Database of Selected Characters from Guodian and Mawangdui Manuscripts

by Matthias L. Richter

The data for the Database of Selected Characters from Guodian 郭店 and Mawangdui 馬王堆 Manuscripts were prepared in the course of research for the project "Towards a Methodology for the Study of Ancient Chinese Manuscripts". I am grateful to the German Research Foundation (DFG) for funding the project and to the project director Prof. Dr. Michael Friedrich (University of Hamburg) for his support. Special thanks go to Chang Yu-ting, Claudia Claar, Dr. Stefan Thiemann and Thies Staack for their assistance in various ways.

The envisaged database is – due to several technical problems – not yet ready to use. At present, the collected data are offered in the less convenient form of "Excel" files.

It is recommended that one read the INTRODUCTION before using the files. Here, only a short explanation of the file names is offered:

The six digit number at the end of the file names gives the date of the last update in the form "ddmmyy".

  • GD1–18_columns contains metadata of all bamboo slips found in Guodian tomb 1.
  • GD1–4+18_char contains images and metadata of the individual characters of the Guodian bamboo slips published under the names of "Laozi A–C", "Tai yi sheng shui" and "Yu cong 4" (老子甲、乙、丙,太一生水,語叢四).
  • MWD1_char contains metadata of selected characters from the Mawangdui silk manuscript comprising the so-called Laozi A text and four other texts.
  • MWD2_char contains metadata of selected characters from the Mawangdui silk manuscript comprising the so-called Laozi B text and four other texts.

It is best to download the excel files and work with them offline. Downloading may take several minutes, depending on the speed of the internet connection.

The Guodian character images and some of the metadata have been furnished with some database functions by Sergey Zinin, Toronto, in his Ctexts Database of Chinese Classics.