Institute of Archaeology


Jinyue Zhang

Heritage Database Strategies in Chinese and Global Contexts

Portrait of Jinyue Zhang

Email:  tcrnhbc@ucl.ac.uk
Section: Archaeological Sciences


This study will offer a high-level overview of the application of digital data management platforms in cultural heritage, drawing first on my personal experience as a former software product manager and in consultation with major heritage database projects within China and worldwide. Starting with urgent issues such as how to efficiently form digital heritage archives, how to monitor threats to different heritage sites and how to exchange data between organisations and to public, it will systematically analyse the usability of the case databases for heritage management and archaeological research from the perspective of information system design. The result will benefit real-life projects which are core parts of government heritage management policy in the UK, the US and China.

The following research questions are considered in this study: 1. How can data sources with different structures be effectively connected in heritage management scenarios? 2. How to standardise the denoising (the process used to minimize error/meaningless/duplicate data in database) and archiving of dynamic datasets of immovable cultural heritage in different regions, categories, and periods? 3. How can the data usage and presentation meet the decision-making needs of heritage managers, research needs of experts, as well as knowledge management needs of the public?

Coming from IT management professional background who embarked on academic pathway, the researcher aspires to contribute to the challenges of cultural heritage preservation and to minimise the potential risk of extinction through promoting optimised database management, digital archiving and data visualisation approach. Comparing existing research in China, where significant number of cultural heritage database systems are in use, and internationally with selected case studies from the UK and the US of mature digital systems, this multidisciplinary PhD research will deliver outputs that facilitate contemporary academic and software industry debates, and aiming to bring renovation to the digital preservation, management strategy, and public engagement of cultural heritage.


  • BA, Bachelor of Science in Information Management and Information Systems,University of Science and Technology Beijing, 2013
  • MA, Master of Science in Management and Systems, New York University, 2015