The CFP is a digital history and data analytics project, which collects, analyzes, and publicizes archival material and quantitative data on the history of Chinese industrial factories. We utilize digital and computational methods to process factory archives and gazetteers and construct a large-scale quantitative and spatial informatics database. Our goal is to deepen the understanding of China’s economic, industrial, and ecological change in the long twentieth century. As of August 2022, we completed the first phase of data construction and produced a database that contains information about over 4,000 factories and plants in nearly 30 industries from the late Qing to the Republican periods. The second phase formally started in September 2022. Our plan is to create new visualizations of some industrial datasets and move data collection into the Sino-Japanese war (1937-1945) and the PRC period (1949-).
Since the launch of the Chinese Factory Project in 2019, we have received funding from universities and libraries in the US and China. On the list are Harvard-Yenching Library, Stanford East Asian Library, University of Michigan Asian Library, Association for Asian Studies (USA), Duke Kunshan Data Science Research Center, and most recently, Jiangsu Province Education Department.
Over a dozen of undergraduate and graduate students have participated in the research activities at the Chinese Factory Project. Currently, we are collaborating with scholars from the School of Economics at Fudan University and have formed an interdisciplinary research team to carry out the project’s second phase.
October 2022: The paper titled “From a Revolutionary Invention to a Market-Economy Product: 5406 Bacterial Fertilizers and a Technopolitical History of the PRC” (authored by Qingyi Yin and Zhaojin Zeng) has been accepted by the 2023 meeting of the Association for Asian Studies!
September 2022: Our alumna Qingyi Yin (MA in East Asian Program at the University of Washington) presented a paper (co-authored with Zhaojin Zeng) utilizing village and factory gazetteers at the 2022 Berkeley Conference for First Projects in Chinese History at the University of California, Berkeley!
August 2022: The Chinese Factory Project (Phase II) has won a “Higher Education Philosophy and Social Science Grant” awarded by the Educational Department of Jiangsu Province!