consider donating to support the site’s operations? You can do so through Paypal on the site’s support and donation page here. To those of us who visit the site frequently, the Chinese Text Project is worth much more than the cost of a book and probably more than the cost of most of the software on our computers. So why not consider donating an amount equal to the price of a book or a software package to support the continued operation and growth of this invaluable resource?
And if you’re in a position to do so, consider arranging for an institutional subscription to or sponsorship of the site, as described here.
This is a project that deserves our support.
— Chris Fraser
Great idea, Chris — hear, hear!