China Biographical Database provides biographical data on 113,000 men and women, mainly from the Tang through the Qing dynasty. Approximately 40,000 are from Qing dynasty with another 30,000 Qing and 15,000 Ming figures are in process. CBDB generates biographical data in response to queries, from simple (who came from a certain place?) to complex (what were the social and kinship connections among all those who entered government through the civil service examination from a certain place within a certain span of years?).
Users can query CBDB through the online database’s English and Chinese interfaces. The stand-alone database can be used on any computer with Microsoft Access. It includes query forms for discovering networks, kinship, incumbents in government offices, modes of entry into office, and types of social association and exports data for social network and spatial analysis (GIS). It is free for download at the CBDB website.
The CBDB User’s Guide explains the structure of the database and how to query the downloadable stand-alone version. Users can link to collaborating database projects from the CBDB browser. Data is constantly being processed and new data is being added on a regular basis. For a complete account of the tables, fields, protocols, and query methods see the User’s Guide. The English interface for online system includes extensive help files. Chinese language help files will also appear in Fall 2011.