The Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities hosted a delegation of visiting scholars from Vietnam on Wednesday, November 29. The scholars visited several cities in the United States in preparation for compiling The Encyclopedia of Vietnam, and they stopped at Rutgers-Camden to discuss MARCH’s Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia project. The encyclopedia, which has been in digital publication since 2009, has grown to include nearly six hundred articles on the history and culture of the Philadelphia area.
The Encyclopedia of Vietnam, established in July 2014 by decision of the Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, is the first of its kind in Vietnam. It will span thirty-seven print volumes over five years in disciplines ranging from physics and mathematics to literature and traditional culture, with a focus on Vietnam. A second stage will produce intersectional volumes in alphabetic arrangement. The books will be available in the National Library of Vietnam in Hanoi as well as academic libraries and book stores. There are plans to add a digital version once the print volumes are completed. In total, over 5,000 academics will contribute to the project.
The two encyclopedia teams held a workshop to discuss the differences and similarities of their projects, touching on public and private funding, editorial practices, and criteria for the selection of authors. Presentations were given by Dr. Ha Vu, Director of the Vietnam Encyclopedia Project Office, and from Dr. Charlene Mires, Dr. Howard Gillette, and Dr. Tamara Gaskell of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. After the workshop, a reception was held at MARCH’s office. The delegation continued its United States tour the next day, leaving Camden for a visit to the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C.