DatArt_Asia: a new project in DH

, updated on
26 March 2023

The Observatory of Digital Humanities of ENS-PSL and the University of Tokyo are honored to officially launch the DatArt_Asie digital project, co-directed by Léa Saint-Raymond and Torahiko Terada. An afternoon symposium is organized on February 15, 2023, from 2 to 4 pm: it will welcome students from UTokyo, accompanied by Albéric Derible.

The Datart_Asie project

In the continuity of GeoMAP, DatArt_Asie studies the market for Asian objects in Paris since the middle of the 19th century. Indeed, the forced economic opening of China and Japan in 1860 led to a boom in trade with the West and, from the 1870s, to the vogue for "Japonism". While this phenomenon is largely documented by studies, essentially monographic or devoted to a short period, it is necessary to analyze, over a long period of time, the evolution of these commercial relations with Asia based on homogeneous and diachronic data.


The DatArt_Asie project is based on a twofold corpus:

  • The Bottin du commerce, published annually from 1815 onwards, presents the various dealers established in Paris according to a classification by category, mentioning their addresses and, optionally, a short description of their activity. The entirety of the "chinoiseries (marchands de)" and "japoneries (marchands de)" sections has been analysed and georeferenced, thus forming a corpus of 432 companies between 1868 and 1954
  • On the Japanese side, the Japan Directory, published in 1868, is currently being analysed in the Yokohama departmental archives.

DatArt_Asie data is displayed on a digital library and an interactive map. Each point corresponds to a single dealer, an address and a given date. The description of the activity in the Bottin du commerce is displayed in a pop-up window.

datart Asie

It is possible to filter the dealers according to their heading ("chinoiseries" and/or "japoneries"). Their counters in Asia are also displayed, when the Bottin du commerce mentions them. When a company has, for the same period, several stores or counters, these different addresses are linked together by a line on the map. Finally, addresses located on the street are distinguished from those located in the city.

datart Asie



  • Léa Saint-Raymond (ENS-PSL) : retranscription and georeferencing of "chinoiseries dealers" and "japoneries dealers" in the Bottin du commerce, between 1865 and 1954.
  • Torahiko Terada (UTokyo) and the UTokyo students : retranscription of the Japan Directory from 1868

Programming and web design : Quentin Bernet.



Practical information

The symposium will take place from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the Conference Room of the Data Science Center (45 rue d'Ulm, between staircase B and staircase C, 3rd floor at the top of the stairs).