TLS is designed as a construction site on the Web, but it is being compiled in constant thoroughly enjoyable dialogue and collaboration with a large number of colleagues from China, from the US, and from Europe. Naturally, only the general editor can be held ultimately responsible for all that still is wrong with TLS, but if there is anything at all that is of value in it, I hope the gentle reader will assume that it derives from the coeditors of TLS, and from the following collaborators, contributors and visitors:

Qiu Xigui, Guo Xiliang, Ma Zhen, Li Ling, Shao Yonghai, Hu Chirui (all Peking University), Hu Mingyang (Peking, Renmindaxue), He Leshi, Pang Pu (both Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Peking), Chen Guying (Taipei National University and Peking University), Gao Shougang (Tianjin Normal University), Sun Xixin (Fudan University), Sun Changwu (Nankai University in Tianjin), Seishi Karashima (Soka University in Tokyo), Michael Lackner (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Edward Shaughnessy (University of Chicago); David Knechtges (University of Washington, Seattle), Redouane Djamouri (CNRS, Paris), Ulrich Vogel (Tübingen), Lukáš Zádrapa (Charles University, Prague), Wiebke Denecke (Columbia), Marnix Wells (SOAS, London), Tone Sandøy, Yu Jing, Johan Vilny, Christian Linder, Toril Waage, Therese Sørlien, Ivo Spira (all University of Oslo), and last but not least Ingeborg Rørdam Harbsmeier (Tåsen, Oslo).

Hanno Lecher, chief librarian in the distinguished Sinological Institute of Leiden University, has made a constructive contribution towards the development of TLS until he left Heidelberg University, where he was in charge of library computerisation.

Jens Østergaard Petersen, Copenhagen, has been entirely responsible for the technological side of the database, and his contributions to TLS have been decisive in more ways than that: he has gone far beyond the call of duty in designing, continuously improving, and then even maintaining the database. Without Jens Østergaard Petersen, TLS would never have begun to exist, having begun to exist, it would never have survived, and having survived it would never have got onto the Web without his sustained selfless efforts over so many years. Everyone in the project owes him a quite unique debt of gratitude.


The Norwegian Research Council has made the absolutely crucial initial "Grant for Outstanding Research in the Humanities" (3,500,000 Norwegian kroner) in 1989 which - among other things - has made the internationalisation of this project feasible in Norway.
The University of Oslo has been continuously supportive of the project in more ways than can be listed up here, and in 2006 it has awarded the very prestigious University Prize for Outstanding Research to the editor of TLS. Moreover, the Faculty of Humanities has provided extraordinary technological support for the Web publication of TLS.

A extraordinarily large number of international institutions have generously supported my work on TLS in various often financially highly substantial ways:

Cini Foundation, Venice;
Peking University;
Shanghai Normal University;
Zhejiang University, Hangzhou;
Fudan University, Shanghai;
Chinese University of Hongkong;
Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin;
Centre for Advanced Study, Oslo;
Institute for Advanced Study, Budapest;
Harvard Yenching Institute;
Princeton University;
Department of Philosophy, University of California at Berkeley;
CNRS, Paris;
Merton College, Oxford;
Charles University, Prague;
Catholic University, Leuwen;
Institute of Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg;
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor;
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin;
The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala;
Institute for the Study of Humanities, Kyoto.

A most generous grant from the and the Chiang Ching Kuo Foundation, Taipei has made the web-publication at the famous Institute of Chinese Studies in the University of Heidelberg possible.

Very special thanks are due to the Swedish Riksbankens Jubileumsfond who have given most generous financial support towards the web-publication of TLS and towards the salary of our collaborator Gavin LaRowe.

The current development of TLS continues to depend on the enthusiastic institutional support from the Heidelberg Research Architecture, Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", Heidelberg University; the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University; the Institute for the Study of Humanities, Kyoto University; the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala; and the Institute of Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg.

TLS owes a profound debt of gratitude to all these benefactors and his collaborators from all over the world. Without them, TLS would never have begun to exist.

Given the splendid support the THESAURUS LINGUAE SERICAE has received from so many distinguished persons and institutions over so many years, it is all the more important to remind the user that TLS has been built up without any form of stable and regular funding and without any regular staff whatever. In view of the size of the task undertaken in TLS one would have needed at least a dozen regularly paid collaborators. We have had none at all. As a result, a large number of work-intensive routine tasks such as systematic proofreading of texts and analyses have been impossible to organise. TLS is no more than an imperfect record of work in progress.
Much of the crucial text inputting of TLS material was done by students and amateur enthusiasts at extremely low pay - if any. For example, Ingeborg Rørdam Harbsmeier alone has inputted four long books, unpaid, as a labour of love. This has involved literally well over one thousand hours of demanding work. Yu Jing (Oslo) has made similarly substantial contributions at depressingly insubstantial rates of pay, since there was no budget to pay her from.
In spite of all these selfless voluntary efforts, TLS is no more than an analytic construction site on the Web, and it is designed to remain that way: a continuously updated report on work in progress. For there is no end to the additions and improvements TLS will always continue to try to invite and to encourage.

Christoph Harbsmeier
Oslo, May 26, 2007