HomeChapter How to Use This Site

How to Use this Site: Chapters, Essays, Artifacts and Gazetteer.

There are three main types of content on this website: essays, artifacts and gazetteer.  The first type, essays, are the basic building blocks of this ethnography and are accessed through the seven chapters:  History, Landscape, Belief, Cultural Life, Authority, Work, and Village.  Chapters are groupings that highlight the dominant themes of the essays within them.  Because there is considerable overlap of themes among essays, the chapters should not be seen as airtight divisions but rather as a general guide to the topics emphasized. Essays are accessed though the set of tabbed links at the top of each chapter page.  When you click on an essay, it opens in html format.  Each essay page has a link at the top called “about this essay”—click on this and you can read a brief abstract of the essay and its history including the date on which it was last updated. Also at the top of the essay page you will find a link to a “flashpaper version” (or pdf version) which is useful if you plan to either print the essay or if you wish to search for keywords in the essay. In the body of the essays there are thumbnail graphics which link to multimedia content.  Click on these and you will be taken to the artifacts.

Artifacts, the second type of content, are pop-up windows which frame multi-media content supplementing the main essays. They include photographs, movies, maps, diagrams, supplemental texts, primary source documents, audio recordings, and field notes.  Each of these is presented with supplementary fields that provide various metadata, including translations and transcriptions of materials wherever possible. They also usually include a small set of suggested links to related content within the site that helps the reader explore the more subtle connections we wish to highlight. Artifacts float free of chapters and essays—they may be referenced by one or more essay or they may have no special associations.   Eventually we will have a clickable index of all artifacts.

The third kind of content is the Gazetteer.  This is divided into two main subcategories: the Gazetteer Main Text and the Interactive Landscape Map. The Gazetteer Main Text offers a physical description of each township along the North Road and a list of its main points of interest.  Each of these points has (or will have) an artifact page associated with it that provides more detail on that site. The interactive map plots these points on a physical topographic map of the North Road.  Unfortunately, this interactive map does not yet allow you to click on the points to access the relevant artifact page—you will have to go back to the gazetteer main text to do that.  It does, however, allow you to highlight a particular historical period or type of site or a combination of both (so for example, you can choose to see infrastructure from the socialist period or monuments from the qing dynasty). Also on the Gazetteer chapter page is a third link which provides a clickable index of image maps, each of which is presented in artifact format. 

The search function on the website gives you the option of googling keywords within the website.  Also on the search page is a media catalog—a clickable listing of all the files that make up this site.