Ghent Database of Medieval Chinese

by Ben Van

The Ghent Centre for Buddhist Studies is proud to announce the first public Beta version of its Database of Medieval Chinese Texts. It is the result of two projects and more than four years of work in each project, a collaboration between Ghent University, Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (Taiwan), and Marcus Bingenheimer (Temple University).

The main focus of the current version is on early Chan texts and semi-vernacular Buddhist texts from the Dunhuang corpus (digitized and marked-up according to TEI standards), as well as on the variant graphical forms of Chinese characters extracted from the texts. The variant DB currently features more than 32.000 links between a variant and a specific text passage.For more information and a description of the project and its participants, please visit the webpage and consult the introductory text “Note on the first BETA-Version publication”.

As the current version is still in beta, we’d be happy to have any suggestions for improvement, either via the “contact” form on the webpage or by e-mailing

Also, please note that loading the Variant Database might take a little bit of time!