Linking Chan/Seon/Zen Figures and Their Texts: Problems and Developments in the Construction of a Relational Database

Michel Mohr


Issues related to the construction of a database on Buddhist historical figures and their written legacy are discussed in the paper, which deliberately takes the researcher's point of view, reviewing concrete examples rather than elaborating on technical issues. One part of the IRIZ "Zen Knowledge Base" project initiated by Urs App is to establish a unique ID number for each Chan/Seon/Zen figure, thereby enabling each author to be linked with the extant documents. The primary stages of this project having now been completed, the paper presents some initial results and working hypotheses [see endnote], and reflects on wider issues related to the digitization of Buddhist research materials.

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