Activate the digital service platform to inject new vitality into the ancient books "raised in the boudoir"

  Ancient books, that is, books and documents produced and published by engraving and copying before 1912, are used to inherit civilization, popularize education, record history, and carry heavy history and culture.

Relevant statistics show that among the more than 2.7 million ancient books we have completed the census, only more than 70,000 are available for online reading, and more massive cultural resources of ancient books need to be digitized. This is also an important issue for the protection, inheritance and opening of ancient books. one.

At present, the “Huidian·Ancient Books Digital Service Platform” launched by Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House has attracted the attention of the industry. , large-scale corpus and machine learning punctuation and other ancient book intelligent algorithm technologies, to build a knowledge service platform for traditional culture and ancient book industry.

  "In the north, there is the Zhonghua Bookstore 'Jihewang', and in the south there is the Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House 'Huidian'." Yang Guanghui, deputy director of the Fudan University Library and executive vice president of the Chinese Academy of Ancient Books Protection, said that the digitization of ancient books has a great impact on ancient Chinese civilization. Inheritance, protection and utilization have a positive role in promoting. On the one hand, this platform can popularize the ancient book cultural resources accumulated by Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House for many years to the public through digital means, and on the other hand, it can also speed up the process of digital transformation and publication of ancient books. , to promote the digital development of the corresponding publishing industry.

After decades of development, the road to digitization of ancient books has a long way to go

  The "14th Five-Year Plan for Shanghai's Comprehensive Promotion of Urban Digital Transformation" pointed out that it is necessary to "deepen the construction of cultural big data system and promote the digitization of cultural resources". Inheritance and innovation of excellent traditional culture.

The digitization of ancient books is the direction of protection and rational use of ancient books.

Shi Xiang, a researcher at the Institute of Ancient Books Arrangement at Fudan University, said in an interview with reporters, "There is a contradiction between the 'use' and 'collection' of ancient books. Everyone wants to look it up. Over time, it will inevitably affect the protection of ancient books." After digitization, the "mother book" of ancient books does not have to take all kinds of risks to "show up".

At the same time, ancient books "raised in a boudoir that no one knows" can go out of the "boudoir" after digitization, which can meet the reading needs of more readers without time and geographical restrictions, and realize the change of one-to-many, point-to-point, and virtual to real.

  From the "collection side" of "turning the paper book into an electronically scanned version" to the "production side" of "turning the electronically scanned version into a text version", and then to the "application side" of "turning the text version into an ancient book research system" ” The process of digitizing ancient books is not complicated.

There are two watersheds in the decades of historical development.

The first is that in the 1980s, Chinese American scholar Chen Bingzao proposed to use computers to count the words of "A Dream of Red Mansions", and computer technology and humanities research gradually began to be combined.

The second is in 1999, known as the "model book of large-scale Chinese electronic publishing project" Wenyuange "Siku Quanshu" electronic version came out.

  In the decades of development, my country's ancient book digitization has achieved certain results. The National Library's "Chinese Ancient Books Repository" has released more than 33,000 ancient book images online; the Zhonghua Book Company's "Chinese Classical Ancient Books Library" has released more than 3,000 images. The "Basic Chinese Ancient Books Library" of Airusheng Company contains 10,000 kinds of books, including full texts for retrieval and original images of ancient books.

But at the same time, the road to digitalization of ancient books is also full of thorns.

The reason, on the one hand, stems from the cost of ancient books. According to Hou Junming, head of the Digital Publishing Center of Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House, “Most ancient books are expensive to acquire, and the costs of production, copyright, platform development, and copyright protection technology research and development are relatively high. In terms of ancient book digitization, the return period is relatively long.” On the other hand, according to the requirements of the national ancient book census, all ancient books should be identified and catalogued, including the title, volume, author, version, archive, volume, and Tibetan seals. Such items must be clarified one by one, the workload is huge, and the professional level of the cataloguing appraiser is quite high.

  In fact, there are still a large number of existing digital resources of ancient books in my country in black and white images with low resolution, which are difficult to meet the needs of readers and researchers.

  Accelerate the digital transformation of ancient books and use new technologies to integrate massive ancient book knowledge systems

  Lv Jian, editor-in-chief of Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House, said that the sorting of ancient books is an ancient business, while digitalization belongs to the present, and digital transformation represents the forefront of the industry.

At a time when ancient books are in urgent need of digitization, the emergence of "Huidian·Ancient Books Digital Service Platform" is like a dawn.

The development of OCR system, automatic punctuation and automatic indexing technology of this platform has achieved initial results.

Among them, OCR technology can quickly identify a book with an accuracy rate of 93%.

After reaching the ideal accuracy of machine punctuation, the remaining difficult problems can be completed quickly by experts and scholars, freeing scholars from a lot of simple and repetitive work.

  With the blessing of OCR text generation technology, natural language processing text sorting and indexing and other advanced technologies, a large number of excellent ancient books can be face-to-face with the public and professional researchers on an accurate and authoritative platform. Cultural information is convenient, efficient and effective.

This platform also analyzes the content of the massive ancient book resources of Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House, reveals its knowledge structure, reconstructs the original content organization form of ancient books, and creates a new knowledge module to realize knowledge-based and professional services for ancient book resources. .

  With the blessing of technology, the texts in ancient books can be quickly "lived" from the depth and breadth of content available.

Hou Junming said: "Using new technology to integrate the knowledge system of massive ancient books, in-depth interpretation of the historical origin, development context and basic trend of Chinese culture, will help promote the construction of an ideological system, academic system and discourse system with Chinese heritage and Chinese characteristics. From the perspective of regenerative protection, the digital technology of ancient books is of great significance to the popularization, research and inheritance of China's excellent traditional culture."

  To promote the digitization of ancient books is not only the digitization of content, but also the digitization of thinking.

Editing, printing and distributing are the basic processes of traditional publishing. In the process of digital project practice, these traditional work processes are gradually accepting the positive influence from digital thinking.

In Yang Guanghui's eyes, the iterative development of ordinary scanning technology to 3D high-definition scanning, the transformation of the Internet to the Internet of Things, the evolution of ancient books from digitalization to digital humanities, and the digital publishing technology for books hidden in libraries can bridge the gap between virtual and reality. It is not impossible for collection resources to form a "metaverse" through new media.

  Reporter Wang Licheng

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