Silk Road Historical and Cultural Database

100,000 papers, 37,000 images, 12,000 knowledge entries,
1,000 books, 584 historical documents, 300 geographic resources

Published by Lanzhou University Press/Dunhuang Studies Institute of Lanzhou University

Only primary authoritative historical sources from China’s five northwestern provinces

This database platform is financed by the Central Cultural Industry Development Fund of China, and jointly developed by Lanzhou University Press and the Dunhuang Studies Institute of Lanzhou University. It is based on two signature book series of the press: “Eurasian Historical and Cultural Library” and “Studies on Central Asia and the Northwest Frontier”. The platform integrates resources in fields related to the terrestrial Silk Road’s historical geography, cultural relics archaeology, literature and arts, local gazetteers, and international exchanges. These resources include books, academic papers, images, videos, and historical documents, tailored to meet the shared knowledge needs of professional communities and research institutions. Our system also employs “electronic mapping technology” to visually present historical towns and cultural heritage along the Silk Road, offering researchers, cultural preservationists, scholars, and enthusiasts a vivid and well-documented experience.

7 Thematic Sub-databases

1. Dunhuang Silk Road Civilization and Western Regions Religious Culture Database

This specialized index contains bibliographic data from 1900 to 2007 on Dunhuang studies and the religious cultures of the Western Regions. Covering topics from manuscripts and cave art to ethnic religions and cultural preservation, it serves as a comprehensive resource for professionals researching these areas.

2. Eurasian Historical and Cultural Database

This database highlights the notable achievements of Chinese scholars in Eurasian studies over the past century, especially since 1978. It covers a wide range of topics, including multi-ethnic and multi-cultural aspects of languages, scripts, customs, production, and lifestyles, as well as economic and cultural exchanges along the Silk Road.

3. Silk Road Archaeological Relics Database

This database encompasses research findings related to ancient sites, tombs, cave temples, and historical buildings in the five northwestern provinces, as well as excavated or collected cultural relics from museums.

4. Silk Road Literature and Arts Database

Covering poetry, prose, novels, drama, music, dance, painting, calligraphy, and sculpture from the five northwestern provinces, this database focuses on the specialized outcomes of literary, artistic, and humanities research.

5. Silk Road Local Gazetteers and Documents Database 

This database includes local gazetteers and related research resources from different historical periods along the Silk Road, covering the five northwestern provinces.

6. Silk Road Historical Geography Database

This specialized database covers research on economic geography, natural geography, demography, historical geographic writings, historical maps, transportation, and international relations in the five northwestern provinces.

7. Historical Documents Special Channel

This channel collects travelogues, reports, and other personal documents by individuals traveling to, residing in, or being exiled to the western regions of China throughout history. It encompasses various historical periods and topics such as economy, politics, culture, military, folklore, astronomy, and geography, offering invaluable insights into the social history and culture of China’s western regions.

Value-Added Services

1. Electronic Map

This service visually displays historical towns, buildings, and archaeological sites along the Silk Road, showcasing cultural heritage directly on an interactive map.

2. Information Service

Provides comprehensive industry news, profiles of scholars, research institutions, and summaries of various projects, keeping users informed about relevant developments.

3. Knowledge Explanation

Entries related literature, journals, and books available on the platform, offering users a quick and easy search tool for understanding specialized terminology and concepts.

Product Features

1. Authoritative and Professional

  • Content sourced from authoritative experts and prestigious publishing institutions.
  • Academic achievements and historical documents of significant research value.
  • Specialized thematic collections, each forming a comprehensive system.

2. Integrated Connections

  • Real-time updates on industry dynamics, with a comprehensive focus on industry information.
  • Establishes connections between knowledge entries.
  • Intuitive visual geographic information services, linking resources with maps for display.

3. Mainstream Compatibility

  • Diverse search capabilities, enabling quick and precise resource location.
  • Supports both local downloading and online reading.
  • International standard PDF and XML formats, allowing users to switch between fixed layout and reflowable text reading modes.

Core Functions

1. Diverse Search Options

  • Full Database Search: Enter any search criteria for one-click search results.
  • Categorical Search: Search by categories such as books, gazetteers, papers, images, chapters, entries, experts, news, projects, institutions, etc.
  • Thematic Search: Find resources based on specific themes for quick access and independent display.
  • Advanced Search: Conduct precise or broad searches in full text, title, author, keywords, abstracts, and other fields.

2. Knowledge Navigation

Navigate through a multi-dimensional flow based on the classification of knowledge in various thematic databases.

3. Linked Display

Bi-directional search between platform resources and map nodes, for integrated display.

4. Personal Center

Access learning history, favorites, sharing, and receive content updates.