The China-related ERC funded project GECEM (Global Encounters between China and Europe: Trade Networks, Consumption and Cultural Exchanges in Macau and Marseille, 1680-1840) has resulted in a new publically available database with the greatest overview to date of historical economic data of global trade in China during the era of early modernity,
The GECEM Database is a ground-breaking multi-relational tool designed in the relatively recent era of Digital Humanities that allows the GECEM team to gather the so-called “scattered sources” in historical archives that are spread across the globe.
The process of Big Data mining applied to global (economic) history is based on cross-referencing European and Chinese historical sources. This methodological interdisciplinary approach allows us to study the circulation of global goods, changes in consumer behavior, and the formation of trade networks in the so-called “early globalization” process which fostered market integration in Asia and Europe. Chronologically the project spans the last quarter of the seventeenth century to the first half of the nineteenth century, a timeframe that encompasses the period of consolidation of the Qing dynasty, the arrival of the Bourbons to the Spanish crown, and the outbreak of the Opium Wars.
Presently, the GECEM Database includes approximately 40,000 registers of Chinese and Western (European and American) goods that had circulated globally within China’s and Europe’s markets. These data from Chinese and European historical archives have been collected by GECEM researchers
Visit the database here: https://www.gecemdatabase.eu/