The Playing Soviet website presents an interactive database of children’s book illustrations drawn from little-known and rarely-seen Soviet children’s books from the collection of the Cotsen Collection at Princeton’s Firestone Library. The website supports image annotation, allowing students to contribute to the site, and data exports, enabling the development of data visualizations based on information in the archive.
During the Fall of 2016, students in the East Asian Studies department’s East Asian Humanities course will expand upon a model developed three years ago. In collaboration with staff from the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, faculty members in the department developed an online space that not only presents course materials but also allows students augment course readings with multimedia annotations of their own. Teams of students also developed digital projects such as timelines, interactive narratives, and digital maps.
This website introduces four document collections in interactive formats for teaching and study. The first, Not So Secret Secrets, explores the elaborate safeguards for ensuring that Uesugi Kenshin could know that a gunpowder recipe that he received was in fact from the shogun. These documents also reveal the rapidity of transmission of Portuguese knowledge, and show the subtle social distinctions that are evident in these records. The second, The Emperor’s Clothes, provides four generations of documents relating to a particular incident where Awazu Kiyonori rescued the imperial wardrobe. Originally a low ranking noble, this act of valor allowed his great grandson to enter the lowest echelon of the court nobility. The third, The Better Part of Valor, reproduces six documents in the Migita collection that reveals how they were called to battle and fought for both sides in a civil war in the fourth and fifth months of 1333. A fourth section, The Shogun’s Mother, reproduces a 1338 letter by Uesugi Kiyoko (Seishi), the mother of the first Ashikaga shogun, who witnessed a decisive battle. Such letters rarely survive, and the condition of this record makes it challenging to read. The site was created by Thomas Conlan, Professor of East Asian Studies and History, and is used as a teaching tool for students, who translated and annotated the document collections.