Man & Writing CD-ROM

From: Martin Heijdra (mheijdra@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Fri Feb 18 2000 - 17:18:46 EST


This may be of interest to those who know Japanese and who are interested in
the history and variety of scripts in general:

I just received it; it is an interactive CD-ROM based upon the previously
published beautifully illustrated Man & Writing book which details the history
of writing. "203" writing systems are covered, more than the book (but
counting is arguable). It gives background, history, and often pictures
(mostly of inscriptions etc. rather than books) of these systems, of which it
covers more than any of the obvious Western sources (Diringer, Jensen etc.)
Depth varies; it is not meant to be as detailed as Daniels & Bright, does not
have character tables, but it goes farther than Coulmas' encyclopedia, and is
much more extensive in its treatment of Asian systems than either. I even
found systems I had never encountered before, including a Polynesian Atoll,
and a newly discovered Gansu-based hieroglyphic script. The bibliography is
very extensive in mainly English and Japanese.

It has several sections: one interactive map/chronological one, one search by
keywords/name (5000 entries), one gallery of pictures, and historical movies
with narration, a general book on writing and decipherment, etc. Note: it has
an English subtitle, but that's all the English there is.

Martin Heijdra
Gest Oriental Library
317 Palmer Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544

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