CCCH9051 China: Culture, State and Society
Digitizing Cultural Heritage in Greater China

[This course is under the thematic cluster of ‘Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth’.]


Course Description

Every culture has its own irreplaceable heritage and Chinese culture has accumulated a rich heritage during its long history. Digital technologies now provide more effective and sustainable means to promote, conserve and preserve cultural heritage. This course aims to help students better recognize and appreciate the importance and values of cultural heritages in Hong Kong, China and around the world, and to open their eyes to how digital technologies can be used to conserve and preserve cultural heritage worldwide. Three digital preservation projects will serve as running examples throughout this course: one from Hong Kong (e.g., the King Yin Lei virtual reality website), one from Mainland China (e.g., the e-Dunhuang online gallery), and one from Europe (e.g., the Europeana digital collections). Students will also gain a broad understanding on how economic development and heritage preservation impact us as global citizens in this information age. The capstone of the course is a group project where each group of students will use an off-the-shelf and easy-to-use Web application to create a digital gallery for a cultural heritage in Hong Kong or their own places of origin. The digital gallery will be your unique contribution to preserving cultural heritage of the world!

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a good understanding of cultural heritages, their values and significance in history and in today’s society.
  2. Describe and explain the importance of preserving cultural heritage and strategies and methods applied worldwide.
  3. Apply digital technologies to promoting local and Chinese cultural heritage to a global audience.
  4. Apply principles and ethics of information to cultural heritage conservation and preservation.
  5. Design and create digital services for organizing and accessing heritage information from a user-centered perspective.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

Second semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 12
Fieldwork / Visits 4
Reading / Self-study 35
Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation) 5
Assessment: In-class assignments 10
Assessment: Video production 5
Assessment: Group project 35
Total: 130

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Continuous assessment and task focused activities 30
Video production 15
Reflection writing 15
Group project 30
Peer evaluation 10

Required Reading

  • Worthing, D., & Bond, S. (2008). Managing Built Heritage. John Wiley & Sons. [Chap. 2: Asset Type, Their Managers and Management Implications] (Week 1)
  • Yung, E. H., & Chan, E. H. (2011). Problem issues of public participation in built-heritage conservation: Two controversial cases in Hong Kong. Habitat International, 35(3), 457-466. (Week 2)
  • Letellier, R., & Eppich, R. (Eds.). (2015). Recording, documentation and information management for the conservation of heritage places. Routledge. [How does heritage information fit into the conservation process] (Week 3)
  • Lynch, C. (2002). Digital collections, digital libraries & the digitization of cultural heritage information. Microform & Imaging Review, 31(4), 131-145.  (Week 4)
  • Hu, X., Ho, E. M. Y., & Qiao, C. (2017). Digitizing Dunhuang cultural heritage: A user evaluation of Mogao Cave Panorama Digital Library. iConference. (Week 5)
  • Safiullin, L. N., Gafurov, I. R., Shaidullin, R. N., & Safiullin, N. Z. (2014). Socio-economic development of the region and its historical and cultural heritage. Life Science Journal, 11(6s), 400-404. (Week 6)
  • Gilliland, A. J. (2008). Setting the stage. In M. Baca (Ed.), Introduction to metadata (pp. 1-19). Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute. From http://www.getty.edu/research/publications/electronic_publications/intrometadata/setting.html  (Week 8)
  • Nielsen, J. (n. d.). Ten usability heuristics. From http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_list.html  (Week 9)
  • He, X. -L. (2005). Protection of non-material cultural heritage and modernization of national culture. Journal of South-central University For Nationalities (Philosophy and Social Science), 3, 009. (Week 10)
  • Vecco, M. (2010). A definition of cultural heritage: From the tangible to the intangible. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 11(3), 321-324. (Week 11)

Recommended Reading

Video materials (Electronic resources freely accessible via HKUL)

  • Conserving Hong Kong’s cultural heritage. (2012). RTHK. [22 mins]
  • Culture clash. (2011). Asia Television Ltd. [23 mins]

Recommended Websites


Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr X. Hu
Division of Information and Technology Studies, Faculty of Education
Tel: 2219 4722
Email: xiaoxhu@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr X. Hu
Division of Information and Technology Studies, Faculty of Education
Tel: 2219 4722
Email: xiaoxhu@hku.hk