Fortress Village - The Ethnic Minorities of Southwest China  
Project Team Members

Huang Wan-Yu

Huang Wan-YuWhile the other team members talk about their academic interests and ambitions, I shall talk about my job, which is to take care of the more “trivial” affairs. It is usually these “trivial” things that support the growth of this project and help it reach its preset goal.

The professionalism of the Digital Archives Program overshadows two of the simplest objectives in this project—one is the construction of web pages and creating content for them, and the other is the developing and designing of databases for the archived items. The final step is to combine the previous two and publicize the results, which takes the form of an entrance to a treasure chest of subjects related to the ethnic minority groups in southwestern China. I am in charge of the database. In an era where the arts and the sciences seem to belong in two completely different worlds, and having been assigned to the “humanities and arts” group at a young age, I did not know one thing about writing computer programs or setting up systems. However, my job is to devise a database that is able to introduce and highlight the archived items, and convey this information to the people at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Information Science so that they can work on the technical aspects. Once the database is up and running, we must immediately start working on the basic information and related facts for each archived item. This part is written by the researchers who specialize in these areas.

The operating procedures and goals described above appear to be so smooth and clear. However, when I am actually carrying out these tasks, I often drown in the numerous details and forget the exact role that I am supposed to play in this project. As my coworker Shu-Li said, I have to think carefully about what I need to do for the day when I arrive at work every morning. Perhaps when I get off work every day, I should also remind myself once again not to be so focused on the details that I lose sight of the big picture.
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