Global Information at a Glance: Power, Law, and Commerce through the Lens of Asia Directories

Detail of a “List of Foreign Residents” taken from “The Chronicle and Directory” (1895).

This pilot project assesses so-called Directories, which provide information on economic relations in Asia since the mid of the 19th century. Besides details on the registry for companies and individuals, the Directories provided contemporary global readers with broadly diversified information related to respective relevant Asian regions important for foreign trade. The case of Asia exemplifies how a global information society developed and highlights both the socio-economic as well as cultural consequences entangled in global interdependence. The analysis of the Directories is conducted with methods from the Digital Humanities and is based on the extraction of structured data from printed material. Visit the project website.